Positive communication is essential for students to build healthy peer relationships and interactions. Communication skills are often learned in the home environment, daycare, or in the first years of school. Students spend a great deal of time together on a daily basis over several years and behaviors of bullying and non-bullying episodes are likely to influence each other according to Murphy & Faulkner (2010). They are learning a wide range of communication skills from teachers and students alike. .
Negative interactions can become common for students lacking the positive communication skills necessary to maintain healthy peer relationships. These interactions can affect general education classroom activity and lesson time. Students may exhibit disruptive behaviors towards peers, act out during class, become isolated or withdrawn during class time, or act aggressively towards others (bully). These behaviors will interfere with the students academic and social success. It is important to intervene early and decrease unwanted behaviors by teaching positive communication skills to students. Murphy & Faulkner (2010) explain that class peer relationships could be molded by what students fail to do as much as what they should do. .
Guided programs should be used to enhance students peer relationships and enable them to balance multiple perspectives, and use to skills to resolve conflict according to Hoglund and colleagues (2008). The program should be directed at building skills and positively interacting with peers of the same age groups. Direct involvement with students in need of better communication skills to interact with peers will work to decrease the negative interactions and behaviors associated with unhealthy peer relationships. Communication skills increase ability to play well with others, communicate needs more efficiently, and develop better peer interactions.