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.


How Much Of Laughter?


Laughter – a spontaneous overflow of fun, a stress reliever, a mood changer, a health therapist…not only provides a cushion to our emotional hurts but also helps us in dealing with the jolts of life effectively.

I have written about laughter therapy to remain emotionally healthy yet it is not listed under the most popular posts!

Why do we forget our laughter skills, as we grow older and resilient?

Humor is the most difficult genre for writers and most of the jokes degenerate below a decent level. That’s why yoga instructors have been promoting self-laughter. Probably Laughter Shows add hilarity sounds for the same purpose!

“The burden of the self is lightened when I laugh at myself,” observed Rabindranath Tagore.

I have been told many times to laugh softly but I always dismiss that advice…how can you decide how much to laugh? Isn’t that weird? I wonder how people can close their mouth and laugh!

I have never learnt to laugh gently as I didn’t want to. The real power and therapeutic effect of laughter lies in what comes from our heart, without any ifs and buts.

I have faced many stern looks of my hubby but did I ever care?

When I laugh…it just goes out loud and clear! Whenever there was a loud laughter in our staff room, our Principal assumed one of those must be me! Once she heard that and came to reprimand but I didn’t happen to be there, luckily! So much for my reputation!

Another scenario, which is embedded in my memory is laughing in libraries, when, as youngsters, we had to face the stern eyes of the librarian and ran out to laugh…such is the power of spontaneous laughter!

This Book Makes Me Laugh Like My Grandchildren!IMG_3861

This book came as a birthday gift for my granddaughter, Athena but nobody paid any attention to it as it said, “Take away the A.” A book about alphabets is considered to be useless in the modern times when alphabets are available in colorful forms, puzzles and each toy sings an alphabet song!

It also appeared to be weird because it had sentences on one page, which could be of no interest to a child of two as most of the books at this stage are pictorial with little stories or rhymes.

The book sat at the bookshelf till one day I decided to read it for my fun-loving grandson who just likes to open books, collects all of them around him and gets distracted within a moment.

This grandma is different, I told myself! No such tricks with me! When nobody takes interest in a book, I read it to myself to draw their attention and most of the times it works. Sometimes I change my voice to convey the emotion and attract their response.

This book caught their attention beyond description! The innovative style of the author is incredibly remarkable.

Each letter is mentioned in such a manner that no child can miss the fun that this book stimulates.

When you take away the ‘A’, BEAST is BEST!

Without the ‘B’, BRIDE goes for a RIDE!


This book plays with letters in a creative manner to take away one alphabet and create a new word.

It doesn’t just highlight the ABCs but also introduces words in an interesting and humorous manner.Chair has hair!

Without the ‘C’, CHAIR has HAIR!

‘JAM I AM’ is equally funny.IMG_3870

Once we discovered the fun, it became our favorite book and is now read everyday.

When you take away the L, PLANTS wear PANTS.


The moment we reach this page, we all break into peals of laughter.

We must have read it a hundred times but the fun never seems to wane.

Children don’t wait for humor to laugh…they create their own funny situations and even inspire us to laugh heartily…that is why they are called the flowers of our garden, always lending warmth and fun to our lives.

“A good time to laugh is any time you can.” – Linda Ellerbee

Do you laugh loudly or do you think it is embarrassing? I am waiting eagerly for your answers.

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.

This is not a book review or a sponsored post.





Why I Salute My Mother Silently Each Mother’s Day…

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My mother is a very simple, naïve and kind-hearted person. She has been forgiving everyone, without claiming to be angelic, without giving any credit to herself and her goodness.

As a child I couldn’t understand her, didn’t like the way she responded to my needs and desires. I didn’t like the way she let things be. I detested her lack of action against the atrocities she could tolerate.

She passed on mute messages. I am glad I could gather them.

Alas! I couldn’t appreciate her sterling qualities. My dominating and aggressive father had overshadowed her real characteristics and never let her grow into the kind of woman she could have been.

She became whatever circumstances demanded her to be. She adjusted to all kinds of situations, without any resentment. Probably she didn’t have a choice. She was conditioned to accept the unwritten norms of the society she lived in.

Her empty insensitive words could not affect me but her suffering and struggle did.

What she taught me, without telling me was more effective:

Love is not a trophy to exhibit:

I had a strange relationship with my mother till a particular age. I always thought she doesn’t love me as my focus was always on her unsavory comments she passed on my rebellious nature and me. Never did she say the word ‘love.’ Probably she herself had never been loved. Orphaned and married at 13, she had no exposure to finer emotions, which are picked up from a loving family.

The word ‘love’ always remained subdued in my life too as it had never been nurtured. I came to know it as a silent emotion, which could be felt deep down in our hearts…it was unconditional; it was listening and complying with all the diktats of the family and the society.

Self-love was taboo. It was being selfish.

Strength is the quality of the mind:

The impressionable years of my adolescence were molded in the cauldron of hostile circumstances when my mom struggled all alone to raise three children. Widowed at a very young age, she didn’t let the society pressurize her into giving in to depend on the hungry wolves, waiting to devour her and her husband’s property, her sole source of meager income.

Her resilience was worth emulating, her sacrifices sacrosanct and her courage inimitable. She became an incarnation of inspiration for me. Her strength left an indelible mark on my personality albeit I realized it much later in life.

Detachment is a way of life:

She has never been clingy and gave away all she had, without worrying about her own future welfare. She could detach most naturally though she is visibly shaken inside. She could never find enough words to express herself well but she made us capable of reading those repressed emotions. My gratitude goes to her for giving us the wings, for freedom of thought and expression, for never forcing anything down our throats.

Acceptance is not a sign of weakness:

It strengthens us mentally and emotionally; it acquaints us with our weaknesses, our failures and follies and renews our energy to deal with our emotions effectively.

Now I know why my mom accepted all that came her way.

Now I can see the value of each tear she shed alone and how it endowed her with greater toughness.

Now I can figure out why her words were so acerbic as they depicted her own pain, which I could not see at that phase of life.

I salute you dear mother, for making me what I am today.

I owe an apology to you for misunderstanding you; for underestimating your anguish and angst. I know it was your love for us, which made you toil day and night to give us an economically secure and brilliant future.

I wish you the best of opportunities and lot of love in your next life, if there is any.

I pray for your good health and happiness till your last journey, which I know has to be peaceful if God sees the truth.


Thank you for reading this. Please share your reflections about what you learnt from your mother.

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

Balroop Singh.