Another dot in the blogosphere?

Nurturing kids’ mental health?

Posted on: May 27, 2015

Last week I read this MindShift article, How Schools Can Help Nurture Students’ Mental Health.

Depressed Boy by Tjook, on Flickr
Creative Commons Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 2.0 Generic License   by  Tjook 

There was a list of good ideas.

  1. Having school-based mental care
  2. Offering mental health screening
  3. Bringing back physical exercise during the school day
  4. Starting the school day later so kids get enough sleep
  5. Providing mindfulness training
  6. Encouraging fun and limiting technology
  7. Taking happiness seriously

They are mostly good ideas.

It can be hard to do #6 because limiting technology is not encouraging fun. It is also limiting learning options. Most schools already limit meaningful technology use, so I would advocate more instead of less.

Focusing on happiness is also unrealistic since all of us have to do things that make us unhappy every now and then.

Happiness might be said to comprise of fleeting moments. This might be why international polls on the happiest students, happiest people, or happiest nations do not provide consistent or reliable results.

Well-being, on the other hand, is a longer term pursuit. The book I tweeted about, The Purpose Economy, mentioned how parenting was a tough job that was fraught with pain and unhappiness at times. But any good parent with well-adjusted kids does not regret it. The well-being of their children and of themselves is what matters ultimately.

In a more stressful world I am all for looking out for kids’ health. But that does not mean that we should take measures blindly.

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