How Do Peers, Schools & Communities Affect Personal Health

There is no doubt that who we are right now is a product of our experiences, environment, and the people who surround us growing up. While we are free to be who we are in the boundaries of morals, the product of our past cannot be overlooked – the same way we need to talk about how peers, schools, and communities affect the personal health of our kids.

How peers affect personal health

Peer pressure starts at home and is more active when kids are at school with their peers. As a definition, peer influence is when a person chooses to do something he or she wouldn’t otherwise do because they want to feel accepted and valued by their peers. However, it isn’t just or always about doing something against your will.

Peer influence can be better described by how behavior is shaped by wanting, even needing to that we belong to a group of friends or peers. In a school setting, an expat child who is forced into attending a local public school may be compelled to follow the local culture whether that part of the culture is good or bad, which makes it vital for parents, especially of younger kids to seek out international schools where their kids can be with peers of the same culture, as well as a diverse segment of others ones, can balance this out and avoid negative consequences.

That’s to say that peer pressure and influence can be positive. For instance, your child might be influenced to become more assertive, try other activities, or to get more involved with the school.

How schools affect personal health

The school can be a singular, most effective tool at shaping a child’s whole persona aside from the family he or she belongs to. Children with good education live longer, healthier lives than those with fewer years of learning. This may come as an obvious explanation, but school teaches a child not only academics but life skills necessary to survive in the modern world we now belong to.

This is a key reason why inquiry-based learning has been introduced to schools as an alternative to the standard curriculum. For example, International Baccalaureate Primary Years Program or IB PYP uses a transdisciplinary method that allows students to discover answers to key questions like “who am I, where do I belong, what is the importance of the environment around me”. This method weaves a story that moves from subject to subject to teach the students the essence of each topic. The framework directs students to apply the acquired knowledge to think, reflect, analyze, problem solve and evaluate – ultimately encouraging them to adopt a healthier lifestyle and become life-ready.

How our community affects personal health

The health of families in a community is largely affected by the resources and programs made available therein. Both health and recreational facilities play a big role in promoting a healthier lifestyle for adults and children. The reverse is true for poor communities.

In the end, it matters who your family’s peers are, the schools where you enroll your children, and the community you belong in. Keep this in mind whether you’re a young family looking to settle down in the right neighborhood or one keen on finding a better situation for every family member.

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