Teens Helping Teens
You might be completely unaware of this particular program, but peer counseling in High Schools has become increasingly common across the globe. Tweens who are leaving primary school to go on to high school face an extraordinary amount of pressure; not only to do with the fact that high schools tend to be far larger than primary schools, but their workload increases dramatically.
It can be difficult for teens to adapt to the change, but some high schools have addressed parents’ concerns with a program known as “peer counseling”.
Not every school rolls out this particular program to students, but there is conclusive proof that where these mentors exist, kids find it easier to cope with the demands of being somewhere new.
In one local high school all new pupils are assigned an older student who will look out for them and make sure that they know what they’re supposed to be doing, where they’re going and they’re not having any problems. Older students receive extra credit for mentoring younger students and it helps them to forge new relationships and gain credibility with members of staff.
Older students receive training in order to carry out their mentoring roles in a caring and considerate manner and any serious problems that occur are referred back to members of staff.
Peer counseling is a relatively new drive that has been developed to help children cope with all the new experiences faced by going to high school. For example, children might be daunted by the increase in homework or expectations of their teachers. Children may also feel a little scared by the number of other students, or they might be subject to bullying.
Peer counselors help to deal with these kinds of activities by ensuring that new students fit in quickly with their routines, and helping them deal with any issues as they arise.
Studies prove that children feel more comfortable speaking with their peers about their problems as they’re on the same social structure. It can be hard for any child to approach an adult to discuss their problems and more so when that child has not had the opportunity to build a relationship with a teacher.
The child mentor receives a morale boost as they suddenly find themselves in a trusted situation, where they are in the confidence of a younger child. The improvement in status within the school environment is also a huge boost to the peer’s confidence as their efforts are appreciated by other staff members and their concerns are taken seriously.
Some schools hold a “Peer Counselor Meeting” with a staff member once a week in order to discuss any serious issues that have happened, so that all counselor are aware of any volatile situation and can discuss ways to deal with any further problems, should they arise. The students who participate in this program receive an extra credit in their studies. The mentoring certificate proves their maturity and responsibility, and can help when applying to further and higher education establishments.
If your child’s high school is embarking on a mentoring program, then encourage your teenager to take part, as the experience will be good for them as they learn how to deal with younger children. The confidence boost your child will receive for helping a youngster deal with their problems will make them feel important too and give them an incredible sense of achievement.
Peer counseling is a really useful tool if used correctly. The right student can make a massive difference to a young person’s life and it is not a position to be taken lightly. Specific situations are not discussed with other students outside of the program, and are only shared with other peer counselors in serious cases.
If your local high school doesn't offer peer counseling why not suggest it to them?