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Why don't we teach coping skills in schools? We have physical education, I assume because of Roosevelt IDK. Wouldnt it serve kids (and the world) to understand and manage emotions?

By authentica5
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This is stuff kids should learn at home. Schools have enough to teach and many other distractions to deal with. We learned more by playing with other kids in the neighborhood where you didn't get your way all the time but you learned to get along or you had no friends, you know life lessons. Sad that kids don't even play outside anymore let a lone with other kids and get to know other kids parents and have sleepovers on weekends etc... I' m sure some kids do but not any of the ones I work with.

Ktcyan Level 7 Feb 4, 2019

They could learn PE at home and many other things currently taught in schools. It still makes sense to give all kids a chance at coping better.


We should. We should also teach budgeting, job interview skills, writing a resume, and critical thinking, and changing a tire! (It’s name a few)

I also think young kids should learn how appropriately interact with dogs since more than 50% of dog bite victims are children. Dogs are everywhere so basic education should be included along with other necessary life skills.


Great idea. It should be.

arttrust Level 6 Feb 3, 2019

This is one of the many reasons why I homeschool. There is so much that I’d like for my kids to learn, and so much that I don’t like that is taught instead of those things.


Should be started at an early age.


I did my best quickie research and it looks like, in America (not globally) it's up to parents/primary care-givers to worry about emotional intelligence. I wasn't shocked (it's America, just grab a gun.) At any rate, good question, great idea, never gonna happen (it's America.)

Globally (sans the USA) there are all sorts of programs being taught in school. SMILE is in Europe with similar programs globally. Looks like these programs have been around for decades. shrugs*

*In America, Positive Action, Developer Carol Allred, is/was a program that was once an industry standard. K-12. It's used very limited today (in the USA.) I believe it was outdated/out of step and a re-write of the program never happened.


We should. If we did, we would have fewer reasons to put so many resources into suicide prevention. Between smart phones, social media, pre-pubescent nastiness and childhood coddling, we have situations - particularly at the middle school level - of constant threats of self harm, and way too many suicides. And I don't think it all started with the "participation trophy".

Byrdsfan Level 8 Feb 2, 2019

It would also serve to teach them nutrition and gardening. But education has been delivering less and less over the years. You know, I do think coping skills were taught in school when I was a kid, but I do not think we were aware of it. It was just part of our culture where all adults helped everyone’s kids learn them...everyone’s mom was your mom, everyone’s dad was your dad. Adults helped kids learn to cope...and kids helped other kids.

Exactly. A reflection of my early years also.

"where all adults helped everyone’s kids learn them...everyone’s mom was your mom, everyone’s dad was your dad. Adults helped kids learn to cope...and kids helped other kids."
This is actually a substantial part of my experience as a teacher currently. There are problems, but in my small sphere of experience and influence, this is largely still the case. Anecdotal, but positive.


We should. And, in fact, I was taught social & emotional coping skills. The comments here about funding and student to teacher/councilor ratios are a reality that isn't going to change. Therefore, other methods and resources need to be put in place.

This is a comment from another page I made yesterday. It is an example of an alternate methodology and resource:

So, Rob! I'm recovering from "The Strenuous Life" of shoveling snow. Anti-inflammatory drugs, and a good Pinot Noir.
I believe that to combat the "Lone Shooter" syndrome, the best way, is to bring as many young men into our (Mine) culture as possible. To stop gun abuse is to, in my opinion, eliminate, or, at least, put in place those personal disciplines that allow young men to control anger. To that end, I'm involved in a mentoring program supported by our local police, targeting young men who have a history of violent and anti-social behavior. These young men are referred to us, through the police representative, from police, sheriff, and local school counselors. With parental permission, we bring these boys into our "Manliness" program. Each boy is assigned one primary mentor, and required to attend a weekly group class/meeting/event. Seems to be working, so far. Firearm related topics covered:


additionally, We use this resource to generally discuss "Manliness" and responsibility to the young men.
For some of the younger "gentlemen", we start with this:

Now, The dozen or so of us "Mentors" and instructors are pretty old school. We're all veterans. Gun carrying members of the "Gunfighter Nation". So, we're not really open to non-traditional male roles.
But! we've received lots of positive feedback from the schools and parents..... Drive On.


I agree wholeheartedly! The topic could be blended in with other subjects, especially health or psychology. Just a single one day class might work wonders if taught by a qualified person.

Elementary schools should introduce the subject IMO. Maybe they do for all I know, but I don’t remember anything like that.


The Military-Industrial Complex sees no need for that! Basic education so you can be trained to do one job and not think to much is all they want.

BillF Level 7 Feb 2, 2019

I think for importance it's at the very top. I also think the difficulty of teaching teenagers emotional intelligence is also, at the very top.

As a singleish Mom of 15 yo twin boys...agreed.


Lack of funding is a problem. The counselors at my high school are excellent, but there are 640 students per counselor. The school keeps getting bigger, but the district has not allowed for a higher number of counselors in 20 years.

It should start in first grade.


it's a good idea but first we need to fund public schools, and that would include paying teachers enough that actual qualified educators could afford to BE teachers, and not have to choose between feeding their families and providing pencils for the students. this would also require having a secretary of education whose stated goal is NOT to bring everyone to christ, and whose apparent goal is NOT to kill her department, and all public schools along with it. i am not dismissing the importance of coping skills, or of teaching them. i was not being sarcastic when i said it was a good idea. but first we have to save schools, in order to teach ANYTHING in them.


genessa Level 8 Feb 2, 2019

Thanks friend. I agree and I hear your frustration.


Also communication.

MsAl Level 7 Feb 2, 2019

My chap teaches junior school here in UK and they do.

Amisja Level 8 Feb 2, 2019

I’ve always felt school itself is a microcosm of life. If a child/ student isn’t handling it well, help usually finds them. As with everything ‘school’ (at least public), ‘they’ can only teach what the community demands and supports … and school boards & administrators are rarely known for innovation.

Varn Level 8 Feb 2, 2019

I can assure you help doesn't just find most students not handling it well.

How does help find the ones not doing well?

@authentica @MsAl School employees by nature or training are tuned into to their charges.. They know, they ask, and they act. Counseling, conferences … ears, eyes and advice abound. Yes, if a child/ student hides it well, some may never know.. But if it becomes obvious, empathetic, well trained staff know where to start.

@Varn I expect that the students who get attention are the more obvious ones. Those who are distracting or creating chaos. The quieter ones, who do well enough behaviorally and academically to fly under the radar....which are most kids...... are not asking for or receiving attention.

@MsAl, @authentica Of course problems are both obvious and hidden. Somewhat familiar with what our rural school district offered my daughters in their health education classes (in both Middle & High School), I was impressed and relieved by how relevant, progressive and inclusive it was … compared to my days..

Solid students, though experiencing the trauma of modern life, the system served them well. It helped that I’d been a participant, but the ‘inside information’ I received from faculty and staff assured me both were paying attention.

But as I described above, school is a microcosm of society, willing and capable of offering only so much.. Sure, press for more ..but don’t hold your breath, or be quick to condemn a system that’s doing it’s best.


It's actually being done in some schools using discussion circles as a form of community building, involving students and faculty alike, and the practice is gaining momentum. The results have been remarkable, with coping skills improving, satisfaction levels rising, and behavioral problems plummeting. (I took training in guiding discussion circles for community building, but circles can also be used in restorative justice, which is also gaining steam at a slower rate. Schools are leading the way, embracing the practice because it's been shown to be so effective in giving students a healthy way of working through conflict and emotions.)

resserts Level 8 Feb 2, 2019

Love this. Building community is my next desire.

@authentica Here's an overview of what discussion circles are and how one school is using them effectively: []


I teach at a high poverty high school. Kids have lot of stress. One teacher used mindfulness exercises for 1 minute at the beginning of each class, and had positive results in reducing stress, reducing classroom management problems, and increasing grades.
I am aware that other teachers did not approve because they saw it as anti-christian, associating it with eastern religions. (What the teacher was doing had no religious content at all.)

@RawBacons I teach high school English, so philosophy always comes into everything I teach. And empathy, as such, underlies the reading of all great literature. (I actually have on my board right now, "The great philosophical questions: What is beauty? What is truth? What is goodness? What is wisdom?" Everything of any importance to humanity always boils down in some way to those four questions.)

@greyeyed123 what a great practice. Kudos.

@RawBacons I have never had any trouble teaching students to answer emotional questions. Even in the Common Core standards, there are plenty of standards that connect directly to emotional questions, points of view, tone, satire, connotation, empathy, bias, etc. There is a problem that common core focuses on nonfiction at the upper grades, which generally leaves out most of the emotional hook students crave. I think the number was 70% nonfiction, 30% fiction, but that was supposed to be across the curriculum, not just in English, but yet again, the burden of "reading" always lands on English alone so literature gets devalued.


Teaching emotions???

Gender research shows how emotions experienced by kids and expressed are then responded to by adults in varied ways that often socialize kids to create different meanings depending on gender. So, a big hell yeah to teaching emorions because we are all fucked up by training about what they are and what they mean.

@RawBacons Reading comprehension connects directly to teaching emotions, in that identifying things like tone, mood, atmosphere, connotation, satire, comedy, tragedy, etc, etc., all require an initial rudimentary understanding of human emotions, but eventually a far more robust one. Moreover, every reading of literature is an exercise in empathy--putting yourself in the shoes of the characters, and imagining how you would feel in that that just maybe, you will be better prepared to deal with similar situations in your own life, or to deal with those around you going through such situations. (Even in nonfiction, students must be able to identify and evaluate tone, bias, logical fallacies, etc., all of which require an emotional understanding of the author and his or her point of view, how it affects their argument in a larger context of views, etc.)

@RawBacons all schools do is teach reading comprehension. They don’t have any other specialists anymore. No physical trainers, no descent science teaching and verrry terrrrible math ?

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