After working in the mental health field for over 35 yrs. I have counseled hundreds of couples, individuals, both adults and children. I have been in and out of many, elementary, middle, and high schools working with students and observing “the system of education”. At times, e.g.while in a teachers lounge, I may hear, “my students are driving me crazy”. This “magical belief” is extremely common or “normal” in today’s society, i.e. “they are driving me crazy” in stead of accurately stating, “I drive myself crazy about my students”. Our brain makes a lousy camera and will process whatever we tell it just like our lungs will breath in poisious air. In other words, the lungs will do their jobs, i.e. to process what it is given. Words and there arrangement, does make a big difference.

This simple point of view, “that he, she or it cause my emotions” is just as magical and ungrounded in objective reality as our once cherished belief in Santa Clause. That belief was surrendered (sadly) in our youth. Many other beliefs, however, are not examined, questioned, or challenged.

I believe there is a solid case for holding our current education system accountable for inadvertently teaching kindergarteners, elementary, middle school, and high school students inaccurate information that does direct harm to students, society, and the health care system. Working in psychotherapy, blaming others and or events, demanding it should not be that way, that it is awful, and dehumanizing another person is common and leads to self defeating emotions and behaviors.

There have been many attempts to implement emotional education in education. In my opinion this is putting a bandage on a gaping wound. Unless solid, scientifically proven, thoughts, attitudes and beliefs are required to be taught in the core curriculm of the education system, the benefit will be minimal as is currently demonstrated in interpersonal conflicts, domestic violence, suicide, violent homicide, and global warfare.

Because this is such a monumental and dynamic goal, implementation will have to be on the federal educational level and passed down to the states. Unfortunately, to “address such a giant as the Department of Education”, I believe it may take a class action law suit against the current system (taken the the supreme court if necessary) to implement emotional education in every public school across the US.  The grounds for such a law suit will be that “the current education system teaches incorrect and inaccurate information (related to how emotions work) that is doing direct hare to the children and thereby greater society”. When this goal occurs, it will take several generations (with some collateral damage along the way) to effect a broad social shift in attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors.

An example of teaching a child that “Johnny made me angry or Sue hurt my feelings” is a common statement that teachers and parents face daily. When they are taught that “I make myself angry about what Johnny said or that I hurt my own feelings when Sue said that”, the blame stops and instead of fight or flight, the student is taught how to address the problem. As students are taught K-12 that people create their own emotions about events, it will be highly unlikely that a high school graduate will be able to believe, “he, she or it make me feel what I feel”. What a change from believing “it makes me VS I make myself”.

I am aware this will be a monumental undertaking, much like the civil rights movement and that both are an ongoing process. Unless the process is started, i.e. to mandate the education system teach accurate information about emotions and how they work, the blame, retaliation, and defensiveness will continue generation to generation.

Thank you

Please VOTE Your Opinion

Stop the Blame in 3 Generations

Get to the CORE of Bullying Behavior & Build Emotional Muscle!

Teach Emotional Intelligence:

1. In School Curriculum K-12

2. Teach how emotions work

3. Give Students simple tools

4. Simple communication tools

5. Students have fun with practice

Current School Systems Teach:

Inaccurate information about how emotions work, doing harm to students, society, and the health care system.

Students are inadvertently taught to:

1. Blame others or events

2. Deny objective reality

3.Exaggerate personal experience

4. Dehumanize oneself or others

August 28, 2013

William J. Hanshaw, LPC, LMFT

1209 Smallhouse Road

Bowling Green, KY  42104

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