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.

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How Good Teachers Can Get Inspired To Mold Personalities

Personality development

I didn’t realize the effects of a teacher on personalities till I stepped into this profession. Probably I didn’t have any such teacher around me whom I admired ardently or who could touch my heart but I do remember a few who emitted an unseen light, which could brighten the path of an average student.

When I stumbled upon the profession of a teacher, which I didn’t plan to follow, I was very keen to teach high school students. I thought it was easier!

I was told I needed a professional training.

Despite a teacher’s training degree in my hand, I hardly knew what makes a good teacher. I learnt it from my students, from my daily interaction with them and listening to their opinion and complaints.

Slowly it dawned upon me how much a teacher can give. I was amazed at the expectations of my students and I had to work very hard to come up to their beliefs.

I noted that a teacher is trusted more than a parent probably because a teacher really listens, is non-judgmental and supports the pupils who choose to confide in him/her.

Now I started grasping the real meaning of “Nation Builders.”

Now I knew that Good teachers are not born.

“I am indebted to my father for living, but to my teacher for living well.” – Alexander the Great.

I was humbled by this profession, which I didn’t want to join because people looked down upon it, it was so lowly paid and only those “who couldn’t find a better job became a teacher,” was the perception!

I found it immensely satisfying. The dividends it paid could not be counted, could not be seen because they could only be felt.

They stand before me now in the form of most successful human beings who value the contribution of teachers. Their one word of gratitude is the biggest bank balance for me.

My pupils showed me what is patience and benevolence; they revealed the value of hard work; they taught me how emotions are knitted into the fabric of values to make them more effective.

Once I had been molded by my students, it was my turn and this is what I learnt:

Children are like clay in our hands. Like a sculptor we can chisel and carve their personalities with our behavior.

“A teacher affects eternity; he can never tell where his influence stops.” ― Henry Adams.

Teachers appreciation

Teachers inspire the desire for learning:

True learning is the one, which is self-accentuated. A good teacher understands this basic principle and lays bare all the possibilities before the students. Curriculum may be binding, it may limit the potential but a real teacher focuses on igniting the minds to go beyond those limitations. Carl Jung has rightly observed, “The curriculum is so much necessary raw material, but warmth is the vital element for the growing plant and for the soul of the child.“

Make them discerning individuals:

Students look up to their teachers for guidance and path-breaking initiatives. When they meet an inspired teacher, they start believing in their own dreams. It is only with the much-needed encouragement that their aspirations get a boost. Classroom discussions play an important role in giving confidence to new thoughts and developing their own perceptions.

Make them absorb the values of discipline:

A disciplined teacher can convey the need and significance of discipline to become self-disciplined. Children may take pleasure in breaking the rules, they may scoff at the reprimand and punitive actions but what they see in their teacher eventually gets absorbed. An upright teacher doesn’t have to organize discussions on this topic.

Inspire positive thoughts:

Little disappointments seem gigantic to children, especially 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 or friends.

Values are learned effortlessly:

Good and conscientious teachers can touch the students with their kindness and patience. Little children learn more through observation and image. When their role model exemplifies the ethics enshrined in the rulebook, it is easier for them to imbibe them naturally. I have often heard my outspoken students complain about double standards, which confused them.

“Everyone who remembers his own education remembers teachers, not methods and techniques. The teacher is the heart of the educational system.” – Sidney Hook

They make an eternal impact on students:

I was surprised at the influence of my own child’s teacher on her when she refused to share the little secret of her school function with me saying, “it is a surprise for the parents and will be revealed only on the day the function will be presented!”

My own heart swells with delight when I meet my old students and can see a spark of brightness in their eyes while they talk about those ‘golden’ days.

Whether it is sharpening their speaking talent, acquainting them with their potential, or honing their social skills, a teacher can truly mold the personalities of students.

Did you meet any such teacher who made a difference in your life? I would love to hear about her/him.

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.

My First Love

Love For Books

For Book Lovers Day
I stepped back into time
To meet my first love
Whom I could see only in the library
Who slipped into others’ hands
And smiled at my impatience!
 
Who gave me many competitive hours
To keep pace with friends
Whose love seemed greater
Who devoured books, binging blatantly
While I chewed calmly
Hugging my luminous love
 
Drifting into those days
When nobody ever read for me
When craving continued to haunt
Promises with self, multiplied…
‘I would always read for my kids
I wouldn’t miss the bliss!’
 
When I could actually read
Really read and soak in ecstasy
As there were eager faces
Looking at me
Expecting me to put emotion
Into each word
 
Snuggling and sharing
The love for little stories
Feeling all important
Forgetting all worries
Immersing into the pleasure
Oh! The joy of reading together!
 
And then the hours flew
We didn’t even notice
Love for books deepened
But cuddles turned to momentary hugs
Tide of time swiftly carried them away
Now my grand kids share my first love!
© Balroop Singh
All rights reserved.

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The Room…A Cherished Memory

That dark dusty room, always closed
With no chinks to peep inside
Children of the house often conspired
To enter, to explore… but how?

Everyday they made new plansold-world-rustic-wooden-door-with-bolts-and-padlock-399x600
Waited patiently to steal the keys
What would be the right time?
To give shape to their adventure!

Would it ever be possible?
With grandma keeping a close eye,
Supervising all the time
All the happenings of the day.

The room was right in the middle
Difficult to sneak in
Even during long afternoons
Or late at night which was scary!

Little Lovely had a plan
To enter one Sunday
But who would steal the key
From that dreaded drawer!

No child had an access to that drawer
None of them had ever dared
To defy the orders of the house
To keep away from the keys!

Who would listen to those orders?
When the promises of exploring
Guided the dreams of each other
When outshining was the sole aim!

With key already in her pocket
Little Lovely had already accomplished
The first step and proved
She was the smartest of the bunch!

The day was not far
The day all would be busy
With the celebrations of Sonu’s birthday
That was the planned day!

Sonu was told to keep company
Since he was the apple of their eye
The family would hardly notice
The pranks of missing children.

Curiosity drove Sonu away
From the venue of preparations.
Grandma couldn’t contain her worry
She alerted everyone!

The dark room was already open
All the children busy
Engrossed in their long awaited adventure
They were quite fearless!

All the trunks already open
All the pictures bare,
Loud voices, long discussions
Could be heard far!

Unaware of being watched
The children made plans
They needed more days to sneak,
More hours to explore!

The family elders watched amused
None of them balked
The children were given free access
To open the room everyday!
© Balroop Singh.

You can click on Sublime Shadows of Life by Balroop Singh to read more such poems.

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Learning To Smile

I hate to say I miss youlearning to smile
No tears can ever stream down.
These eyes now look at the sky
They find delight in your flight
Your smiling image looms large,
Tears recede instinctively.

Yet those promises haunt, hurt
I know you have forgotten them
I know you would never return
Your flight is beyond my reach.
Your selflessness, a far-fetched dream
Should I regret trusting my instincts?

If I ever meet you again
I’ll just look at your eyes
I will try to smile…
Smile and savor the moment
But we ‘ll live in our own world
A world devoid of anxiety and acrimony

The love that I hold in my heart
May have faded from your memory
Yet I treasure those mirthful moments
Of raising you with a smile
Of giving you wings to fly
You will forever be my dearest child.

© Balroop Singh.

You can click on Sublime Shadows of Life by Balroop Singh to read more such poems.
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Thank you for your support. Please add your valuable comments, they are much appreciated.