Should Emotions be Taught in School?

Our emotions can have great impact on our behaviour and life skills. Emotional imbalance not only affects adults but also kids. Their academics and overall development can be harmed. Should emotions be taught in schools?

“Nobody ever taught me to manage my emotions, I have learnt it myself, then why not my child?

Does this question arise in your mind?

Parents – you will agree that the scenario of your childhood days and that of your child is completely different. Today’s competitive lifestyle and the influence of technology has increased the threat for children. Unlike earlier, children tend to spend their maximum free time on electronic gadgets or PlayStation and rarely interact with others. The way they socialize, study, play, etc. only reduces the chances of developing social-emotional skills.

Facing the outside world won’t be easy for your child where they must deal with stressful situations. Academic pressure, peer pressure, homework stress, etc. will make him anxious. This situation may lead to unanswered questions that will only complicate the situation. Lack of emotional skills can also develop the feeling of inferiority in him.

“Building emotional awareness, self-control and relationship skills are master skills, when we nurture them, children do better in all areas of their daily lives, including school.” – Mark Greenberg, PhD, director of the Prevention Research Center at Pennsylvania State University.

Lets Pratise Experts recommend that schools should include social-emotional training in the academics, which in turn will help students regulate their emotions. Schools should introduce Social-emotional Learning program that teaches students the following:

Self awareness

Self awareness is knowing yourself completely and this includes your likes, dislikes, behaviours, emotions, etc. Students who are aware of themselves can understand others and socialize better. Children should be taught to analyze their feelings. Meditation and talking about their emotions are great ways to develop self awareness among children.

Self management – Controlling anger and frustration

Once students learn to identify their emotions, the next step is managing them. Self-management is essential for kids to lead a healthy lifestyle and children are usually sensitive and get affected by minor issues. Teachers and parents should help the child in dealing with emotions like anger, frustration, anxiety and fear.

Taking responsibility

Parents and teachers should encourage children to take responsibility for their actions and this also includes accepting your mistakes. Teach children be responsible and ask them to avoid blaming others for their behavior and this will make them turn into a  honest and more responsible individual.  

Managing stress

If a child is stressed, then the parents and teacher should help him overcome the stress. A student may have stress in many forms – homework stress, exam stress, family feud, quarrel with friends, etc. Children should be taught to solve these problem, to relax themselves or share their problems with the one they trust.

Instead of teaching children to suppress their emotions, we should teach them to talk it out and understand them. A child who receives great social-emotional skills training will turn out to be a successful adult with a wonderful personal and professional life.

Experts at Let’s Practise support the idea of including social emotional learning in academics. What do you think? Let us know here.

Six Tips to be an Organized Mom

Mom is usually the first one in the family to wake up and the last one to go to bed. Her hectic schedule – cooking food, packing lunch, cleaning the house, laundry, etc. can make her irritable. An organized mom contributes toward a smooth and irritant-free schedule of family events. However, an unorganized ‘you’ will only result in stress.

Here are six sure shot tips to be an organized mom:

Keep a master calendar

Have a master calendar hung on the wall visible to everyone. Mark the dates of important family events, extracurricular activities, school holidays, class tests and major events at school. You can refer this calendar later to plan the day’s schedule. It will also prevent you from missing out on any important events. Also last minute logistics of travel can cost more!

Create a timetable for daily routine

The second most important tip is to design a simple easy-to-follow timetable for your children. Draft a rough timetable along with your child for the daily routines. You can then tweak it according to the day’s priorities. Setting an approximate study time, homework time, playtime, etc. will make him more organized. Inculcate in your child the habit of packing the school bag, ironing the school uniform, wearing a tie and polishing shoes and then keep them ready for the next day. This will help him to be relaxed and give a refreshing start to the day. Now all he needs to do is pack the lunch, get a pair of matching socks and voila, 75% of the morning irritation is over!

Keep things organized

Teach your kids to be organized. Don’t let them throw their school uniform around as soon as they return. Ask them to hang it neatly and roll the socks and put it along with the shoes in the shoe rack. Help them to keep the room organized by designing it suitably. Make sure all the racks and hooks are at the height that they can reach out. Buy a kid’s closet or simply arrange baskets to arrange his/hers clothes and toys. You can use cardboard boxes with different colors to sort them.

Conduct a weekly cleanup

Encourage your child to clean his room every week. Allot a day in the week to clean the study table, sort out toys and clothes. Reorganizing his room every month will help in keeping the room neat and tidy.

Use checklists

You can help your child to prepare different checklists. Checklists are the best way to keep track of his actions. He can have lists for his assignments, household chores, and also as reminders for school. Ask him to cross the tasks once accomplished.

Utilize Technology

Homemakers are always busy with some or the other work and in the case of working moms, the burden increases. You have to manage your professional and personal life together. Try using technology to ease up your work a bit. Use the contact lists to save important contacts and sort it into official and personal ones. Use the calendar to schedule important meetings and set reminders for due dates of paying bills – electricity, school and tuition fees, etc. Pay bills online to reduce the stress of standing in queues.

There is an old Indian saying.

You cannot bend a tree what you weren’t able to as a sapling.

The behaviour and habits of the child follow what he is taught at an young age. An organized mom inculcates good organization habits in her kids. So, follow the tips mentioned above and help your child to grow up as a responsible individual.

Have any more valuable organising tips? Share them with us.

Five Tips to Reduce Homework Stress in Children

Five Tips to Reduce Homework Stress

Frequent headaches, stomach problems, lack of sleep, and fatigue are common in today’s children. These are symptoms of stress. If you find any of these in your child, then, your child may be facing some kind of stress.

Which one?

‘Homework stress’ is a frequent occurrence among school children. Excessive homework and the stress to complete it on time can have negative effects on your child’s health.

What are the exact problems that stress your child?

Does she lack the homework skills required to finish the homework by herself? Or is the homework too much to be completed on time? Once, you have identified the reasons you will know how to help her out.

Follow these five simple tips to make this happen:

  • Don’t restrict the study time and place

Every child has a unique way of studying. Some prefer a quiet place to concentrate on their homework, others may feel sleepy if left alone. Children may also need your presence to prepare well. Don’t force her to stick to the study table for finishing the homework. Every child can study well in a particular part of the day. If she prefers finishing her homework after dinner then let her do that. Give them the liberty to choose the time and place to complete their homework. This will keep them relaxed. Tip: Serve dinner earlier than usual!

  • Give them a break after each homework session

Continuous hours of study can be tiring for children. Let them take a break while doing their homework. Give them nutritional snacks; talk to them about the day’s class or let them simply relax. Continuing homework after such breaks can be refreshing. You can reduce your child’s stress by simplifying the homework or increasing her productivity.

  • Encourage your child

Academic achievements are very important, but don’t let it overpower her routine lifestyle. Encourage every small accomplishment of your child. Be it a class assignment or a hobby she has learnt. Gift them their favourite toys or take them out to a movie. Happy times spent with family have positive effects on the child’s mental health.

  • Get her enough sleep

Lack of sleep affects growth hormones and may have adverse effects. Ask your child to finish homework much before bedtime. Don’t let the homework stress disturb the child’s sleep. At times, the child’s brain is too tired and she may not be able to concentrate. Let them sleep as long as it does not unduly affect their regular sleep routine.

  • Seek help of tutors, if necessary

All children are unique. Their ability to grasp concepts however differ. One child may understand complex science or math problems quickly while others may need extra focus and explanation. If your child misses a particular class, then she may not understand follow-up classes and this may lead to more homework stress. No one can understand your child better than you. If they need extra attention, then you should hire good tutors or enrol them in online courses. 

So, what are governmental agencies doing to solve this problem? The National Education Association (NEA) and the National PTA (NPTA) support a standard of “10 minutes of homework per grade level.” Accordingly, a 1st standard child should not be given homework that takes more than 10 mins to complete. The question however, remains – “Are the educational institutions following this rule?”

We just shared five tips from our experts for parents to reduce the child’s homework stress. What do you think? Write to us about other useful tips that you follow to reduce homework stress.