We are taught as children how to talk but no one ever teaches us how to communicate. Our educational system is absolutely NOT preparing the kids today for the real world out there. Learning about emotions should be a part of every educational system. But let’s take a look at what we learn at high school instead: things like linear equations or that the 29th element on the periodic table is copper. That surely qualifies us for life. Or does it?
Emotional intelligence education is needed Our emotions are a crucial part of our lives ever since we are born. They accompany us with every accomplishment, heartbreak and day to day struggles. Yet no one ever tells you how to deal with your emotions. How to express joy in words or how to let the people around you know you’re hurting. We are never taught the one thing that would save so many of us from bad relationships or feelings of loneliness.
We should know what’s going on inside our heads. How do we expect to raise (mentally) healthy and happy children if we never explain to them what happiness really is? Or what healthy communication looks like? Saying to a little boy who has just hurt himself and is crying “Stop crying and be a man.” is exactly the type of thing that makes us believe swallowing our emotions is the solution to everything. But how should the parent know better if he’s been taught to do the same by his parents. And they from their parents.
Is education the to mental problems? The educational system has a power to interfere. Because no matter what sort of role models, bad communication examples or dysfunctional relationships the child sees at home, schools can show the kids that it is not the standard. We rarely believe something is possible unless we see it done. That why showing the children that you can also communicate openly and honestly with dignity and respect towards the other person will set the basis for their whole lives.
Look at what happens today when we are not taught how to listen to our emotions. We grow up sort tolerating them. But emotions are much smarter than you are. If you push them down they will find their way out somehow. That is why forcing yourself to stay in a job you hate will eventually lead to a burnout. That is why psychosomatic illnesses exist. These are physical illnesses caused by mental factors such as inner conflict or stress. And they are also very underrated.
Education should empower But let’s dream. Imagine an educational system that prepares the children for the real life. For all the rejections, failures and heartbreaks. An educational system that teaches you to have a healthy self-esteem. Where the children are taught to communicate with respect towards each other and themselves. Raising an emotionally healthy child is not a luxury but a necessity. Think of all the wasted potential when people who could be starting revolutionary businesses or finding cure for cancer are suffering from depression, anxiety or low esteem. Some might be so unsure about themselves that they don’t dare to ask out the potential love of their life . And some might be so paralyzed with the emotional exhaustion that they do not even have the energy to write an application for their dream job.
Speaking of which, with all the technological advances nowadays a lot of jobs will eventually get taken over by machines. But here is one thing a machine will never replace – emotional support. So, if you want to raise children most suited for the world of tomorrow, teach them to communicate openly and respectfully, teach them to love and support others and teach them not to give up in the face of obstacles.
And while the educational system does need to change, until that happens, we are going to have to catch up with what we have not been taught and educate ourselves. So that at least our children will have parents who care as much for their mental health as the bumps and bruises on their skin.