School Peer Pressure
Here's How You Can Help!!

The statistics on peer pressure say that school peer pressure is experienced by most students today, no matter what their age.

The symptoms of such pressures may include lethargy, apathy or failure to complete assignments and refusals to try are evident in defeatist attitudes. Teachers, you do need to acknowledge that these are realities.

The effects of peer pressure also may include health problems, both mental and physical and perhaps later on drug abuse, crime and suicidal tendencies.

Most of the pressure on children comes from adults. In our ever changing society, you need to ask yourself - Does our society let children grow up before hurtling them into an adult life?

Many children live in a fast pace life. Parents often put them into after school or weekend programs. There are also pressures on what friends they make and what they do with them or lack of friends.

Many children push or are pushed towards a future goal and this again adds pressure as they prepare to get into a "good" university or college.

Student peer pressure also occurs as students strive to match or exceed the marks/grades of their fellow students to impress their peers, their parents and their teachers. They may also experience guilty feelings as a result of these obligations.

However there are things that as teachers and educators that we can do to help students in handling peer pressure.

We can re-examine our attitudes, attempt to change a failure into an opportunity, for example help students focus on realistic goals, and think about our reluctance to sometimes help a student in a difficult situation.

Our training and experience gives us the tools and the means to reduce school peer pressure. We as teachers must realize that our challenge is to help students grow up and live happily and effectively amongst their peers in society. We must encourage them to continue developing socially acceptable interactions.

We must remember that our attitudes are one of the main things to help our students handle peer pressure. The inherent capacity to adjust and improve helps establish a positive atmosphere in your classroom.

You, as a teacher, know that your expectations for each student must be reasonable. We all know that some children are difficult and need more patience and understanding. We must let students know what the expectations are from each of them. (If we don't have any expectations that's probably what we'll get from them.)

Realizing and doing something about school peer pressure changed my way of teaching my students and hopefully will have the same effect on you.

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