Peer pressure is a part of a teenager’s life. But,
teachers and parents can empower students with the tools they need to combat
this peer pressure and use it in their best interests.
Peer pressure is real, and it’s powerful. It can be as innocuous
as keeping up with the fashion trends in the middle school or as threatening as
sliding into drug abuse. While students cope with peer pressure in different
ways, the onus falls on the parents and teachers to guide them in the right
direction. Parents and teachers should spread awareness among students about
the support system they have access to and teach them to tap into those
resources at the right time.
Recognize it Exists
The first step for parents and teachers towards helping a
student is to identify with their situation. Denying the existence of peer
pressure or underplaying it does not help. If anything, it will drive the child
away from you. They will not relate with your advice, or worse, recognize you
as a reliable source of information. So, the first step adults can take to help
students resist peer pressure is to acknowledge its existence.
Helping them Spot the Difference
Teachers and parents should help students spot the
difference between negative and positive peer pressure. They should know that
there is a clear demarcation between a peer pushing them to become a better
athlete and another forcing them to take up performance-enhancing drugs. A good
move would be to implement programs like SEL Adventures at school that help
students clearly demarcate between positive and negative peer relationships.
These programs give students all the tools they need to make better choices.
Applying Positive Pressure
Middle school is a time when most parents think that their
kids are turning rebellious. However, it is common at this age for children to
either imitate their parents, do activities to get their attention, or indulge
in things that please their parents. So, parents must identify the kind of
power they wield over their child too. Once they do, they can use this power to
help their children become better at academics, become more active on the
playground, and stand up for themselves against a bully.
Lastly, parents and teachers should express confidence in
their kids. Students should know that there is always somebody to listen to
them, and somebody they can go back to even if they fail. This confidence
increases their confidence in themselves and minimizes the influence of peers
on their life.
Show Them the Way
Parents and teachers are an important contributor to the
life of a child. They can share their own experiences, give students a
comforting ear, or act as a guide in their formative years. Apart from this,
investing in programs like SEL Adventures provides the students with structured
information on how to tackle their everyday peer pressures.
Peer pressure is a reality for every middle-schooler. Parents and teachers should pressure-mold the students to make them a productive member of society and not the opposite.
article talks about the role of teachers in teaching middle-schoolers become more
self-aware to create a thriving and positive school environment
Self-awareness is a complex subject. Even
adults have a tough time grappling with it. However, the good news is that self-awareness, like any science, can be
taught. With the right tools, pedagogy, and intent, schools can teach kids to
hone their self-awareness skills. With the proper
knowledge, young students can go on to
become productive members of their communities. Here are the top 5 ways in
which teachers nurture self-aware middle-schoolers.
Encourage Kids to Journal
Keeping a journal is an excellent way for students to connect with
themselves. A simple act of putting their thoughts and their daily activities
in writing brings new perspectives into their thinking. Students will reminisce
what they did and how it affected them and others around them. A journal helps
them relive the day and identify the moments they missed or overlooked. Such a
daily activity builds patience and helps them get better every day.
Identifying Strengths & Weaknesses
Every child is different. They come from
unique backgrounds, live vibrant and diverse
lives, and have access to distinct sets of resources. Teachers should
appreciate the diversity and help students appreciate
them too. When they understand their strengths and find a safe space to talk
about their weaknesses, they are more likely to work on them. Discussing
weaknesses should not be taboo, and
teachers should make an effort to make a classroom environment that allows just
Make Academics Relatable
When a subject is taught in class, teachers should try to connect it to the
experiences and personal memories of students. For instance, if the class is about the French Revolution, teachers
should ask questions like – “When was the last time you felt you needed to
raise your voice against something?” This
helps students reminisce, search through their memory bank and find relevant
memories. Discussing these in the class will help them understand the subject
and themselves better. It will also give them perspective. When multiple students
share their experiences, they will realize
that they are not going through certain emotions alone, and such an experience can be extraordinarily
Focus on Self-Awareness
Apart from teaching self-awareness as a
side subject, teachers can also encourage schools to add self-awareness to
their formal curriculum. With structured programs like SEL Adventures around,
teachers can easily find all the classroom instructions, subject content, and
activity suggestions in one place. It makes it easy for students to grasp the
significance of self-awareness, learn quickly, and apply that knowledge via
expertly designed activities.
Teaching Self-Awareness Made Easy
Self-awareness plays a crucial role in the development of a child and has a critical bearing on their future. Teaching self-awareness to students from a young age also improves the school climate and results in a highly productive learning environment. Schools have a huge incentive to provide their teachers with the right tools to teach their students to be self-aware.
We already discussed
the importance of making good decisions. In the second part of the article, we
discuss how teachers can encourage students to acquire the necessary skills.
Teachers want their students to make good choices – whether
they are academic, social, or emotional. Decision-making skills help students
to gain confidence and become independent. With strong encouragement, students
learn to differentiate between good and bad decisions, start trusting their
gut, and rely on themselves whenever faced with a difficult situation. Teachers
are in a position to foster a classroom environment that helps them nurture good
decision-makers. Here is how they can do it.
The trust placed in the students to carry out a
responsibility or make the right choices instills confidence in a child. Good
teachers believe in their students. This belief makes students feel responsible,
and they put more thought into doing the tasks assigned to them. Teachers who
always concentrate on the shortcomings of their students, end up with tired and
stubborn students who do not take responsibility for their actions or their
Listen to Them
Good teachers provide students space where they can speak
their mind. This is an essential part of a good decision-making process. Ask
students how they arrived at a decision and afford them the time to explain
themselves and provide feedback. This will inculcate accountability into their
decisions. Children make impulsive and snap decisions. However, when they have
an authority figure who wants to understand their decisions, they will put more
thought into it. This process will also help them feel that the decisions they
are making are important and add to their self-worth.
Good decision-making is a skill, and it takes time to
master. So, it will be wrong to expect students to make the best decisions
right away. They need proper guidance and room to make mistakes before they can
start making better decisions. This can be done by teaching decision-making
skills as part of the curriculum and engaging students in class and outdoor
activities that require them to make decisions. Such low-impact decisions are critical
learning tools. They will help students take the difficult first step towards
decision-making and then step back and analyze their consequences on others.
Programs like SEL Adventures provide students all the tools they need to create
good decision-makers out of their students.
Good decision Makers Can Change the World
Teachers are the agents of change. When they listen, understand, and coach students to become good decision-makers, they are creating productive members of the community. When every member understands the gravity of the decisions they take, it can uplift whole communities to be better versions of themselves and thrive.
The article impresses upon the importance of good decisions and why students
need to learn how to make them.
Decision-making is a skill. Life is
a series of decisions, their consequences, and more decisions in response to
those consequences. So, when life presents an opportunity to make a decision,
an individual should have the skill to make good decisions and make them
quickly. This skill must be acquired from a young age, and social-emotional
learning programs like SEL Adventures help students to do just that. The
importance of making good decisions in life cannot be stressed enough. Let’s
break it down to understand it better.
Every decision you make has a
bearing on your future. It may take only a few seconds for a student to make a
decision, but its impact may last a lifetime. One of the signs of a good
decision is that it is taken after due deliberation. So, students should be
taught the importance of taking their time to analyze a situation first and
then make an informed decision. After all, one good decision can help students
to push forward in life and become the individuals they want to. It also helps
them avoid regrets and live a life they had always dreamed of.
Leaders have the aptitude for
decision-making. They make good decisions, and for this reason, people trust
them to lead. It falls upon the schools and parents of today to create the
leaders of tomorrow. So, they must teach their kids to make good decisions.
Leaders do not take decisions only when a problem presents itself to them. They
make decisions when they want to change the status quo.
It’s a Life Skill
Good decisions create a better
tomorrow. With problems like substance abuse, high dropout rates, and shocking suicide
rates, there is a dire need for good decision-making skills among students.
They should be able to understand others’ intentions, weigh in the
consequences, and then make good decisions. This will allow them to have a fulfilling
childhood and a successful future.
Making a Difference
Although we have full control
over the decisions we make, we do not always have control over the impact of those
decisions on other people. Good decisions help people to have a positive effect
on the lives of others too. An elder sibling can guide the younger one in
making good decisions. Those decisions can include pursuing higher studies,
following a passion, investing time in self-improvement, or something else.
Good decisions snowball and help improve lives.
Good decision-making is an integral
part of everyday life. Students need role models to understand, appreciate, and
learn good decision-making. Schools can also adopt programs like SEL Adventures
that teach students the makings of a good decision and provide teachers with a
structured curriculum to teach in classrooms.