Holistically-aware kids

Holistically-aware kids

Have you wondered what the difference is between children who grow up to be successful, happy and responsible adults with positive relationships and promising careers and those children who come from similar social and economic backgrounds but land up with struggling relationships, unsatisfactory careers, domestic issues and depression?

Society today is seeing increased competition, increased expectations from children, and consequently unrelenting pressure to succeed.

This has increased stress levels in both children and parents. The natural cocoon of support provided by families earlier has deteriorated rapidly with nuclear families and both parents busy pursuing their careers with insufficient time for their children.

It has become common place to hear and read about cases of unexplainable acts of violence and aggression from normal, everyday people including children and adolescents.

These acts of violence are most likely the outcome of pent up frustrations and emotions which the individual has struggled with and bottled up over a period of time. 

While we can do little to curb the changing environment, what we can do is equip ourselves to lead a balanced life and co-exist peacefully with our external environment. Every psychologist and human development expert would say that these skills begin by connecting with our emotions and those of the people around us.

A good place to start building these skills is during the most formative stages of one’s life - childhood.

It starts by learning the language of emotions - from identifying, understanding, acknowledging and appreciating the Self. Imagine a child who is empowered with the knowledge and the freedom to not just experience happiness, but also to handle sadness and frustration, communicate these feelings effectively and manage them without showing aggression or vengeance towards others or self. 

Imagine if a child was equipped to deal with problems and challenges (ethical, moral or analytical) and has the skills to evaluate choices, take a decision and see it through responsibly.

These are the skills that will help children grow up to lead a healthy and balanced life.

However, with young children, the biggest challenge is to comprehend the complexity and abstractness of these concepts. Young children can pick-up “concrete” and “experiential” inputs rather than abstract and prescriptive ones. Therefore, using a highly sensorial and creative environment where they “experience” becomes crucial.
The programme called AHAM (A Holistic Awareness Model), by the Kid & Parent Foundation, focuses on self-awareness, social awareness, relationships, self-management and motivation of young children.

 AHAM also extends beyond the children as it conducts workshops for parents and teachers as they play a high impact role in the development of young children.
The programme is aimed at instilling skills to adopt a value-based belief system rather than prescribing mere values. AHAM has tried to marry science of child behaviour with the creativity and spontaneity of story telling and other creative arts.

With each child starting at the right place, we will have a society that connect with each other on an emotional level and hopefully have a lot less of the horrific incidents of student suicides and juvenile rapes, and a lot more of kindness and well-being.

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