Friday, 31 May 2013


Having a child with Autism has meant that I've had to teach my son how to recognise and identify his emotions, teach him how to put into words how he's feeling and how it's affecting him and teach him the skills and techniques to manage them, and one of the most noticeable things that it's brought to my attention is just how little effort we make on these subjects with neurotypical children.

We, as a society, need to start educating our kids to understand and properly deal with their emotions. To be entirely honest we need to learn the exact same lesson for ourselves while we at it!

Problems with antisocial behaviour, violent crime, hooliganism and extremism can hardly come as much of a surprise when the majority of fully grown adults are so incapable of expressing and managing anger that they turn into the Incredible Hulk and want to start smashing stuff and beating people? 

Resorting to violence solves absolutely nothing. Life is littered with examples of this. Children don't learn respect and honesty from being beaten, punching that offensive coworker in the face doesn't improve their opinion of you and vigilante justice does little to comfort the victims nor discourage the perpetrators  of crime. It's never been the fighting or the loss of lives that've ended wars, but always the sitting down together, opening a civilised dialoge and negotiating changes and compromises that solved the problems that we were fighting over. 

It's not just anger either, frustration, disappointment, stress and fear all cause deep and long lasting issues if not managed correctly. How much could we cut the instances of domestic violence, self harming, eating disorders, teen pregnancies and so many other issues if we just equipped people with the right tools to deal with their emotions before they reached adulthood and the bad habits were already ingrained and required extensive therapy to relearn?

How odd it seems, given the problems caused by poor emotional management and the amount of time, effort and money put in to dealing with those problems, that very little about emotion is covered by the educational curriculum. This is even more poignant when you consider just how many children are failed by the educational system because they don't know how to identify, express and manage their emotions. 
How has such a simple solution been neglected for so long?

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