Have you ever asked any youngster or youth, what was the best part of their school life? What were their responses? Well, if someone asks me, which my students usually do, my response will 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 to 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 in early age need to have an idea of how to survive in society because we all are social animals and we need people to work, study or even to 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 child didn’t always get the balance right between having a good and full 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 very fragile social condition because many things are happening in their lives; from breakups to first menstrual, from their first date to their first gift exchange etc. For parents, it is essential for them to handle these tasks carefully by showing some trust and confidence in their kid’s social decisions.
As for students, it is crucial for them to acknowledge when their social life moved from being something that 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 difficult argument on an assignment or getting an allocated reading completed is not a healthy balanced social life, going to the library to socialise rather than to study or spending overnight study time as a group movie night. It is then your parents and teachers question you about your priorities. It is important to know that the limitations between social life and study can be distorted in a good way, but having some segregation between them can be useful so that social time is not mistaken for study time. Start having some ‘collective agreement and goals’ with your friend and make sure that your society will not come in between your study life. Because seriously, I am sure, nobody wants that their friend should hold responsible for their failure in real material life.
Parents, students and teachers what do you think about the social vs study life? Share your views in the comment box below.