Children’s mental health has become more of a hot topic with an increasing number of cases of children experiencing stress, anxiety, or depression. Having recognized this, some schools are devoting class time to teaching kids social and emotional skills.
Research shows that mental health illness diagnoses for children in the United States is on the rise, with a 30 percent increase between 2011 and 2017. From 2012 to 2016, there was a 55 percent increase in the number of children visiting emergency departments for mental health reasons.
A handful of schools are trying to address this by dedicating class time to teaching children and teens to cope with their emotions and develop skills like empathy, cooperation, and self-control. However some recognize that it takes more than a change in curriculum and good teachers to make a significant impact.
Jennifer Miller, researcher and author of “Confident Parents, Confident Kids,” told NTD, “Parents are the first teachers of children’s social and emotional skills. So teachers can really benefit from partnering with those first teachers of social emotional skills—parents—to understand what children have learned at home and be mutually supportive in school.”
All states have social emotional learning standards for preschoolers, but less than 20 states have set standards for k-12th grade students.
Dr. Gardere also says that building up the parent-teacher relationship is crucial.
Clinical psychologist, Jeff Gardere said, “A community of learning and that community of learning involves of course the students, but teachers, administrators and the vital part of that which would be the parents.”