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Is it time for peer coaches to alleviate the pressure on teens?

Adults can appear to be fairly dismissive of the stress young people and teenagers are under these days, which is perhaps understandable once you’ve experienced the bigger world of business, mortgages and being a parent! This doesn’t mean, however, that the pressures on young people are non-existent.

Changes in how students are tested, modern technology and decisions about what to do post-education all add to a pressure pot which can lead to stress and anxiety when students are unprepared for how to deal with them. These pressures are very real to students, regardless of how we look at them in hindsight; the question isn’t whether they are there or even worthy of such stress, but whether there are enough support mechanisms in place.

Life choices at the age of 14

During their third year at secondary school, students are required to make choices about the GCSE topics they’d like to study. This freedom of choice is great for students as it engages them in their education, however it suddenly becomes very clear to students that what they do at school and college affects real life. Whilst this may be a false perception, it creates a lot of pressure for teenagers with them placing great importance on the subjects they choose.

These key choices continue when it comes to further education, whether it be AS and A-Levels, an apprenticeship or a vocational qualification. The transition from school to college is a huge milestone for teenagers, but it’s some shake-up from school life, with more autonomy and further choices to make. In the space of just two or three years, teenagers transition from a fairly rigid school environment to one where they feel they are making significant life choices.

Teaching students coping mechanisms

Pressure is something everyone will be faced with at some point in their lives, so teaching young people how to cope with it from an early age seems innately sensible – in fact, we’ve written in the past about how teaching young people good mental skills may be the most vital lesson of all. By including mental resilience training in education, schools equip young people with a life skill that many adults only come to learn much later in life. By introducing things such as ‘red head to blue head thinking’ long before students need to make these critical choices, they will have the right mental skills to deal with the pressure it brings.

Of course, most schools already have some mechanisms in place to help alleviate the pressures, such as careers advisors and councillors, but often this isn’t enough. Helpful, practical peer support is something very valuable and could be an effective way for students to deal with the stresses of teenage life. Could pupils themselves become a part of the support mechanism, perhaps through peer coaching schemes? What do you think?

Martin Fairn, CEO, Gazing Performance Systems
www.gazing.com
@gazingtraining

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BACKGROUND

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1.1In this Cookie Policy, unless the context otherwise requires, the following expressions have the following meanings:

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Changes to this Cookie Policy

6.1 We may alter this Cookie Policy at any time. If We do so, details of the changes will be highlighted at the top of this page. Any such changes will become binding on you on your first use of Our Site after the changes have been made. You are therefore advised to check this page from time to time.

6.2 In the event of any conflict between the current version of this Cookie Policy and any previous version(s), the provisions current and in effect shall prevail unless it is expressly stated otherwise.

7. Further Information

7.1 If you would like to know more about how We use Cookies, please contact Us at gazing@gazing.com, by telephone on 020 8568 0298 or by post at 80 Crown Road, St Margarets, Twickenham, Middlesex TW1 3ER.

7.2 For more information about privacy, data protection and our terms and conditions, please visit the following:

7.2.1 Privacy Policy

7.2.2 Terms and Conditions