Updated: Apr 5, 2020
School is a place of worshipping education, discovering new talents within children & honing them in order to have a fulfilling year & life ahead. The school with the help of parents takes care of many co-curricular activities which act as stress-busters for the tiny tots & the adolescents. As a teacher myself, I feel that while we try to open up the arena for our children to help them grow in studies & the co-curricular activities, then why not also equip them with their own mind - their Mental Health. The topic of Mental Health has come into foray in the last couple of years but yet not made a place into the school curriculum.
A child needs to know of his/her thoughts, be comfortable with them and have a complete awareness of the mind & personality. Teaching moral values to your kids won't suffice till they know how to act on them. Recently, I happened to watch an interview where Soha Ali Khan was talking about parenting where she told the interviewer that she & her husband have taught their daughter the importance of the word 'NO' by respecting it when she says it to them. This shows right interpretations of words that we use daily and how positively it can affect the kids if what they say is respected since the beginning by their parents.
Now at school, this is not an everyday story. A child might say that he/she doesn't want to study that particular day but the teacher cannot always fall prey to such demands since she/he also has to complete the syllabus assigned to them. Apart from that, regular conversations or fights & bullying amongst the children in school may lead to erratic behavior, constant frustration or even the want of quitting school just because the environment isn't favorable to their mind.
A bad situation causes more harm than good & to prevent the same, every school curriculum must include topics such as stress management, anxiety & ways to tame it, positive approach towards life, etc. so what happens is that we aren't only discussing factors affecting mental health but also how to tune them down & most importantly how easy it is to talk about how you feel. Expressing ideas, opinions, moods, anger, love & appreciation is what makes us human, so let's try & do more of that.
Mindful conversations with the right professional help at the right time can create wonders for children. By the time they are in high school, they already know so much about mental health that it doesn't burden them to talk about it and help them find solutions behind negative feelings if & when they have any.
As a professional in the teaching field, I'm working towards this goal of implementing the subject of Mental Health in the school curriculum & looking forward to the day when I'd be fortunate enough to teach the same to my students and help this world be a better place.
- Arya Diwakar