As the summer season bids farewell, its time to get back to school. It is a stressful time for students. They have to get back to the school schedule, work through the various activities, manage academic assignments, and more. So, a little anxiety out of the anticipation for a new session at school is expected. It is a natural response. However, if students do not learn how to cope with anxiety at an early stage in their life, it can have a long-lasting and damaging impact on their personality. In fact, depression and anxiety are among the top health issues that youth suffer from.
Students suffering from anxiety can find it challenging to conduct
themselves ‘normally’ at school. Programs like SEL Adventures Platform helps
students to learn social-emotional skills and be prepared to handle back to
Learning About Emotions
Students who feel a flood of emotions can often find coming
back to school overwhelming. They feel a rush of emotions but cannot put a
finger on why they are feeling them. Being a part of an SEL Adventures platform
helps them get a hold of their emotions. Once they can identify if they are
feeling sad, angry, frustrated, or any other emotion, they are better placed to
deal with it.
SEL also helps students to deal with baseless emotions of
fear that they might be feeling. It helps them become more comfortable, and the
school environment seems less intimidating to them.
Make Better Decisions
Anxiety may not sound like much to a person who has never
experienced it, but it can be incredibly scary, even for adults. For a child
dealing with anxiety, it can be a tormenting experience. At such a point, SEL
helps them plough through their emotions and helps them make sense of their
immediate surroundings. It helps them get a new perspective.
To counter their anxiety, students may take to substance
abuse, bad behavior, skipping school, and more. However, with SEL Adventures,
they learn to cope with such situations and make better decisions. It teaches
them to fall back on their parents, teachers and peers for help instead of
moving away from them.
When students have friends around who want to talk to them,
play with them, and listen to them, it is less likely that they will feel
anxious. SEL essentially makes the school environment more positive and
nurturing for the students.
Students Know They are Not Alone
With SEL programs like SEL Adventures Platform, schools can completely change the future of the students who deal with anxiety. Students will understand that they are not alone in their struggle with anxiety. There are many other students like them, tools are available to help them cope with it, and there is an entire support system to help them through this journey. In such a scenario, instead of fearing coming back to school, they will want to go to school. Regularly.
It is common to find news pieces, blog articles, Facebook posts, and more detailing stories of young school students falling into the trap of substance abuse. Students, their parents and people close to them are coming forward to share stories of how addiction has completely destroyed their lives. They want to get their story out so that other children do not fall into the same cycle of self-destruction. There is enough help available today that can help students with their addictions. However, what are the factors that encourage addiction among certain students? Let’s find out.
Predisposition to addiction does not mean that a child will
become addicted at some point, a family history only increases the probability
of addiction. Such students may be more vulnerable to turn to an addictive
substance when faced with a stressful situation.
Mental illness is not limited by age. At a young age, when
kids do not completely understand mental health, problems like depression,
anxiety, bipolar disorders and others can be even scarier. In an attempt to
cope with these issues, they may turn to substance abuse. It falls in the hands
of adults around them to identify such problems, get proper treatment and help
Research has shown that different people react to alcohol
differently depending on their metabolism. Enzymes are involved in the
breakdown of alcohol and its elimination from the body. Some children may have
enzymes that make them more susceptible to alcohol addiction. That is the
reason some people may drink more and not feel intoxicated, while others may
get addicted even with a small amount.
Academic & Peer Pressure
School is a place for children to thrive, but it can become
the stressor if they do not understand how to deal with the situations they
face. Some students may not be able to cope up with the academic pressures of
the school. This can have many reasons. The teacher’s pedagogy may not work for
them, lack of focus, or something else. Then, there are peer groups in school
that may put pressure on them to dress, walk, and talk in a certain way. Often
times, use of alcohols and drugs can come from giving into these pressures or
as a mechanism to deal with them.
Improving the School Environment
A positive school environment helps students focus on their
academic performance and overall development. Attitude of teachers,
interpersonal relationships of the students, general administration, and more
contribute towards the environment of a school. The curriculum and what it emphasizes
on also has a bearing on the school environment. Teaching and focusing on
social-emotional skills help in improving the school environment and gives
students the tools to stay away from addictions.
Schools can use structured curricula like SEL Adventures that have designed dedicated program for addiction prevention. It includes lessons on self-awareness, resisting peer pressure, learning to empathize and display emotions, decision making and future planning. It prepares the students and helps reduce the probability of the students falling into an addiction trap.
The article details
the impact of teaching students to be self-aware. It describes the benefits
schools can expect to see in their school climate when they actively invest in
coaching students to be self-aware.
Self-awareness is an integral part of social-emotional
learning. In the most basic terms, self-awareness means understanding who you
are and how you are seen by others.
Understandably, it is an ongoing process. However, if children are taught from a young age about the concept
of self-awareness and how they can inculcate it as a skill, they can grow up to
be responsible and wholesome members of the
society. If schools can successfully provide students tools to be self-aware they can see a visible change in their
school environment because self-aware students will function differently than
those who are not. Here is how.
Self-aware students identify their strengths and weaknesses.
This is the first step towards working on their weaknesses and using their
strengths to learn better. Students who are not self-aware keep struggling with
their weaknesses and do not leverage their strength. It is difficult for them
to grasp the root cause of their problems, which may lead to behavioral and
While self-aware kids will help the school climate become
more productive and learning-oriented, children who are not self-aware will
become increasingly alienated from their surroundings. They tend to stay out of
school, which can be a predecessor to all kinds of bad habits.
Self-aware students develop empathy. They are aware of the
emotions that people around them are experiencing and respectful of them. Such
students build positive relationships with their class mates and their
teachers. Positive relationships, in turn help develop a better environment at
school – one that is welcoming of everyone and a fertile ground for learning.
Students who are not self-aware easily overlook the problems
and issues others are facing. Hence, the relationships they form are usually of
convenience. Such students are also more likely to be bullies. Lack of
self-awareness leads to a school environment that is not conducive for diverse
groups of students.
Since self-aware students understand their emotions and
those of others around them, it is easier for them to communicate. They
naturally understand how to approach a conversation, how to convey their
emotions, and how to ask for help. This leads them being wholesome members of their
schools. They usually work well in teams, participate in extra-curricular
activities, and more.
On the other hand, absence of self-awareness makes it
extremely difficult for a child to communicate their emotions and feelings, let
alone understanding somebody else. This may lead to serious distance from the
society, loneliness, depression, and other related problems. Such a child will
experience stunted growth.
Self-awareness can be taught as a part of the curriculum
like everything else. Programs like SEL Adventures have an expertly created syllabus
that provides teachers the tools to teach self-awareness. This will help
students grow to their full potential and live a fulfilling life.
A recent survey by Gallup in 2018found that more than half the Americans were stressed for the most part of the day. Of course, stress has a direct bearing on their behavior, and it does. The study also found that more than 1 in 5 Americans felt frequently angry. Such behavior can be seen both among adults as well as students across the country. This anger often manifests itself in the seemingly neverending school shootings, which have unfortunately become a common occurrence. They have grown from 59 in 2006 to 94 in 2018. But, what is the reason for so much anger among students? Let’s find out.
Lack of Emotional Control
Studies conducted at prestigious institutions like the Stanford University have shown that different people respond to negative emotional stimulus differently. And they have concluded that people can control their response to them. So, a student has control over whether they want to feel angry or not. And the anger only intensifies when they find that other people around them also feel the same. So, when they are surrounded by an environment of anger either at home, school or peer group, they are bound to feel angrier.
Loss of Connection
Emotional research over the years has consistently shown that negative emotions have a dampening effect on the social development of a child. When they feel sad, hate, envy, and other such emotions, students become less adaptable and lose touch with the people around them. They feel isolated, which in turn makes them feel angry towards everyone. Love, gratitude, joy, and other positive emotions help students to connect with other people and appreciate the similarities they share, rather than obsess on the differences.
Information from All Sides
Students are bombarded with information from all directions, especially in the internet era. It was easier to shield kids from violence in the pre-internet era, but parents and teachers today only have so much control. Students have access to all kinds of information and they are connected to all kinds of people over social media, which feeds into their anger and amplifies it.
Filling in the Knowledge Gap
It is ironic that in an era that is characterized by information overload, a widening knowledge gap also exists. And the responsibility falls upon the shoulders of the parents, teachers, and the schools to bridge it. While American students are getting angrier, research in the field of emotional intelligence is also going strong. Social and emotional learning is becoming a potent tool in helping the students to take control of their emotions, consciously choose their influencers, and improve their quality of life. SEL Adventures has helped schools and students to achieve this goal in an interesting and comprehensive manner. Schools should help students control their anger and help them grow into healthy individuals who can take complete control of their lives.