Schools play a pivotal role, be it in the formative, pre-teen or adolescent years, in providing students an environment in which they learn and grow. The opportunity to gain greater social and emotional awareness and to practice these acquired skills happens in the school. The adolescent years are crucial to the development of the child in understanding, strategic thinking and skills to survive beyond the school environment.
It is the right time to recognize and manage their emotions, behaviour in various situations and also to make responsible decisions. The school environment thus helps in building the resilience to deal with stress, deciding on goals and planning for the future.
Adolescent years are the transition years from a childlike to adult-like personality; hence the mood swings are quite common. These years can easily develop and shape the student as a holistic individual. It shapes their partnerships with peers, families, friends; highlighting engagement, trust and collaboration. Effective parenting helps in the smooth transition of the adolescent years.
Here is what you can do to help and support your child to develop socially and emotionally:
1) Developing a unique personality and identity – give them free rein to express their ideas and thoughts, take decisions and become more independent.
2) Attracted to risk taking and the unknown – a firm guidance and establishing ground rules will help your teen to understand the right and wrong.
3) Influenced by peers and friends – in these years, friends influence the short-term goals like which movie to watch, what to wear, etc. But, you as a parent will influence the long-term goals. Hence, striking a balance and understanding your teen’s friends is very important.
4) Emotionally oscillating – mood swings are very common during these years. Be patient to understand these mood swings. They may go from anger to indifference in minutes but the root cause for the anger has to be established to help your teen.
5) Very sensitive – can be easily hurt by comments; so rationing of comments on appearance or behavior is very important. Your emotions also have an impact on your teen at this stage.
6) Developing opinions – the curiosity leads to learning which further leads to establishing opinions, values and morals in the adolescent years. Respect your teen’s opinions and if asked about yours, explain very succinctly. This will help in avoiding conflicts.
You can also support by listening to your child and spending quality time together. Be a help and heal if there is an emotional upheaval, be a silent spectator and enjoy when your teen is happy, encourage if they are pursuing a passion or interest. You are still a great influence and hence being a role model will help for a happy and healthy adolescent at home.