• Why is it that no psychology classes are being taught in elementary school?  Granted, as a therapist for more than 20 years I might be a little biased, but I think I’m not alone in realizing psychology’s value. Generally, if you’re in an uber progressive high school you might see a class or two at that level. But most people have to wait until college to take any behavioral science classes, and even then it’s only if they elect to do so. Yet psychology is important in every part of life – it is a science being utilized at hospitals, in courtrooms, family counseling sessions, employment, day-to-day relationships, and everywhere in between.  I’m not saying that psychology is one hundred percent foolproof, but very few things are.  So, why are we not teaching our children about human behavior in elementary school as part of a curriculum?

    —it would be helpful for a child to learn about bullying and how to deal with it before they are actually confronted by it

    Unfortunately, we live in a reactionary society where we wait until a person has problems before we try to help. Normalizing their reactions and letting them know what to expect is half the battle and would alleviate a lot of psychological anxiety. Just think about it—it would be helpful for a child to learn about bullying and how to deal with it before they are actually confronted by it. We have made some improvements in addressing this particular subject only after numerous tragedies and lawsuits. But why does it have to get to that point? And still we have not done enough! Teaching a child about social expectations, relationships, communication and healthy coping skills would help people of all ages better cope with the challenges they face during their development. This knowledge and the accompanying skills would carry them into their adulthood. So many relationship problems could be alleviated by simply teaching people what to expect as opposed to having them, over many years, try to figure things out on their own.

    I would argue that psychology is at least as important and is definitely more applicable to day-to-day lives as any of the other mandated courses taught in elementary school. It affects everyone in all facets and stages of life. Even if it just gives them a better understanding and sensitivity of others around them who may have psychological problems. Instead of waiting to educate people about topics out of necessity when there is already a problem (bullying, abuse- verbal and physical, miscommunication, etc.), why not add behavioral sciences to their current curriculum of sciences? Keep it simple – just an overview of behavioral development and interpersonal relationships.   Focus on healthy and unhealthy communication, motivations, peer pressure, and things that will be useful to all.  Consider pushing your children’s elementary schools to add a class of psychology to their curriculum- a practical and universally helpful class that can benefit both you and your children now and long into your futures!