Why Are #YoungMinds So Vulnerable?

Mentoring Young Minds
Why is it so difficult to guide teenagers?

Why do they drift away and want to take their own decisions?
Why do they trust their peer group more than their best well- wishers?
How can they be easily influenced and manipulated by antagonists?

While parents and teachers dismiss all that as irresponsible and immature behavior, it is not very easy to understand a young mind. Psychologists have been trying to do that for many years.

Researchers believe that human brain development continues till the age of 25. The complex changes that the brain undergoes make them volatile and vulnerable. Youngsters crave individualism, freedom and self-regulation but are prone to risky behavior during this growth. Their patience and self-control is not fully developed. They can’t think of the consequences.

According to Dr. Frances Jensen, a Neuroscientist, “Teenagers make much more sense when you understand that the frontal lobes of the brain – the part responsible for judgment, impulse control, mood and emotions – is the last part to fully develop. So the brain just doesn’t know how to regulate itself yet. They’re like Ferraris with weak brakes.”

Ironically when they need their parents the most, they lose connection with them. We too are responsible for this disconnect.

What alienates them?

    1. Lack of understanding by parents: While teenagers are trying to cope up with physical and emotional upheavals within them, all they need is love and assurance that they are good enough. Most of them change, adapt and respond in a positive manner but those who don’t get the right environment seek it elsewhere.
    2. Excessive control: All they need at this stage is patient hearing. The quest to explore and experiment is the highest at this phase of life. If the rules and regulations are too crippling, youngsters take pleasure in flouting them. Setting the boundaries may be essential but one has to be flexible at times and give some freedom otherwise they become rebellious.
    3. Criticism: Teenagers are very sensitive and self-conscious. Criticism affects them deeply and they might retract into their own shell, stop sharing their thoughts and desires and could develop a low self-esteem. Such minds never come out of their developmental trauma and might react violently.
    4.  High expectations: I have seen many high school students struggling to come up to the expectations of their parents and choosing the subjects due to parental or peer pressure. In an attempt to please their parents or accomplish the dreams of their fathers, they lose their own personality.
    5. Neglect: Children, who grow up in dysfunctional families or those who have not received basic emotional support at an impressionable age, carry a baggage of unspoken words, which drag them deeper into an abyss of darkness. They always carry grudges in their heart against the world and become insensitive and apathetic. All they need is help though they are unwilling to accept it.

How can we help?

  • Provide them with safe and loving environment at home
  • Early bonding through open discussions
  • Listen to them calmly and patiently
  • Avoid criticism of their ideas and friends
  • Encourage regular exercise and creative channelization of energy
  • Encourage adequate rest and sleep
  • Avoid coercing them for career goals
  • Avoid stressful talk
  • Talk about your expectations calmly and logically.

Role of teachers:Children are like clay

Teachers are the role models for students. A kind and an affectionate word for the most unruly student attracts his attention and he leans towards the teacher who has a sympathetic attitude towards him. I have seen the toughest ones melt into tears of remorse when I tried to delve deeper, to probe into the causes of their violent behavior.

Little disappointments seem gigantic to teenagers. Teachers can convert those moments of disenchantment into stepping-stones by talking them out of negativity. A good teacher can also become a counselor, as she/he understands students better than parents. Teenagers feel more comfortable in sharing their problems with their teachers.

Young minds can be molded into positive and responsible individuals but the onus lies on us.

Thank you for reading this. Please share your valuable reflections, as they are much appreciated.

If you have liked this post, please share it at your favorite social networks.

Balroop Singh.


What Is The Best Apology?

Real apology
There are two kinds of apologies – one that is real, that makes you feel guilty to introspect and change your behavior. Second is the one that is done just to please, to avoid an argument, shift the responsibility or save a relationship.

When I was growing up, I was many times told to apologize to assuage the feelings of somebody though I had done no harm. Even when I refused to do a chore that I didn’t feel like doing or felt it was below my dignity to polish the shoes of a sibling, I was given a violent reward and told to apologize!

Obviously I refused, as I didn’t believe in such an apology. In my view, a sincere apology is the one that emanates from one’s heart and is well deserved too.

Do you believe in apology? Some people don’t, as it is below their dignity to apologize.


  • People who maintain emotional distance never apologize.
  • Their ego and pride is bigger than all relationships.
  • They don’t want to take the blame.
  • They don’t want to abdicate power and control over others.
  • They believe in self-righteousness, not humility.
  • Anger and bitterness may overpower their goodness.
  • Self-esteem, which they nurture, is all-important.

On the other hand are people who apologize profusely and live that moment only to forget it the next day.

  • They are most insensitive.
  • They live within moments.
  • They never make an effort to change.
  • For them, apology is just a face saver.
  • Fear of consequences propel them to apologize.
  • They could be living in the shadow of their own insecurities.

Which ones do you like?

Is apology meaningless? Sometimes, if it is not received well.

Recently my argumentative muse mentioned that apology and forgiveness go hand in hand. In order to forgive, an apologetic and receptive heart is required. If forgiveness is not received well, it becomes meaningless.

I reminded her that we forgive for our own solace. The person I forgive may remain as vindictive as ever, may remain indifferent and hostile but all those negative vibes return to the heart they stem from. They can never touch me because the moment I forgive, I detach myself from such people.

Forgiving ourselves

Sometimes we have to forgive ourselves for the hurts we may have caused to others. We may justify our actions by telling ourselves that ‘we didn’t hurt intentionally’ but we can never comprehend the perspective of others who think otherwise.

I know forgiveness is not easy. I have painstakingly taught myself this art. I kept on reassuring myself for many years that I would never forgive certain people, as this thought gave me a grim satisfaction that I have vindicated myself.apology quote

I also know very well that basic human behavior has not changed for ages. What we have learnt is the art of wearing masks. We try not to offend, we choose our words carefully, we avoid the topic that may cause unpleasantness, and we become ambivalent whenever a direct question is asked but we never reveal what lies within our heart. We never share our most secret thoughts.

The best apology is to change your behavior:

Change may be hard but only through behavioral changes do we become a likeable person. Is it so hard to change one’s behavior?

  1. We could begin with kindness, the virtue, which is innate, which is like a candle that needs just a spark to get ignited. A kind word spoken with sincerity is always heard.
  2. We could stop making glum faces and smile more often to reassure the other person that our apology was honest.
  3. We could try to be emotionally present during our interactions and keep our digital devices away.
  4. A meaningful conversation melts away many fears and insecurities.
  5. We could respect each other with little gestures of sharing the chores we detest.
  6. It is better to forgive even those who refuse to acknowledge it. Their own moment of understanding the value of apology would hit them one day. Let their age yield them at the altar of forgiveness.

Thank you for reading this. Please share your valuable reflections, as they are much appreciated.

If you have liked this post, please share it at your favorite social networks.

Balroop Singh.

Why Are Some Human Beings So Vindictive?

Are you vindictive?

You must have heard the infamous refrain ‘an eye for an eye’ or the age-old dictum ‘Tit for Tat’…Revenge has always seemed sweet to most of the people since times immemorial.

Psychologists and researchers believe that human behavior is determined by the genes and the kind of environment we live in. While the role of Nature and Nurture has always been accepted, even the best of upbringing and education couldn’t exterminate the innate vindictiveness of human beings.

It can be discerned in the innocent squabbling of toddlers; it gets sharpened when they grow up to face the competitive world of sports and schooling and slowly it becomes a part of their personality.

Probably the real reason is rooted in the evolution of human race, which had to struggle to survive against all odds and challenging circumstances. In modern times, when people are blessed with all kinds of materialistic and spiritual choices, revenge refuses to slacken its hold on human psyche.

Why? What could be the possible reasons?

Revenge is triggered not just by deceit, infidelity or injustice.

There are very insignificant reasons, which may not seem as trivial as you could presume.

Negative thoughts: Vengefulness could be a reaction to their own negative thoughts, which make people insecure and jealous. Family bickering and rivalries are the best example of such insecurities. When one member of a family becomes successful or is seen to be happy, others step in with their malicious thoughts of creating rifts to grind their own axe and exploit emotions.

Ruining relationships: Jealous people want all the attention, they want to prove they are the most loving and caring and if they find a challenger, they make a surreptitious attempt to alienate your siblings or other relatives by backbiting; by creating such situations which could prove you to be a villain.

It gives momentary pleasure: Revenge seeker has his own reasons, his frustrations and failures for which he holds others around him responsible. Seeing them suffer could give him pleasure. It might even boost his bruised ego. His helplessness in reacting directly could be camouflaged in the façade of goodness. Revenge hurts you also

It assuages anger: Anger, the most illogical and unbridled emotion gets mitigated by revenge. Hurting others and meting out the most unreasonable treatment through their jibes, punitive actions or passive aggression gratifies such avengers.

It proves one’s power: Vindictive people consider themselves to be more powerful. Sometimes they are influential due to the positions they hold. They could be your bosses or colleagues. A disappointed colleague who was eyeing the promotion you got or the boss who has been given a negative feedback may rob you of your peace of mind. Those who want to let you down would derive sadistic pleasure out of such situations.

Insecurities: “Living well is the best revenge,” said George Herbert but vindictive people don’t let you live well! Your living well exposes their own imperfections to them, making them insecure in their heart of hearts.

Have you heard of nemesis? It is the inescapable agent of someone’s or something’s downfall. An agent of natural justice… some people call it “Karma” and believe that whatever goes, comes around and you have to pay for your evil deeds.

Nemesis catches vindictive people sooner or later!

Vengefulness is a negative streak, which can only be addressed by our own inner voice. Like all negative emotions, it does hold some goodness. It acquaints us with our real self. it might lead us to introspection!

Negative emotions are very subtle and deceptive. They absorb more energy but they often walk away victorious, testing our patience and strength, ennobling us, belittling our ego, thereby transforming us into humble human beings.

You can read more about negative emotions and how they help us.

Thank you for reading this. Please add your valuable reflections, they are much appreciated.

If you have liked this post, please share it at your favorite social networks.

Balroop Singh.



Why Some People Never Come Out Of Developmental Trauma

Developmental trauma

I think many people don’t understand it. By the time they become aware of this concept, which has been highlighted by the psychologists and psychiatrists, their attitudes have been formed and their behavioral traits well established.

Developmental trauma is the pain that slowly seeps into the psyche of a child, inflicting deep emotional lesions that never heal. If the emotions of a child are neglected or a parent is insensitive or tries to exercise excessive control and doesn’t know how to handle difficult situations, a child may carry those memories with him forever.

Developmental distress is not connected with inadequate care or nourishment albeit it does leave an indelible mark on a child’s developmental stages in cases of penury.

It is more significant in the building of a strong and balanced personality. Emotional aspect of one’s personality is equally important to build self-esteem, security and identity. Insecure emotional beings stem from the kind of upbringing they get at the early stages of their life.

Unpleasant memories stay in the subconscious mind and they keep surfacing, affecting our relationship with the parent or sibling who used or abused you in an unreasonable manner. Certain issues remain unresolved as we refuse to revisit them or we dismiss them as traumatic but they keep returning to haunt us.

Some people emerge out of this trauma if they try to address it or are resilient enough to understand that nothing can be changed about it. According to experts, this happens only in the later part of adulthood.

Developmental deficiencies get entrenched in our personality:

  • Emotional alienation – I have seen such people who struggle with emotional upheavals, who can’t find the right words to express their feelings, who seem to be bitter but are really suffering inside and don’t even have the courage to hug and cry. Probably they have never been hugged in their childhood when they felt the pain.
  • Masked identity – They try to cope up with their fears and insecurities by disconnecting themselves from their past and refuse to talk about it. They put up a bold front though they are broken inside. Their personal growth remains stunted unless they acknowledge and agree to accept the unavoidable that had happened to them.
  • Prejudiced perceptions – They live within their cocoon and refuse to come out. Only a very understanding and loving partner can drag them out. Some of them lack social and communicative skills and therefore don’t make an effort to mingle with the crowd. Often they misconstrue the positive overtures of others as intrusion into their private space.
  • Impeccable exterior – They consider themselves to be perfect and always blame others even for their unreasonable and illogical behavior. This façade of perfection is acquired during childhood when they could have felt inadequate or humiliated due to the expectations of a dominating parent or older sibling. They never move on!

Next time you meet somebody with behavioral issues that make you wonder what is wrong with this person, give a compassionate look and think twice before passing your judgment. He/she could be grappling with his own developmental demons.

Developmental demons

While professional help may be required to heal childhood wounds that keep festering, the first step is acceptance. Those who feel they can handle themselves by being independent and strong further plunge into darkest parts of their mind, pushing their well-wishers far away.

All children face traumas but react differently. Some grow up with a positive attitude and forget about those incidents, which were emotionally distressing while others have negative connotations about them. Those are the ones who have to deal with them all their life.

Thank you for reading this. Please share your valuable reflections, they are much appreciated.

If you have liked this post, please share it at your favorite social networks.

Balroop Singh.


The Amazing Power Of Kindness

power-of-kindnessKindness starts with you!

The power of kindness can only be felt within your heart from where it emanates.

Kindness may be innate but it doesn’t come to the surface if it is not nurtured with little acts of concern, if it is not fostered during receptive years of growth, if siblings don’t show kindness to each other and most importantly if parents lack it.

Self-centered parents who strive to show their superiority; who are in constant strife for one reason or the other leave an indelible mark on the psyche of their children with their demeanor. Kindness remains routed!

“Kindness is a behavior marked by ethical characteristics, a pleasant disposition, and concern for others.” This definition that I have picked from Wikipedia doesn’t seem to satisfy my understanding of the term as I have seen many ‘pleasant dispositions’ faking kindness.

One kind act can calm many emotions. One kind person in a family can cement many relationships.

There is one person in my life, whom I didn’t choose, who just happened to become the most important person for me not because I liked him but I happened to be connected with him by custom and law. Initially I was quite confused about him.

I had never really known love; so I cant say I loved him. But I could understand what is love through his interactions with me.

He never mentioned the word ‘love’ but I could see it; sense it and discern it through his little gestures of care. His ability to read my mind and doing exactly what I wanted before I could communicate my desires amazed me. Slowly I evolved into a different person.

He molded me with his boundless benevolence, without actually saying a word about my imperfections, arrogance and rudeness.

He never ever criticized me for anything even when he should have. With his kindness, he taught me those lessons of life, which nobody could ever force down my throat.

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His kind words of giving a benefit of doubt to everybody around him amazed me. His equanimity, and complacency in the most difficult situations, his serene silence even when I argued my guts out enlightened me about the need to become a better person.

Like all human beings he is not perfect yet he evokes admiration. He is candid enough to say ‘I cant read your poetry’!

When I published Sublime Shadows Of Life and he heard praise from some of my friends, he secretly read a few of my poems and said… “You can write well!” I cherish his words as he is a person of few words and uses them judiciously. When he says something, everybody listens.

He is always by my side in whatever decision I take…wrong or right.

If this were not kindness then I would love to hear more about it.

When Mark Twain said, “Kindness is a language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see,” he must be talking about the language of such little gestures of kindness, which can only be perceived with an intuitive eye.

It is only when we treat others with respect and parity that they learn to understand the value of these words. They become what they could have aspired. Kindness is like that candle, which gives its light to others and burns brighter.

My book ‘Allow Yourself To Be A Better Person’ can be downloaded FREE from 22 January – 23 January, 2017. Happy reading! I look forward to your kindness.

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Thank you for reading this. Please add your valuable reflections, they are much appreciated.

If you have liked this article, please share it at your favorite social networks.

Balroop Singh.