What is Positive Peer Culture?

Girls in Positive Peer Culture group of Residential Treatment Center for GirlsFalcon Ridge Ranch uses a treatment methodology called Positive Peer Culture. Positive Peer Culture utilizes a conflict resolution approach where relationships are built through care, trust and service toward others. Most likely, if your daughter has picked the “wrong crowd” of friends, she was a part of a “negative peer culture”. Positive Peer Cultures are similar to negative peer cultures, except that they practice positive values.

The good news is that your daughter is already familiar with the process of a peer culture. We believe that, at their core, most troubled girls want to do well with their life and want to be respected, appreciated, and especially heard. The reason they joined the negative peer group in the first place is because they believed they could find those things in that social group, and most likely, they found all three. The problem is that they had to sacrifice their values and their future to join these negative peer cultures.

We know that the girls when given a chance, really do like the positive peer option. They get their needs met without the negative drama associated with the negative peer group, and once they fully understand why they joined the negative peer group, and learn that they do not have to sacrifice their values, they appreciate the positive peer option. The truth is that girls are seeking to be heard, to be respected, and to receive acceptance, and once they learn that they can have all three without compromising their values and their future, they usually stick with the positive group from then on.

Positive Peer Culture | Dignity & Respect

IMG_6769Positive peer culture (PPC) facilitates an atmosphere of dignity and respect in which troubled girls learn responsibiiity and accountability. PPC encourages girls to be creative in solving their own problems. By teaching young women through the Positive Peer Culture approach, they learn to take responsibility for their choices through the adversity their choices cause (natural consequences). Additionally, the girls become accountable for their choices.

This theory is not that far from the norms and processes they are familiar with in the negative peer culture, but the outcome is far different. The point is, we use a peer development system that they are already familiar with, and then lead them to choose wisely. Positive Peer Culture is value-based and solution orientated. It is also founded on a “strength-based” theory, meaning that the girls already have what it takes to be responsible, accountable, and to make good personal decisions. In a PPC the girls no longer have a need to blame others and they learn to lower their defensiveness.

When seeking positive solutions to adversity, girls invite cooperation and responsiveness. They also feel heard and respected, and feel capable. When students are able to make their own decisions and live with the consequences, both good and bad, they are more willing to make positive choices.

Using Positive Peer Culture

IMG_6653At Falcon Ridge Ranch we see mistakes (adversity) as stepping stones, not stumbling blocks.

We use encouragement rather than praise. Encouragement promotes self-evaluation (internal evaluation), and praise promotes outward validation. Validation is derived from true achievement rather than praise. Again, at Falcon Ridge Ranch our girls feel empowered because they feel heard. When they feel heard, they also feel respected. When they feel respected, they are more willing to take responsibility for all of their decisions. This is what growing up to be strong young adults is all about. Our girls realize they are happier when making positive decisions, starting with their thoughts and actions. Our girls become more centered on others, where they really learn to care and serve others first.

Through the PPC experience their self-centeredness is displaced by assuming responsibility beyond themselves. Young women increase their self-esteem as they help others to achieve meaningful goals.

Positive peer culture gives you the chance to use peer example instead of pressure to do things that are not helpful to you. It gave me a chance to be a leader instead of a follower.Ellen D, Falcon Ridge Graduate

More information about Positive Peer Culture, it’s origins, and it’s use in building healthy peer relationships.

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