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.
Friendships are important for the social and emotional
development of a child. With kids spending most of their time in schools, they
form most of their friendships there too. However, it is not easy for all kids;
some find it challenging to make friends. If not addressed in time, the problem
can snowball and result in lonely, socially awkward and emotionally
underdeveloped children. Schools can help these students by adopting programs
like SEL Adventures in their classrooms. Here are the skills a student needs to
learn to form rewarding friendships.
Finding their people
Students should be able to identify individuals who can
become their good friends. These are their peers who see them as equals, accept
them for who they are, and have similar interests to them. Parents, teachers,
or even the children themselves should not forcibly try to fit into a
friendship for other superficial reasons.
Better Non-Verbal Communication
Non-verbal cues are crucial. The child should be taught to
have an approachable and welcoming demeanor. These include smiling, maintaining
eye contact, standing straight, and more.
Encourage the child to take the initiative and take the
first step towards friendship. They can ask a prospective friend to sit at
their table for lunch, join a game they play, or invite them to other
Showing Interest & Sharing
Teach the child to be a good listener. While they should
talk about themselves, they should also show interest in the life of their new
friend. This makes the other person feel valued and gives them an avenue to
share their emotions.
It is difficult for some kids to celebrate the achievements
of their contemporaries. But, guide students to feel happy about the accomplishment
of a friend. Celebrating their friend’s achievements makes the bond stronger
and sets a foundation for the support system that friendship eventually becomes.
A bond like friendship also requires students to put themselves
in their friend’s shoes and understand what they are going through and how they
can help. It can be challenging for many to empathize, but it is a skill that
can be acquired over time.
It is easy to run from problems. But, students should learn
how to face difficulties in their friendships and find an amicable solution
that saves the relationship and makes it stronger. Thinking of different ways
to resolve problems can prove to be a highly useful life skill for students later
in life too.
It is easy to find faults in another person, but being kind
requires strength. Once students learn how to empathize and resolve conflicts,
kindness follows. But, it can also be learnt by practicing. Students can help
their parents do house chores without asking, put out water for animals, or
Teach them Well
Friendships help students to become socially and emotionally intelligent. SEL Adventures assists the school in teaching students the necessary skills to make friends through classroom instructions, a gamified learning experience, and a performance tracker. SEL Adventures helps schools to coach students to become fully-formed and functioning individuals who go on to live a fulfilling life and become an asset to the community.
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.
Healthy school climate provides safety to students, creates a fertile ground for learning, offers support systems, and helps them grow as individuals. This breeds a positive environment where teachers can interact with students effectively, and students can communicate easily with each other. However, fights, bullying, disturbing emotions, and other such issues can make students act out. In such an environment, even dedicated teachers will find themselves unable to inspire their students to learn. Instead, they will end up wasting time disciplining the students.
SEL Adventures can help students and teachers overcome these challenges by educating them on social-emotional learning. Here is how it drives the school towards a positive climate.
Throwing Light on a Critical Aspect
Social-emotional learning allows schools to undertake a multi-faceted approach to learning and student development. SEL Adventures allows students to learn the skills and attitudes to manage emotions better, set positive goals and achieve them, channel empathy, forge healthy relationships, and make better decisions.
When schools and school districts identify the social and emotional needs of the students and address them, students find a way to direct their emotions. They now have a structured curriculum that helps them understand their issues and talk about them. This leads to a positive environment in the school.
Better Relationship Among Students
SEL Adventures is committed to providing students with the social and emotional skills that are essential for their holistic development. Under the SEL Adventures platform, students are taught to feel and show empathy to others, establish & maintain positive relationships, and manage their emotions. Irrespective of their color, culture, and upbringing, students develop an understanding of each other’s behaviors. They understand themselves and others better. This automatically reduces the incidences of bullying and other negative behaviors.
Students learn assertiveness, impulse control, effective communication, problem-solving, embracing diversity, and more skills. If you look closely, these skills are not only crucial for a better school environment but also prepare the students to be a useful part of a successful workplace. With students turning into productive elements of their communities, there will be reduced cases of criminal activities, substance abuse, domestic violence, and other such anti-social behavior. So, the positive dividend will not only be enjoyed by the schools but the communities, at large.
Improve Student-Teacher Cooperation
School districts’ budgets are often spread thin dealing with behavioral issues, addressing bullying problems, setting up counseling support, and more. Vital resources like teachers often find themselves limited by the role of the disciplinarian they are compelled to play. Bullying and school violence are real problems that affect both teachers and students and create a tense environment.
SEL Adventures fosters greater cooperation, not just among students but also between teachers and students as well. Apart from helping schools to better deal with the student issues, SEL Adventures also encourages students to become more open with teachers and motivate them to learn. Such a camaraderie among the students and teachers creates a healthy and nurturing environment at the school.
Schools are a reflection of the future communities that we are building. SEL Adventures helps in creating a more accepting and welcoming environment for students. Students learn the social-emotional skills required to create a path towards success, irrespective of where they come from. And that is the definition of a healthy school.