Regardless of political or religious affiliations, all parents want their children to thrive, instead of suffer.
When parents picture their children thriving, they envision qualities and family values like these:
- Being responsible, ethical, honest, accountable and respectful of others.
- A “can-do” mindset and ability to take on challenges with the confidence to reach their full potential.
- The self-discipline to succeed independently even if hard work is required, then contribute to their communities and maintain a strong country.
- The willingness and capacity to pursue academic or creative success.
- The mental and emotional fortitude to cope with stress and adversity, leading to a long, productive, and healthy life.
- The ability to develop healthy relationships and resolve conflicts.
- The range of other hard and soft skills to be in demand in the current workforce and play important roles in organizations or succeed in their own businesses
For all our children to thrive, it’s time to teach them the skills that will help them so they avoid many of the painful circumstances that afflict so many lives.
- Depression and traumas
- Drug abuse
- Violence, including domestic
These conditions undermine families, communities, and ultimately our country. They require costly interventions that are often paid for by parents, relatives, tax payers, and charities.
In short, it’s better – and cheaper – to raise emotionally healthy and capable kids than to fix broken adults.
So, how do we do this?
Parents at home do the best they can to impart values and ways of being in life in a successful way. Why not have schools back you up by teaching all our kids the essential life skills to manage life’s challenges and to thrive.
In education jargon, teaching these skills mostly goes by the clunky name of Social-Emotional Learning. Sometimes they are called Character Development or Leadership Life Skills. But these are the traditional – and necessary for success – skills that develop responsible, self-managing, and caring adults. They plant seeds of greatness in kids.
Backed by significant positive research, these skills are now being taught in many U.S. public, private, charter and religious schools, including Christian, Catholic, Jewish and Muslim. Even in many of the U.S. military’s K-12 schools. Yet there is much more to be done to make sure they are taught – and comprehensively – in all our schools.
Let’s be sure that all our schools support your desire that your children and those they grow up with gain the skills they need to thrive. And that your children attend schools where all students are learning to be, and relate to each other from, their best selves.