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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True Love Or Perfect Love?

True love is a mirage
Have you met true love? Is there anything called perfect love? These thoughts have been pestering me since I have read Vishnu’s latest book.

I don’t post all the reviews of the books I read at my blog but whenever my oldest blogger friend Vishnu (who visited my blog when it was more like a ghost abode) launches a book, he stirs my emotions and thoughts and I find a connection to say more than just about his book.

This time his book focuses on relationships, love and emotions – the topics, which pull at the strings of my heart.

The very title of his book ‘Does True Love Exist’ is thought provoking and I had a lot to say even before reading this book. I have posted my formal review about his book but some reflections that have been fluttering in my heart have to be shared before I move ahead.

True love is a mirage… it does exist. We do get enamored and infatuated by it but we have to keep following it till eternity. One of my poems glorifies true love:

True love keeps smiling in our eyes
Like a fountain that never dries
It instills hope, respect, patience
The journey of love is so elating.
Read full poem.

True love could be romantic but it wears off if it is not watered consistently with affection, care, respect and kindness. Romantic love morphs into a loving and eternal relationship if we understand what is love.

Interpretations of love differ and are as varied as people around the globe.

Vishnu talks about finding a person of your choice and developing a loving and healthy relationship, which we all yearn for. Taking a cue from his personal experiences, Vishnu’s sane advice is to love yourself before you decide about the love of your life.

Love yourself?

While I agree with the concept of self-love, I have observed so much of self-love in some cases that it makes a person self-centered, self-obsessed with one’s own needs, which leads people into their own realms of being the masters, not just of the house they live in but of the lives of persons who live in their so called home.

True love?

Vishnu says it is possible to find true love if you meet people and keep eliminating them one by one. The thoughts that still reverberate in my mind after finishing his book are…Appearances are deceptive, people put up their best behavior when they want to impress and continue to do so till their motives are accomplished.

Aren’t imperfections part of our personality?

While nobody would choose an alcoholic, a cheater or a liar consciously, you need one full life to detect a pretender or a compulsive liar who poses to be loving and truthful, denies each time that he lied and promises that he wouldn’t.True love is like ghosts - quote

True love cannot be found. It is not an artifact or a treasure, which could be discovered. It has to be learned and nurtured slowly. How rightly did William Shakespeare say: “The course of true love never did run smooth.”

Passionate love, love that claims to get the moon or the stars for us, fiery love…they are all forms of youthful, immature infatuation.

True love is a fairy tale, which can be transformed into reality by rewriting each chapter by hearing the whispers of each other’s heart, by believing in those whispers and absorbing the aches that lie within.

True love is the journey of lifetime across the rough sea, weathering all the storms on a surfing board. You may not be able to hold each other’s hand when the tide is high but you know that somebody is around to take care!

Do you believe in such love?

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.

How To Understand Poetry

Understanding Poetry
Poetry of Mother Nature

 

I don’t remember when I started liking poetry. Probably I was born with it or was fascinated by the lyrics of Mother Nature.

When I walk down my memory lane, one image looms large and that is how much effort one of our English professors used to put into explaining the poetry of Tennyson and Wordsworth. While the latter was relatively easier to understand, the former much more complex and obviously we didn’t like the one who was more challenging.

The real challenges came my way when ‘Paradise Lost,’ an epic poem by John Milton was not taught in the class (or if it was, I must be mentally absent) and even when it was discussed, it didn’t evoke any interest!

While prose can be an effortless reading unless it is stream of consciousness writing, poetry can become quite boring if we are not familiar with its techniques and tones.

Despite the tests and trails, I continued to like poetry and slowly discovered that it is a genre par excellence. It can say a lot through literary techniques, which only an admirer of Literature can understand. I still struggle to understand some subtle messages conveyed through simple words.

I have to read my blogger friend Bela’s poems thrice to understand the undertones that appear enigmatic initially. They also inspire ideas to compose another poem.

Ambiguous ideas in a poem provide a food for thought and chisel your creative skills.

Who has the time and the inclination to read and re-read a poem in this fast-paced world? Only poetry lovers do!

Another lovely friend Sue, who is a poet and a prolific blogger of amazing eminence inspires with her poetry.

Most of my blogger friends are elaborative when they share their reflections on my post. Whenever I post a poem, I get a lukewarm response and I often wonder – is it because of poetry?

Quickly my mind hurtles back, my interactions with teenagers get refreshed, all their expressions, yawns and glances stand before me, bringing those lovely memories of hate-love relationship we had with poetry…when we would try to convince each other why poetry is good or bad and how we could understand it better.

I am not an expert but I have figured out a few ways to understand poetry.Understanding Poetry

How to understand a poem:

All readers have their own approach and interpretation but how imagery is used defines a poem. Can you read between those special words to fathom their depth?

It is better to read slowly. Stop and ponder over at the word that seems simple but abstruse.

“If you’re curious, there is always something new to be discovered in the backdrop of your daily life,” says Roy T. Bennett. Be curious. Inquisitiveness and interest are two important elements that lead to our understanding of a poem.

Poetry can’t be scanned and understood like prose as the former demands concentration, attention and gentle reading.

If you read a poem in a hurry, you would miss the real meaning. Many times words are used as metaphors.

You have to be familiar with most common literary techniques like simile, metaphor, hyperbole, personification, alliteration and assonance.

Imaginative flights of poets can’t be predicted, we have to fly with them to figure out their proficiencies.

Critical analysis of a poem reveals the nuances of its theme, undertones and other signals, which remain hidden to a scanner.

Some poems are ambiguous. Probably they relate to the poet’s past or buried memory, which he wouldn’t like to reveal yet, give a vent to his emotions through writing.

“Poetry is just the evidence of life. If your life is burning well, poetry is just the ash.” – Leonard Cohen

Do you like poetry? Do you read a poem slowly?

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.

 

 

 

The Emotional Aspect Of Grief, Which Later Became My Friend!

Grief

Grief…I have written a lot of poetry about this word, which ceased to be a word for me long back and became an ever-encompassing emotion, just like the threatening dark clouds, which refuse to break away without torrential rain.

I know this emotion is not individualistic. I know it is all pervading and agonizing but when it starts defining life for us at a very young age, it becomes a part of our personality.

That is how it assaulted me, devoid of any compassion with killer instinct to annihilate my existence.

I had to deal with it single-handed, finding excuses to hide away from it, putting up a brave front, denying its existence and even shoving it into the obscure corners of my mind.

We can do so when we are very young, burying our memories with the hope that they will remain repressed. Dwelling in the world of denial we move on, pursuing our dreams and basking in their glory.

Forgetting that no glory lasts forever. Oblivious of the reality that grief is an incessant stream that flows into our life time and again and brings all those boulders back, which we had discarded in the hope of never meeting again.

It is like an ember that keeps glowing in one corner of our heart, which keeps reminding that it is real, it is persistent, it cannot die.

How can you expect a child to grieve? A child who doesn’t even know this word, who is suddenly thrown into the sea and expected to swim!

How can you tell a child to shed tears and empathize with those who want to glorify grief?

‘How dare you smile or laugh’…people remind us and compel us to keep the grief alive in our heart.

I can recollect a feeling of emptiness, of loneliness, of guilt encompassing me, shrieking…keep that emotion alive. A reprimand arising out of my heart…dare you not abandon it!

Such is the way of the world or that is what I experienced. Moments of joy were snatched away not just by the dead, who left me behind but even those who were alive because they chose to live in sorrow.Grief quote

Grief is one emotion that can never be suppressed… I learnt this lesson in the prime of my adolescence; it is better to accept it, embrace it and conduct a meaningful dialogue with it.

Give it some time to let it percolate, assess your strength, build it further and emerge emotionally resilient. Only grief can do it. It is only in misery that we learn to become understanding. Our vibes of sensitivity become more functional. We become resistant to judgments.

We learn to live with it.

“Grief is like the ocean; it comes on waves ebbing and flowing. Sometimes the water is calm and sometimes it is overwhelming. All we can do is learn to swim.” – Vicki Harrison

After all the tears and heartbreaking moments of anguish, grief starts diluting itself and steps out. We just have to open the doors and windows to let it ease. Now it re-enters in a new form if we are ready to accept him like a friend.

When I befriended grief it started patting on my back, it sat with me to reassure that it would welcome joy. I was astounded that it too loved to break free. Now both of us enjoy freedom, soar with each other, laughter accompanies us and we have vanquished negative thoughts.

We pour our concerns and tears into poetry, which is all-absorbing and provides us with somber solace.

Grief is our best friend:

It acquaints us with our inner self.

It makes us ponder to understand its nuances.

It makes us wiser and more tolerant.

It reinforces our faith and strength.

It ennobles us.

It introduces us to joy, which lies in little, fleeting moments.

Have you found a friend in grief by accepting it? Do you like this new relationship? I would love to hear your views.

The above extract, adapted from my next book, which is in initial stages, may seem gloomy and out of place but grief is one word that surely touches our lives with its cold hand, at some stage of life.

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Thank you for your support. Please add your valuable comments, they are much appreciated.

Balroop Singh.

 

I Have Understood…

Relationships

 

I have understood
The value of each tear
The pain of every reprimand
The depth of every sigh
Which deepens a relationship.

I have understood
The care of each moment
The delight of growing wiser
The sharing of those secrets
Leads to bonding of emotions

I have understood
The desire of birds to fly
The pride of perching high
The pain of separation
The joy of reunion

I wish I could also understand
Why relationships sour
Why friends turn hostile
Why emotions die
Why efforts to save them prove futile?

I know the day is not far
I know I have to explore more
Yes! I can see the mist retreating
My wisdom tooth is also almost upbeat
The weary wait is over and I retreat

My emotions have carried me too far
Its time to emerge from those caverns
And share what I have learnt…
Please wait!
© Balroop Singh.
This is a prelude to my next scheduled post, which I am holding till Friday. I know I don’t post on Fridays but you will understand when I share it. I am keeping the suspense and sharing this poem, which sums up my thoughts so succinctly about my next venture.

This is one of my earliest poems when I was just experimenting with this genre. 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 reflections, they are much appreciated.