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  Social Connections and Influence  
Social Connections and Influence
by paul
Click here for a printable version.

youth ministry
Our friend and youthworker Joel Owens sent the following and we wanted to pass it along to you. It's written to the parents of the teens in his ministry. Feel free to edit and send it along to the parents of your group...

Today I read an interesting article (especially for those of you with middle school aged kids) and I wanted to pass it along to you.
New research findings by the Univ. of Oregon show that changes in friendships as students enter middle school may determine academic success or troubles down the road.  The findings reveal:

1. Boys and girls whose friends are socially active in ways where rules are respected do better  in their classroom work.

2. Having friends who engage in problem behavior is related to a decrease in their grades.

3.  Having pro-social friends and staying away from deviant peers proved more effective for academic payoffs than simply being friends with high-achieving peers.

In other words, the behavior patterns of your child’s peers will have more impact on their academic success or failure than how good or bad the grades are of their friends.  As Solomon said, “He who walks with the wise grows wise, but a companion of fools suffers harm.”
The rest of the article outlines more of their findings and is worth reading.  The article concludes:

“…responsible adults-at school and at home-should pay special attention to changes in friendships and encourage students to pursue and participate in adult-supervised activities to promote pro-social relationships.”

What do you know, research is showing us the importance of the role of solid adults guiding kids to better function within the accepted bounds of society.
Finally the article suggests, “Parents should pay close attention to what their kids are doing and with whom they hang out.  If parents notice that there is a shift in a child’s friendship network, they should try to get to know those kids, talk with teachers, and communicate naturally with their own child about where they are going and when they will be coming home.”

Your child wants and needs you to be actively involved in the process of helping them make wise friendships.  The friends they have will play a major role in the direction their life takes.  Help them determine who should and should not be in their circle of influence.

Your Partners in Youth Ministry!
Paul & Al
P.S. The Youth Ministry Zone! Sign-up today. You can cancel at any time.

Originally Posted: 01 at 7
Last Updated: 01 at 7

Click here for a printable version.



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