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.
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.