Learning to deal with conflicts, to train emotions and to speak in public are three very important aspects for the emotional wellbeing of children. A group of parents, with the support of the teaching and management team of the Nuestra Señora de La Paloma public school in Madrid, has launched a project to help children manage their feelings, frustrations and fears.
Adequate mental health in early childhood could be defined as a child's ability to experience, regulate and express emotions, ensure good interpersonal relationships, explore the environment and learn everything necessary to deal with family, community and culture. In other words, good child mental health is synonymous with good social and emotional development.
In its State of the World's Children 2021 report, UNICEF estimated that 13% of young people between the ages of 10 and 19 suffer from a mental disorder. In half of the cases, mental disorders begin before the age of 14, according to a study that included almost 200 epidemiological papers.
Therefore, promoting mental health in childhood and adolescence is an investment in the future. This is just as important as it is to train kids in all these skills that will surely help them to perform better in their future.
The experience in a school
This all took place in a school in Madrid, Spain. Elisa, mother of two students at the school, introduced them to the “Let's Learn Together' Project”, a platform of practical learning experiences for teachers and parents to help their students and children achieve the skills they need. This initiative offers all the necessary tools to approach school-age children (videos, guides, downloadable material, etc.) based on three programs: Learning to manage conflicts, Learning to train emotions and Learning to speak in public. These are innovative methodologies, designed by a team of experts in school coexistence and communication, educators and psychologists.
The idea was to convince everyone that 8 years old is the perfect age to talk to children about emotions, feelings, frustrations and fears. And that the school was the right place to do it.
One of the most gratifying aspects of this project was the colaborative work aspect, the participation of parents who have applied to the classroom what they are able to do professionally so that the children have good emotional health.
Big changes in the youngest
The teachers at the school were well aware of the problems that the pandemic generated in the relationships between boys and girls. Isabel del Río, Head of Studies, acknowledged this: “They found it quite difficult talking to each other and to a group or in public. So, we welcomed this project with great enthusiasm. They have loosened quite a bit and I have seen great changes in them. We sure to continue on next school year.