Self and Social Awareness
"Educating the mind without educating the heart is no education at all." Aristotle
The importance of self and social awareness cannot be overstated. We model, explore, discusse and weave into day-to-day activities as much as possible.
It is astonishing that mindfulness is not at the core of mainstream education, that it is often a bolt-on in the form of counselling, for youngsters who are already troubled. Bullying is rife and is rising; some children are so insecure about themselves, their best tactic is to lash out at others in an attempt to make themselves feel better and deflect attention away from what they feel are their own inadequacies. Mental health statistics for young people are alarming. Research has established that mindfulness is effective at combating depression; surely it makes sense to provide youngsters with these skills as a prevention?
Everyone is afraid, anxious or angry at times; exploring emotions and providing support on how to deal with emotions and feelings allows a child to cope with the demands of life.
Encouraging a child to follow their own path in terms of identity and interests helps them to build confidence and develops their happiness.
Happiness within turns outward and leads to empathy and compassion for others: family; friends; community; everyone, everywhere on Earth. As human beings, what we think determines how we feel and how we feel determines how we behave - positive thoughts become positive actions. This is made transparent for children so they understand the importance of their own inner-presence and how this will affect their lives and the people around them.
Happiness and fulfilment is nurtured, cultivated and valued above all else.
"Academic intelligence offers virtually no preparation for the turmoil - or opportunity - life’s vicissitudes bring. Yet even though a high IQ is no guarantee of prosperity, prestige, or happiness in life, our schools and our culture fixate on academic abilities, ignoring emotional intelligence, a set of traits - some might call it character - that also matters immensely for our personal destiny…. emotional aptitude is a meta-ability determining how well we can use whatever other skills we have, including raw intellect." David Goleman, Emotional Intelligence: Why it can matter more than IQ
(taken from this groundbreaking book)
People who feel more hopeful experience fewer emotional distresses during their lives.
Being prone to anger is a stronger predictor of dying than smoking, high blood pressure and high cholesterol.
Feeling socially isolated can take its toll and doubles the chances of sickness or death.
How popular a child is, aged 8-9, is a better predictor of mental health problems at age 18 than anything else - even psychological tests.
Children, aged 12-14, who reported higher levels of emotional distress, subsequently went on to have the highest rates of addiction in later life.
Children who show an aptitude for reading feelings non-verbally (emotional intelligence) were amongst the most popular, emotionally stable and academically successful in schools, even though, on average, their IQs were not higher.
Poor impulse control in 10 year old boys is almost 3 times as powerful a predictor of later delinquency than their IQ.