Teach the Children Teach the Adults
Recent events have stirred a new generation of youth to exhibit their incredible skills in solving problems with not only intellect but emotion. They have innovative and creative ideas that we can all learn or re-learn in creating a more compassionate and humane world. I came across a reference that talks about how we, as communities, can help our children develop these emotional skills that are sometimes needed even more than intellect.
The first skill is self-awareness. This involves being able to recognize feelings and put a name on them. It is also important to be aware of the relationship of feelings to thoughts and actions. To be able to assess what action sparked a feeling or vice-versa.
Next is learning how to manage emotions. The beliefs that we learn have a fundamental affect on how we act and respond to feelings. If we are constantly fed negative messages that can become our first response. The opposite of that is if we are fed hope – that becomes a powerful asset. We need to learn to find ways to deal with our fear, anger, or sadness. Being able to channel our emotions to a positive end is an essential skill.
Learning empathy is a skill even many adults have yet to master. We need to be able to assess a situation and act appropriately with an understanding of the feelings of others and see things from their perspective. Being able to listen without being carried away with our own feelings.
The skill of communicating is often overlooked or diminished in the overuse of the term communication, but it is very powerful skill. Being able to develop quality relationships has a positive effect on everyone involved.
Effective leaders are built with the skill of cooperation and the art of helping people work towards common goals. Learning to value the contribution of others and encouraging participation goes farther than judging or complaining. We also need to be able to take responsibility for our actions and follow through on our commitments.
The last skill is resolving conflict which requires all of the emotional skills listed above.
So, while we adults are teaching our children, they are also teaching us. We should pay attention!
Until next time…