Q: Friendships are a key to surviving school, but they also can be a distraction and come with conflict. What is a healthy balance between friendship time and learning during school?
A: People tend to engage in activities that are pleasurable and rewarding for them and avoid those that are unpleasant or challenging. That’s why it may be difficult for some children to find a healthy school and social life balance. For example, more social individuals may be prone to spend too much time socializing, engaging in conflicts and dramas instead of focusing on education and consequently failing their grades; while others are more withdrawn, shy and prefer to read a book rather than interacting with others at the cost of having no social life. Self-control and discipline are the skills that children need to learn and practice every day. It starts with learning how to plan and organize their time, as well as setting up priorities and making decisions with regards to smaller and bigger, personal and educational goals. Parents and teachers play an important role in this process by listening without judgment and providing their guidance to help youth figuring out schedules to establish a healthy school-social life balance. These discussions may help children not only figuring out how much time they should spend on various activities but also how and with who they want to spend this time in order to feel good about themselves.