I’ve roughly created a course outline with a psychology base to casually yet thoroughly help kids and teens grow into healthy-minded adults who care about:
Quality of Self and Community
Perhaps taught weekly, from 2nd grade through high-school – it’s a class that offers time for students to discuss what’s on their minds (this includes asking anonymously through notes or e-mail) if they like. In addition, and most importantly, the course would offer many answers ready to teach without them asking. At the very least, this plants mental seeds to grow when needed later.
I know you must see the craziness exposed daily on the news. It makes me shake my head. We go from teaching kids to say “please” and “thank you”, then at some point.. they give themselves permission to make up their own rules in life. They feel angry, entitled.. for various reasons. It follows them into adulthood. But if we meet them where it counts, when it counts… we can make a huge difference in the adults and communities of tomorrow. It may just be within Ontario, or Canada for now, but it could catch on.
They’d learn about:
Proper problem solving: (How to think things through. Weigh potential outcomes)
Eg. not begin substance reliance to feel better.
Living with differences: (Race, Religion, Opinions…) This one might be tricky for parents to get on board with. Students would learn the basic facts about individual’s rights, and when it’s more appropriate/worth it to “pick their battles”. There is likely a way to teach this without using the words “race” or “religion”. This way all can have a chance to benefit no matter their parents belief system.
Self-respect/Bullying: (Reputation, legacy…) This ties into rights, as well. It also allows the kids/teens to consider their responsibilities. Power of reputation. And again, potential outcomes.
Growing pains (discovering self, dealing with depression, anxiety, low self-esteem…) It’s difficult growing up! Give them tools to (a) find external resources (doctors, emergency numbers – for suicide, abuse, LGBTQ, mental illness etc., online forums to feel less alone…), (b) ways to help themselves (learn positive self-talk, make plans to feel excited about etc.)
This wasn’t in my original idea, but offering pamphlets for healthy eating might be nice. With food bank info etc. attached.
If there isn’t a course for this: Environment (the health of our planet) Go over what hurts and what helps. Maybe offering an environmental club where they can travel and plant trees, something simple to get them out making a positive difference together.
Why I believe in this course:
Because we’re simply capable of more! It’s possible with effort and thought.
Together, tomorrow will be brighter!
It starts when we want it to. Are you in?