Teaching Personal Development from an Early Age
No one can possibly deny that human adults are, today more than ever, beset by problems of personal confidence and finding themselves prone to stress, depression and other anxiety related illnesses. This is a result in many cases of increased expectations and increased focus on people’s personal lives in a society that is now more open than ever in terms of speaking about the self. However, what is really worrying is that the number of children diagnosed with mental problems resulting from social anxiety and other personal worries just keeps rising. What are we to do to ensure that children are given the help they need, rather than allowing problems to fester and increase?
It is something that would benefit from being addressed practically on a case-by-case level. Too many children fall into a cycle of problems caused by feeling isolated or targeted by other children. Of these cases, a great number seem to relate to bullying. The major worry in schools today is how bullying is still a part of the school experience of a number of children. This is not a new problem, but the worrying part is that years of initiatives to counter bullying seem to have had less of an effect than we would have hoped.
If you ask around, you will hear some blasé responses that seem to signal why bullying is not dying out. People who feel that “kids will be kids” and that bullying is just an accepted part of a child’s school days, people who feel that the incidence and effects of bullying are overestimated, and people who say that it would be a mistake to interfere because it actually makes the problem worse. Nevertheless, all of these viewpoints are dangerous and incorrect. The truth of the matter is that bullying requires constant vigilance. Too many children before now have ended their own lives because of the fear and anguish caused by bullies. It is therefore essential that we address it at source as an extremely serious problem.
One approach is to teach children very specifically about the causes and effects of bullying, to drive home the message that bullying is unacceptable in any circumstances. Although there have been initiatives similar to this, they tend to take the form of a one-off talk which is just as soon forgotten about and merely has the effect of raising awareness for a short while before it falls away once more. Given the effects, that bullying has on its victims and the way that these can contribute to residual problems later in life, it is all the more important to never allow bullying to take that kind of hold on a person’s life.
One way in which this could be reinforced is by getting reformed bullies to speak about their experiences and the reasons why they stopped. They more than anyone understand a bully’s motivation, and they more than anyone can make clear why it is something that is not a desirable part of anyone’s life. The addressing, prevention and eradication of bullying in schools is more important than anything else that goes on within those walls.
To streamline and minimize blog maintenance, I will be discontinuing maintaining the Simplepersonaldevelopment.com website (however, I will still hold the domain). I will gradually move all articles from this site to Ahmed Dawn Dot Com site. This article originally published on the above website on Mar 13, 2009.