I stand amazed. I have had the opportunity to learn from others this week the teachings happening for our children elementary schools. Hold on people, we are teaching our children to learn new things every day, this week we are giving their brains information on ways, signs, signals, symptoms of
S T R E S S
Oh lawd, just what the country is in need of. Little kids, 7, 8 or 9 year olds now being taught the word, being given books to read with pictures to associate in the ever developing minds on Stress.
What is wrong with people? Children need to be taught to read, to write, to become good citizens, to volunteer in the community, to enjoy their childhood. They need to laugh, to feel excited, to learn words that feel good on their tongues.
But to learn “stress”? I’m fairly certain at the age of 7 I had never heard the word “stress”. Pretty darn sure that I NEVER equated “butterflies in my stomach” as “stress”, nor how to deal with such dastardly moments. This is a page from the book that is now being used in the school system for kids… Notice the title, pay close attention to the picture, the implication, the message being fed to the brain of a child…
“When you feel “stress” you may have butterflies in your stomach. (yea so?) Your hands may sweat. (ok) Your heart may even beat fast.(ever played kickball? Prepared for a great surprise?) It is important to know why you are feeling…. (encouraging someone to talk about feelings perhaps rather than feeding them the word/emotions of stress?)
Perhaps teachers should have used that day in school to talk to kids about rights and responsibilities of being a productive loved member of their homes. They could have easily shown the very same picture of a kid standing at the sink, with words that spoke of: “When you are responsible in your home you gleefully participate in the chores. Once you help Mom with the dishes, you have desert as you talk about your day!” To think, what a plan is that…
STress is killing people in our country; professionals, caregivers suffering compassion fatigue, teachers saying they do not feel valued, folks being afraid of mass shootings, trust at an all time low. Now we have educators teaching our next generation learn words/emotions at an age where they should be reading fundamentals, playing, learning relationships, coming home and having fun. Growing up is not all it’s billed to be, there will be stress soon enough leave the children alone to be children! Teach them how to play well in the classrom, how to play well in the fields or auditorium. Teach them to be good stewards with field trips, stopping along the way to pick up a cup or can then placing it in the trash. Take them to a VA Hospital with baked goods for our Veterans, to a nursing home to touch or hug our Elders. Teach them stories of the Native Americans that is relevant to their growth and well-being. Hell, use the quotes of Dr. Seuss to inspire, motivate, learn that leave them filled with joys at the end of the day. Build them up rather than give them something to think about, be afraid of, or use in ways that also teach them to become manipulators. Each child walks into the school system with their belief system from home, from the Ancestors. Most are joyful children with no agenda, some cannot tie their shoes, many have no idea what they want to be when they grow up, but will tell you in a hot minute how to program your Iphone. Let them be kids rather than labels or the next generation of therapists meal ticket.
A book covering health? Teach them about their hygiene, teach them about the importance of brushing their teeth standing on one leg for balance. Have parents come in for show and tell. But for Gods’ sakes do not teach them to become “stress” with photographs that sear images into their brains that then become excuses not to do dishes, run vacuums or learn to cook. Parents it is your job to let the schools know you “are not putting up with that”.
Get creative, want to know what is going on in the developing brain of those kids? Try asking them!Give them a tool to help them express feelings/thoughts that they do not understand or have the tools to deal with. Perhaps you could make something similar to this enlisting help or not from a kid. Keep it simple. Kids do not like long winded drawn out talks, they just have not developed that capacity in their brains yet. Remember when you were a kid? A young adult? Perhaps even know?
It falls to the parents/guardians to serve notice on how and what they allow the schools to send home for kids to read. It’s up to the parents to balance all those things assuring that the kids don’t end up a stressed out mess in the corner afraid of the next shoe dropping. Yelling at a kid by a teacher or telling a classroom that one kid is excellent the rest are not? what is up with that?
yes yes I know, teachers are having a hard time. I would not want their job, but if I had it… I would try to make learning fun, would try to look for the good.
I would not teach kids about Stress showing them a sink full of dishes that implies they will feel butterflies in the stomach rather than wash them and put them away if they want desert!
So yes, fill the classroom with reading writing and arithmetic. Then fill it up with “life skills”, rights and responsibilites for a young person to establish for right way relations that will grow each year making them into the best they can be. Remember to sit across the table with conversations, in and out of the classroom. Kids will tell you, it is a wonderful world. Especially if you ask them.
Best of luck little kids…
Walk in beauty,