Conformity Portrayed By Students At School

Conformity Portrayed By Students At School

What is so important about understanding the term ‘Conformity’? Conformity is to respond in a socially acceptable manner. It involves behaving in a way which might not be the way you wish to portray your behaviour, but only because of the societal needs, one shows compliance to the rules, and standards towards the society. Conformity can be observed in every part of the society, starting from school environment to a professional area.

Behaviour is shaped during the developmental stages of a child. The initial development of a child is primarily at home, and secondarily at school. Children learn by observing their surroundings, the way people respond, the way they talk, how they express to name a few. There are alarming problems which take place in the school environment such as bullying, harassment, physical harm etc. Conformity is an aspect which is also learned by a child during the schooling years. When children go to school, they make friends, they share their interests with those friends, they might be having a group of friends who are always together. Conformity plays a role of making the child suppress the actual thought or feeling to be accepted by friends or by a group. For instance, if a group of five friends among which four of them agree to a particular thing, automatically the fifth child agrees with the same even if they didn’t want to agree genuinely. Why did they do so? This is because the child might be scared to be judged by his fellow friends, or he might feel different than others because he thought differently, or his friends might question him which might make the child feel attacked or fearful.

Feeling of acceptance is something everyone looks forward to from their loved ones’, from the people of the society. Children who get acceptance at home but not at school can be disturbing for them. This is why mostly students portray conformity to get the validation and acceptance from the school.

Is Conformity positive or negative? Conformity is not necessarily positive or negative. When an individual is conforming as a result of fear or insecurity, it can be considered as negative. Students are often bullied in school, teased with names, looked down upon, compared to other students, these can have negative impact on the children. Children fear easily because of the limited exposure, age factor and growing stage. They do not like the feeling of standing out of the group, not paid attention to or not similar to the fellow classmates. This makes them conform to the things which makes them a part of the group, and not different. Conformity is a factor of accepting what the society needs are but not being accepted in the society until to fulfil those needs.

As parents are the primary care givers and teachers are the secondary care givers, they need to teach the children about accepting self the way they are. It is important that the children understand that they need to accept themselves and love themselves to be accepted by others. Conformity is not necessary to be a part of a particular group, or make new friends. A child needs to be taught that every child is different in their own way. No two children are the same. It is essential to educate the children with positive approach towards self and the society so that they do not have the feeling of insecurity.

Self-esteem, self-confidence, approaching style, empathy, motivation, energy levels, are some aspects which are connected to conformity. The suppressed thoughts and emotions of a child can suppress the originality or authenticity of the child’s feelings and ideas. It is important that children express whatever they want to, in order to avoid any kind of emotional imbalance or emotional regulation problem.

People think of portraying their self just the way they are in front of the society, but why does this happen that they end up conforming some or the other time? Why is it important to be the same? Why is it difficult to understand that everyone is different and that is a fact? Change is something people can bring about in the society by acting upon it. Educating children about conformity being not necessary part of the daily life is a way to bring change in a positive way in the society.

Children face hardships growing up during their developmental stages. As care givers it is essential to understand the needs of the children and trust the children to motivate them to do the right thing, take stand for themselves, be independent. It is essential to understand that learning starts from the home environment and that is where the child learns most of the aspects of individuality and how to empathize with the people of the society, out in the world.

About the Author

Sharmishtha Chakraborty
Counselling Psychologist.

I, Sharmishtha Chakraborty am a Counselling Psychologist by profession. I have completed my Master's in Counselling

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1 Comments

  • The behaviourial response of a child is responsible on the environment of surounding value system be it family or friends or teachers etc circle. The need to conform to the societal standards even of supressing own thinking would make good relationshop and to be a human being. . The author's suggetion for this approach in the formative stage by the goid example of parents teachers may give the children a good values in life. Keep the good writing in structured subjects for good bringing up of childten.

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