The learning process itself is influenced by a number of elements that most people overlook. Learning is not as simple as getting a lesson on a topic, pay attention to details, understanding, practice, repetition and memorization. Our emotional stability can have a huge impact in a successful learning experience, especially in children.
Nowadays is easier than ever to get drawn into our daily activities as busy adults. The hectic routines that most people have leave little room to notice what happens around us and to our loved ones. We live in a time of digital communications that seem to get us closer to some people while it alternatively takes us away from the people most important to us, our children.
We tend to assume that children do not have real problems and that they should be happy: we are giving all we can possibly can as the product of our hard work, they have a home, toys, a computer or tablet, a TV, food, game consoles...how can they not be happy? However, the majority of the times, these are things that can only give the satisfaction that comes from immediate gratification, and not the long termed sustained happiness they need for their well being.
Children can also suffer from anxiety, depression and other mental issues triggered as a response to emotional stimuli. The statistics say that one out of eight children in America suffers from anxiety.
Anxiety disorders affect one in eight children. Research shows that untreated children with anxiety disorders are at higher risk to perform poorly in school, miss out on important social experiences, and engage in substance abuse.
The truth is that many times, children need to be listened to, they do not know many times how to explain their emotions or understand them, they need our guidance, our time and our affection to feel safe and secure. Children build their self-esteem based on the things they listen at home, the labels we put on them, and their own interpretation of the family dynamics.
It is hard to know how someone can interpret something unless we ask them. Interpretations are very personal, therefore, there is no room for assumptions.
As our children grow, they may have formed their own ideas about themselves and more based on an interpretation they made about a moment or experience.
As parents and educators, we need to make time to talk enough to find out what is going through these little minds in order to protect them beyond their physical integrity and to ensure we are a confident person that will be able to use this emotional strength to achieve his/her full potential.
Anxiety, depression and anger or frustration can interfere with learning and can result from problems with learning, creating a maladaptive and self-defeating pattern of behavior, which prevents learning and stunts mental/emotional growth.
We want the best for our children. The best includes quality time dedicated to enjoying happy moments together but also meaningful conversations that let us dig deeper into their emotions and that teach them how to analyze life situations, guide them to the right interpretation of these, advise them about how to react in the moment those events happen, and finally give them the comfort and support they need.