Mental Health awareness is recognized during May. Bringing awareness to mental health is essential, but we must never forget attention remains just a word if we do not follow them up with actions.
The mental health needs of our children are at the highest levels they have ever been. There are many reasons for this increase, as many researchers, doctors, and scientists explain in the research released for us to review. Our children are facing many issues today. The pressures they feel are compounded by the global pandemic, which caused school shutdowns, loss of loved ones, extended time away from family and friends and additional pressures we can dig deeper into in another discussion.
Fitting in and friendships have always been a big issue for kids. This is a priority for them. Many will have family issues; others will be dealing with learning loss and trying to catch up. Then we add in the social media pressures that are part of their daily routines, and it becomes complex.
The weights of life continue to be added to the shoulders of the children as they continue to grow. Technology is part of their lives 24/7; they can access all these stressors anytime. This is a big difference for this generation of children compared to previous ones. This alone has an enormous impact on mental health.
Above all, we need to do what we can to avoid adding to the mental and emotional weight our students carry. For example, when students engage in unacceptable behavior, we must respond thoughtfully. We want students not to repeat the behavior, but some of our choices in response to students’ actions can risk harming their mental health.
Please note, I am in no way advocating for not taking responsibility for their choices; just the opposite. All individuals making choices not to follow the law and rules established and to be part of the problem daily must be held accountable.
Two Rules is my philosophy which I developed throughout my career in helping children to understand the process of making a choice and its impact. It is so important to help students go through this process on their own. Let them talk through it as you facilitate and listen. When we provide children with opportunities to learn why safety rules are in place, why we have rules overall, and what the impact is when they are not followed is powerful.
If a child breaks a rule and we pass out punishment without ever going through the process with them in a conversation where they can think about the steps on making a choice and talk it through to see the problem and impact the choice had—the child sees you as giving them punishment. The conversation is about you and not about them.
Don't hesitate to contact me if you want to learn more, discuss or learn how to develop this with your students and staff. It will make a big difference not only in your school, classrooms, and overall behaviors but also in children's long-term development.
Created by the United Nations in 2012, Anti-Bullying Day is when the world pledges to end school bullying. Bullying is something I know personally and professionally as something we have been working to stop. We can do better! Today, tomorrow, and the next, your support is needed to raise awareness for this pressing issue—and support youth that may be silently suffering from bullying.
It is time to step up, stick out, stand up, shout out and stop!
For more information and to learn about the ways to show support look to https://lnkd.in/e66zGcKr
Be the solution daily in a world who needs you!