Let’s teach teens how to handle their emotions
Every now and again you see a newspaper report on a kid who has topped him or herself. It’s every parent’s nightmare. The worst, the worst, the worst. I just went to look up the one I saw in the press this week on Google to illustrate my point, and was presented with a load of such stories. “Girl commits suicide because she’s teased about being 6 ft tall” “Girl commits suicide because Brazil lost the World Cup”, “Teenager felt there was a lack of support for artists”. These are tragedies that could be avoided.
We have to start talking to kids about how to differentiate between a feeling and a reality. How to ignore plonkers and bullies, and how to stand up to authorities who don’t take you seriously as in the case of Rotherham. We have to start sharing successful strategies for dealing with mental illness and making us tougher mentally in schools from the get go.
When I’ve looked into cognitive behavioral therapies and neuro-linguistic programming and mindfulness strategies, they all make sense. So why aren’t we teaching them to young people? If we expect them to learn calculus and programming, why aren’t we saying “Look, sometimes your emotions can be wrong. This is how you move away from a problem. This is how you accept yourself”? There are ways of creating the right situations for good mental health.
I say teach this in schools because, as we know, very few children listen to their parents after the age of 8. That’s when we become mere chauffeurs, cooks and towel picker-uppers. Now I’m not suggesting that we put all kids into therapy. That’s expensive, and what else would they have to look forward to as adults 🙂 ? But if you agree we should be teaching simple CBT techniques add a like on Facebook or a comment below. We can’t keep turfing people out of school with bad grammar, innumeracy and poor coping mechanisms. It’s not fair.
If you agree and would like to help me campaign on this issue, please be in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org