Many parents are concerned that their son or daughter is hanging out with the wrong crowd. We all know that teenagers are easily influenced by the people they spend time with, but the good news is that this can go both ways! As much as spending time with negative friends can be a bad influence, having a strong group of positive peers has the opposite effect. This is where the Army Cadets comes in.
Here are some of the beneficial impacts you can expect to see from the positive peer pressure your children will be exposed to when they become a cadet:
- Boosted Self-Confidence - being exposed to a group of people who are working together to achieve goals is sure to increase the self-image of young people. Hanging out in mixed ability groups means everyone has a chance to shine in different activities.
- Better attendance at school – one of the things parents worry about when their child makes friends with a bad crowd is that they’ll start skipping school. Having a strong positive friendship group means that children skip school less. Head teachers have even commented on increased attendance by young people who are part of the cadets.
- More empathy – being part of the cadets encourages young people to mix with people who might be a bit different from themselves. Socialising with other children from different backgrounds often results in improved empathy.
- Increased sense of community – completing all the challenges faced by cadets with a close-knit group of friends helps young people build a sense of community. This often carries over into the outside world; with lots of cadets going on to be volunteers themselves.
- Enhanced pride – whether it’s a perfectly ironed shirt, a well-polished pair of shoes or a correctly pitched tent, being around other young people who are impressed by your child’s achievements will teach them to take pride in their accomplishments.
- Raised ambition – achieving goals with their friends allows children to increase their ambition naturally. Lots of young cadets go on to have successful careers in the professional forces or set their sights on impressive civilian careers.
- Better teamwork – while in the cadets, young people have to work together to achieve their goals as a group. Although eventually cadets become close, often they must work alongside new and different people, helping to develop their teamwork skills.
- Highly developed leadership skills – moving through the Army Cadets will mean that your child is put in a position where they are a role model for younger and newer members of the group. This helps them to develop leadership skills, which are valuable in the wider world.
- Increased respect – whether they’re catching the bus or walking down a street, dressed in their uniform your child will enjoy increased respect from others. Young people often find that this encourages them to behave better and to help others more.
- New respect for authority – of course, it’s not just young people that cadets are exposed to, as they will also be around great adult role models. Hanging out with adults they and their friends like and respect helps them develop healthy relationships, and a respect for authority.
Being part of the Army Cadets gives young people a chance to gain positive role models, create a good friendship group, and be an excellent influence on those around them - and these aren’t the only benefits of joining the cadets. However, it’s not just young people who benefit! Find out more about how you can be a good role model in the lives of children in your area by volunteering with the ACF.