Students are a part of all kinds of peer pressure at school. This article discusses the peer pressures they face and how they affect the students.
The years you spend at the school play a vital role in
shaping the person you become in the future. The primary objective of the
school may be to impart education, but it also serves as a fertile ground for
developing peer groups. Such peer groups have a massive influence on the
personality of the student. They are the driving force behind the performance
of the students in academics, the activities they choose to be a part of, the way
they view authority, how they spend their time, and their perspective towards
life in general. Naturally, the feeling of not being able to fit into a group can
be overwhelming for any teenager during those formative years. In most cases,
they are ready to do almost anything to fit in.
Peer Pressure is a Part of Life
Each of us has been molded by peer pressure consciously or
unconsciously. The key is to teach kids not to lose themselves to please
others. Peer groups are an integral part of growing up, and comprehensive programs
like SEL Adventures allow students to understand the difference between
positive and negative peer relationships. It helps them clearly see the
difference between the relationships that are pulling them down and those that
are pushing them forward. Schools and teachers should take the responsibility
to make sure that students earn that discretion.
Negative Peer Pressure
There are several types of negative peer pressures that middle-schoolers
have to endure. Peers can make students do things by way of insulting,
threatening to reject, or with non-verbal pressure from others to do something
that everyone else in the peer group is doing.
All these different pressures from their peers can confuse
the young students and lead them to make poor decisions. This can have a
jarring impact on the self-esteem and self-image of the child. In turn, this
becomes the reason for their frustration and even anxiety.
Constant negative peer pressure can also stunt the growth of
a child. They have a hard time identifying the cause and solving the problems
they face. This inevitably leads to teenagers developing a poor image of
themselves. This poor image is the root cause of high-risk behaviors in most
kids, including substance abuse, trying life-threatening stunts, and so son.
Positive Peer Pressure
Peer pressure has earned itself a bad reputation, but it can
also lead to many positive situations.
Peer educators have become a significant part of school
outreach programs. In fact, the Red Cross uses peer educators for their
programs on safe sex. The organization has found that students are more likely
to listen to a positive message when it comes from one of their peers.
Positive peer relationships are powerful. Students can see
their peers working hard towards their goals and be inspired to work hard
themselves. They can see their classmates involving themselves in different
activities and becoming physically fit, and they would want to do the same.
Empathy helps students to evolve into thoughtful and helpful individuals who contribute to society. It encourages students to learn more, work better in teams, and steer clear of bullying. Empathetic children are confident in their own skin, so they ask more doubts in class, talk to more people, enroll in extracurricular activities, and develop into wholesome individuals. With such widespread benefits, teachers naturally want their students to acquire this invaluable skill, and here is how they can do it.
Creating Opportunities to Learn
Teachers should think of activities beyond the classroom to build empathy. A personal experience is going to be a much more impactful educational experience than reading tens of books. Teachers should take their students out more often so that they can meet individuals from different walks of life. This will help them understand the fact that life is much more than what they experience at home and school. It will humble them and help them understand life from different perspectives.
Structured programs like SEL Adventures are a huge help to teachers in the endeavor to teach their students empathy. These programs include complete lectures on helping students understand the nuances of empathy, how it is an important skill in life, and how students can cultivate it. SEL Adventures also includes practice activities to help students visualize and learn quickly. Such programs make learning fun. In these activities, students will actively attempt to learn empathy as the opportunity to experience it is presented to them in an exciting way.
Leading By Example
Leaders across the board understand the importance of leading by example, and the same applies in a classroom environment as well. Teachers should become more empathetic in their approach to students. They can do so by understanding the problems of their students, demonstrating compassion, and keeping a positive attitude. This will provide them the much-needed role models they need to get inspired from to learn empathy.
Highlight Similarities & Differences
Teachers can help students find similarities within their groups. They can help them understand that we all share many similarities despite our differences. Students should understand and learn to discuss differences in a safe environment. Individual and group differences should be interpreted as rich opportunities to learn an entirely new perspective. Students should be taught to seek people who are ‘different’ from who they are and learn from them instead of running away from them. This is a powerful technique that will give way to empathy.
Empathy is a skill that everyone should learn. It leads to a more evolved classroom, school, and eventually, community. Teachers have always been an instrument of change in society. They should use one or more of these strategies to help their students develop an empathetic mindset – a mindset that will help them grow to be emotionally intelligent and successful in life.
Teachers can find out more strategies and techniques to teach empathy to their students from https://sel-adventures.com/en/programs.
Friendships make our lives better. Friends help us cope with the
hard times and make the good ones even better. But, friendships give us much
more than just good memories. They help a child develop the emotional
intelligence they need to become a well-functioning part of the society. In
fact, studies have found that friendships and emotional intelligence are positively
correlated. Friendships help in developing emotional intelligence and
emotional intelligence makes it easier to forge better friendships.
Here is how friendships improve emotional intelligence.
Friends provide a child with a support system, unlike any other. Kids
find it easier to relate to other kids who are comparable in age. They are all
going through similar challenges in their lives. This provides kids with a
safer environment to share their thoughts and problems. Instead of coping with
their issues alone, they learn how to communicate them effectively. Programs
like SEL Adventures further help children to improve their communication skills
and forge new friendships. A friend or a group of friends teaches them how to
share and find a solution to life’s problems in a healthy fashion.
Whether the child is starting school, joining a sport, or anything
new, a group of friends can help them assimilate quickly. Friends help them
express themselves better, stay confident and avoid feelings of loneliness. Friends
also show interest in each other’s lives, which encourages kids to do better in
whatever hobbies they pursue. In such a productive environment, children will
find more activities they enjoy, gain more exposure, and develop more skills.
Every relationship has its highs and lows. Friendships are not any
different. Children will get into fights with their friends. But, these
conflicts will teach them a lot of valuable lessons. They learn to look for
their mistakes, articulate their feelings, and rebuild a relationship after a disagreement.
Such communication and conflict resolution skills serve them well in their
personal and professional relationships throughout their life.
Friends and fun are almost synonymous. They help them explore life
outside of their house and school. Whether it is a playground, a trip, or a
house party, everything will help your child come in contact with new people,
gain confidence, and become more mature. Experiences help an individual grow. A
diverse set of experiences with friends will help a child derive more satisfaction
in everything they do. They will have a better time at school, playground, and
life, in general. Such satisfaction helps them blossom into a positive personality
who is happy and content.
Friendships are Key
Many kids find it challenging to find friends. In such a case, adults have to make sure that they understand the problems their child might be facing and help them get over them. They should also encourage them to participate in programs like SEL Adventures, which can provide them the necessary help. Parents, teachers, and friends are all important influential figures in a child’s life. But, friendship is the only bond that offers choice to the child. They pick people they want to be friends with. Friendships help a child find people they like, learn life lessons, and become better.