Have you observed that today’s youth is perhaps most stressed and confused with regards to their future plans and the career pathways they should look at? Equally stressed are the parents who in fact fail to understand and prioritise on the right kind of parenting even after being completely aware of their child’s most crucial part of life, their career.
Adolescence is a phase of life beginning in biology and ending in society, as it is the period within the life span when most of a person’s biological, cognitive, psychological, and social characteristics are changing from what is typically considered child-like to what is further considered adult-like.
From the School life to College, it is a complete transition when boys and girls not only face dramatic challenges but are also looked differently by their family and the peers.
As they enter the precincts of a University education on the social front, a new and tantalizing horizon opens up- dating, partying, hanging out with friends, sports, music, internet relationships etc. The teenager is under much duress to schedule time, prioritize work and achieve goals.
On the other hand, parenting teenagers is like walking on a thin ice. Parents need to strike the right kind of balance. Parents often live their dream through their children and this is when the pressure builds. Expecting the teenager to excel in academics, get good grades, be the child of their expectations – well behaved, responsible for themselves and sometimes for their younger siblings and at the same time bring accolades from extra- curricular activities – is in itself enough pressure.
Added to this is peer pressure. Teens want to be accepted among peers and feel the need to become more popular through other channels like music, sport and if need be by bulling and getting into the school gang. They are often under great stress to become acceptable and popular. Amidst such hectic activity, the seeds of restlessness, anxiety, fear of failure anf unbearable stress is planted. The most immature and easy escape could lead them to unforeseen problems like formation of unacceptable habits, teenage depression, substance abuse, trouble with the law, etc.
Social and parental pressure
Every significant other adult around the teen is attempting to mould them into an acceptable shape. Parents, teachers, elders in the family, social groups are all party to this. The teen is hardly ever able to do what he/she wants to do with their life. Even though people do not push their views down their throats, they are still under a lot of strain because of the variety of suggestions and the fear of failure attached to them. Frequently, teens arrive at decisions that often conflicts with their own skills or fields of interest.
The teen is suddenly expected to transcend and act like an adult, with good social and self- help skills in areas like managing work independently, decision making, managing their finances well, being responsible, etc. With this, every parent complains about filthy bedrooms, untidy shelves and cabinets, smelly socks and missing stuff, I wonder where is the time! Their inability to handle pressure makes them defiant in the face of expectations and more prone to anxiety, depression etc. Parents expect everything from their wards, but often forget how much they themselves are contributing to meet their ward’s ends.
As the Head of an educational institution, I come across with at least 200 boys and girls every year and find it astonishing that some parents just don’t bother about their ward’s activities and whereabouts. They don’t bother if the children are studying, scoring good grades or failing or facing some personal problems? There are parents who are blind to the talents of their respective sons and daughters. The students are often very talented I always try to focus on such boys and girls who are meant for a particular field and our calculations have proved correct most of the time.
I observe many boys and girls who join us during their higher education and it is perhaps my sixth sense that immediately spots a student with a confused mind. Parents hardly pay any attention towards their wards, and today’s youth think that their teachers are the best people to understand them and their potential. There are often conflicts in the families and most of the elite society parents are more interested in their own circle, having no time for their children. They however do not forget substituting their presence with expensive smartphones, laptop with internet, car or bike and heavy pocket money.
They fail to understand that parenting is a biological and a social process which involves much more than a mother or father providing food, safety, and succour to an infant or child.
Bereft of proper parenting where do these boys and girls go and who should guide them? I believe teachers have an important role to play by raising their self-esteem and making every single student feel valued as an individual, irrespective of what they achieve. Teachers are the ones who can actually watch a student not only in the class but also outside in the campus, as they spend almost the entire day in the college campus and also know in which direction the child can be moulded.
If you watch them in the initial months you can always mentor them and help prepare their roadmap. I have seen mediocre students with average pointers being highly creative and in today’s time of multiple and specialised skilled job, they can perform better than a student who earns eight pointers.
“Where do I go and make my career?,” is an obvious question that pops up in every student’s mind as they enter into second year of their graduation. If parents fail to judge his ward’s interest area, the teacher should play this role as they are better in their judgement for the right kind of career.
We have done our studies within the strict discipline of our parents for whom engineering, medical or teaching were the only careers but times have changed. The modern day youth has immense talent and potential to perform.
What lacks is the proper parenting and more responsibility on teachers and peers to tell the youth what they should aim at and their “role models”.
These children have the talent and they do achieve their goals. What are you waiting for? Give a helping hand to your students….!