How Schools Can Empower Students

Research shows that today many young kids are suffering from various chronic diseases, depression or violence due to their struggle with umpteen pressures and disconnections. These BIG 3 are life-threatening epidemics surfacing our future generations. It is stated that the children exposed to a wide variety of stressful and potentially traumatic events can get their natural ability to be resilient and healthy altered. Young people are very vulnerable to these stressors because of their inability to process information positively and make sense of it.

The researchers have revealed that children need certain things to thrive in society, no matter what challenges they face. If a child does not receive these things during their times of stress, they will subsequently learn to cope with them in unhealthy ways. They might learn to stuff down their feelings and put on an emotional suit of armor to survive, thus becoming robotic, afraid to speak up, pleasing, or quite the opposite, where the child becomes defiant, unmotivated, and confrontational. Either one of these paths, unfortunately, leads to increases in shame and toxic stress which are the main factors that are linked to the ‘Big 3’ youth statistical challenges we have today.

Some Solutions to Curb the Problems

If adults learn to these certain things with young people at home and school, majorly, this young generation is less likely to get into the scary statistics of Big 3:

  • Form a connection: Kids who are behaving in challenging ways will surely give clues that they are experiencing some disempowering pattern. A child who is empowered and secure will feel calm and safe as they feel good about being themselves. They have clear empowering goals as they are good at moving through their inner and outer conflicts peacefully. Adults must be taught how to stay connected, compassionate and respectful towards young people even in the worst of times and teach them to build positive and empowering behavioral patterns that can help them thrive in testing times. This will decrease stress and shame in them, which leads to chronic disease, suicide, and violence.
  • Working on Positive Wellness Skills: Societal pressure is the worst form of stress for children where they feel a constant pressure to get things done right, get good grades, achieve to be the best and get on the top. People amongst us, judge a child’s capabilities on these parameters. This needs to change, as every child is different and therefore, we must set our home, school and other work systems void of such unhealthy prejudices. The children should be taught to think positive, stay healthy and feel good about themselves. All this should be done creatively and innovatively to make learning natural and fun. Balancing daily wellness practices with these will increase empowering their body-mind connections. It is the key to living a healthy, confident and resilient life.
  • Motivation to reach self-defined goals of success: To be motivated to move ahead in life and create a healthy and positive future for themselves, one must attribute their own definitions of success to something they can control. They should practice making decisions and problem-solving skills by making their own choices and experiencing the outcomes of those choices.
  • Develop Self-Leadership Skills: As models for young people, every adult must remember that challenges and conflicts happen in life, and it is in the way for how we resolve them and express what is working and not working that real learning happens. Adults should understand not to keep children in a bubble and allow them to experience and express life as it comes. This will help to develop leadership skills in them to solve the problems, make decisions, be respectful, be disciplined and express their thoughts.
  • Teach them to have fun and play: Young people learn best while playing. If children don’t get enough play, then their development is hindered. Play allows young people the opportunity to develop:
  1. their five senses and their intuition to explore their world,
  2. problem-solving skills
  3. positive relationship building through teamwork and conflict resolution practices
  4. life skills, creativity, and innovation at their developmental level
  5. their individual strengths and accept their weaknesses

Vedas International School is one of the few boarding schools in India, which takes intensive care in empowering young minds into secure and confident grown-ups. They are one of the best residential schools in Delhi/NCR, giving experiential education through a holistic curriculum.