Preparing Kids for the Future
SKILLS: Pyschologist Ivan Honey says when children learn how to prevent mental health issues developing, then they have the resources to manage the challenges they will encounter, at home, in school and in life.
HAVE you ever tried to play a game without knowing the rules? Whether it’s monopoly or pick up sticks if you know the rules you can play with confidence.
Bendigo pyschologist Ivan Honey founded ‘The Get Happer Project’ especially to help children and parents learn the rules and framework to get happier. He says happiness is not just the absence of problems but the ability to deal with them. “We can’t be happy all the time, but when we have the knowledge and skills to make ourselves happier, we have the confidence to tackle the challenges that come our way.” He began training people in this new psychology of happiness, collaborating with psychiatrist Dr William Glasser, (founder of Choice Theory and Reality Therapy) to make these powerful approaches available to anyone.
Ivan then set about adapting the approaches that had worked so well with his clients and trainees. This includes a range of products and training materials to enhance mental health, wellbeing and to solve problems, and he has taught this in countries around the world.
Just as we can learn the skills to become physically healthy, we can learn the skills for mental health and happines.
The program translates cutting edge psychology into stories, activities and games that engage children at their own level and allows plenty of practice of the skills to get happier. Schools have been using the program successfully for a number of years, but now Ivan has created a full school social and emotional learning curriculum, to ‘The Get Happier Schools’. It’s already working at Moama Anglican Grammar School and schools in Queensland, China and New Zealand.
He loves visiting ‘The Get Happier Schools’ and hearing children explain the mental model of how to get happier, and seeing teachers delivering the program in their classrooms and across the school. “In an ever challenging world, we all need a road map to develop resilience, improve our relationships, build self-worth, and manage our feelings, “ Ivan said. The Get Happier project provides a blueprint for wellbeing in the 21st century.