Have you ever asked any youngster or youth what the best part of their school life was? What were their responses? If someone asks me, which my students usually do, my response will be simple: my school friend whom I spent most of my time with. I remember my school days because of my friends. Sometimes, parents complain to me about their child’s social lives that they need to concentrate on their studies instead of wasting time with friends. Even some parents brought good suggestions like why their children need even a friend circle; they have their family; it should be enough for them. On the other hand, some parents worry about how they would help their kids cope with the challenges, heartbreaks, and the joys of making friends, losing them, and making friends again.
Diana Levin, the author of the book ‘Remote Control childhood,’ wrote in her notes’ “Friendships help children gradually learn to be independent, contributing members of a community, and it’s just as important as their academic growth.’ It is essential to know that children at an early age need to know how to survive in society because we all are social animals, and we need people to work, study or even endure. Therefore, to practice that art of survival, children need to learn first how to be a part of any social circle or make a social circle and ‘From that point on your child will slowly move from valuing her life with you to her life with her friends. But who their friends are, how they interact with them, and how popular they are, is something parents have only limited control over (Michael Thompson, Best Friends, Worst Enemies).
However, it is also important to value parents concern about their child’s social behaviour. The thing that puzzled parents is their children didn’t always get the balance right between having a good and entire social life and their studies. This is the area where teachers and parents need to work in collaboratively. Students between the age of 10 to 16 are in a fragile social condition because many things happen in their lives, from breakups to first menstrual, from their first date to their first gift exchange etc. Parents need to handle these tasks carefully by showing trust and confidence in their kids’ social decisions.
As for students, they must acknowledge when their social life moved from supported their studies to being something that they used to avoid homework. The phrase used at various points was: procrastination. Using a chat to avoid working through a problematic argument on an assignment or completing an allocated reading is not a healthy balanced social life. It is essential to know that the limitations between social life and study can be distorted well, but having some segregation between them can be helpful so that social time is not mistaken for study time. Start having some ‘collective agreement and goals’ with your friend and ensure that your society will not come in between your study life. Because seriously, I am sure nobody wants their friend to be responsible for their failure in real material life.
Parents, students and teachers, what do you think about social vs study life? Share your views in the comment box below.