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EMOTIONAL WELLNESS HAS A DIRECT EFFECT ON RESPECT AND DISCIPLINE IN OUR SCHOOLS

The National Center for Emotional Wellness describes emotional wellness as “an awareness, understanding, and acceptance of your emotions, and one’s ability to manage effectively through challenges and change.”

In recent years we have seen an over-emphasis on the importance of emotional wellness with children, youths, and young adults. Where intelligence quotient was a qualifier of success or likeliness to succeed for children in earlier years, the recent years have experienced an upsurge in need to have an equally developed emotional quotient! This is achieved by intentional nurture and awareness of one’s mental wellness.

 Positive emotional awareness in students is nurtured in these subtle and non-intrusive ways.  

  1. Lessons on Mental health education and mindfulness must be integrated into the school curriculum. It is during these lessons that students learn how to relate with others. These lessons offered in various forms and formats emphasize self-awareness and wholesomely improve a child’s cognitive abilities. Starting at a young age,  learning the basic concepts of communicating one’s feelings and emotions are practiced. Children learn how to express both their pleasant and unpleasant feelings. They learn how to deal with people unfamiliar to them; communicate their anger and discontent in a controlled way; show appreciation and excitement, and ask for things when they are in need. Lessons are delivered in child-friendly ways, using songs, videos, poems, visuals, and play along with scenarios.  
  2. Lessons on emotional wellness for older students are acquired somewhat indirectly, such as during group activities, for example, in group assignments, games, and sports activities, school clubs, and during interaction with other students during class sessions. At this stage, students learn how to articulate their feelings and thoughts and agree or disagree with situations maturely—forming relationships with others and the importance of teamwork and respect for their classmates.
  3. Rules and regulations in the school help children to grow up, acknowledging boundaries, dos, and don’ts of societal norms. The awareness of repercussions for mistakes or wrongdoing helps children acquire and develop a sense of discipline and self-responsibility: A critical element in achieving healthy emotional understanding.
  4. Guidance and counseling sessions.  Most schools today have functional guidance and counseling departments with specialists in child psychology equipped to deal with children’s mental and emotional issues that could impede the learning process.

Emotional health is necessary for the functioning of other equally vital aspects of a child’s overall wellbeing. A sense of personal wellness must be nurtured from a very tender age in children. It is also crucial that a conscious effort at teaching children to appreciate themselves in the way that they experience their feelings and relationships with others emotionally is emphasized.

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