HOW TO DEAL WITH PRESSURES
This video helps young adolescents:
Become more aware of the kinds of pressures they live with.
Recognize how those pressures affect the way they feel and the kinds of choices they make.
Understand how pressure can make them lose perspective.
Learn some good ways to deal with pressures.
If your school or organization does not have these videos, you can purchase them from Live Wire Media, or request them from your local library.
If you are using the video, ask the first two questions before viewing.
1. What pressures are you under?
2. Is all pressure bad, or can some pressures be good?
3. In what ways are the pressures on you changing as you get older?
4. What are the most serious pressures you are feeling?
5. Are most of the pressures you feel internal pressures or external pressures? What's the difference?
6. Can you think of a time when you felt like you were getting a lot of pressure from others, but it turned out that you were actually putting that pressure on yourself?
7. Do you ever put so much pressure on yourself that it makes it hard to enjoy what you're doing?
8. Do you ever put unfair pressure on yourself because you can't say "no" to people? Is that good? How could you change that?
9. Several of the kids in the video complained that their parents compare them to other kids. Does that ever happen to you? How do you feel about that? What are some good ways of dealing with it?
10. Do you ever put pressure on yourself by comparing yourself with others? Is that good?
11. What's the worst way you've ever dealt with a pressure? How could you have handled it better?
12. What's the best way you've ever dealt with a pressure? What did you learn from that?
13. Do you think pressure sometimes affects the way you make choices? In what way?
14. How do you know when pressure is getting to be too much?
15. When you're having a big problem do you always try to work it out on your own or do you ever reach out for help? Why? When might it be best to reach out for help?
16. Does pressure sometimes make you lose perspective? (It may help to have a discussion here about perspective) How does losing perspective affect the choices you make?
17. Did anybody in this video say anything you disagree with? How would you answer that person?
18. What was most meaningful to you in this video?
Other teaching guides in this series:
1. Have the class brainstorm ways to deal with pressures. (For some help, see "How To Deal With Pressures," at the top of this column.) Make a list and post it on the wall as a reminder for people when they need it.
2. Make up some hypothetical situations and have the kids do role plays in which they practice resisting negative pressures. In each case the person doing the resisting has two objectives: 1) to refuse to do it, and 2) to persuade the others not to, as well. Here are some ideas to start with.
3. Break the class into groups and have each group develop a plan for creating a climate of positive peer pressure for the following:
Then, have them present their plans to the whole class for discussion and critique.
1. Write about the kinds of pressures you feel:
2. Write about the kinds of pressures you feel about your future.
3. Write about a time when pressure made you lose perspective. What happened? What would have helped? What did you learn from that? How would you handle it differently in the future?
4. Write about a time when you were under a lot of pressure and somebody helped you through it.
5. Write about one or two positive pressures in your life. What's good about them? What do they do for you? How do you respond to these pressures?
6. Imagine that some day you will have a child. Write a letter of advice for that child to read when he or she reaches the age you are right now. Tell the child about the pressures you experienced at this age, how those pressures affected you, and how you hope he/she will deal with his/her own pressures at this age.
7. For one week keep a "Pressure Journal." Before you go to bed each night, write a description of the biggest pressures you felt that day. What caused them? How did they make you feel? How did you handle them? How will you handle them next time?
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