It is necessary to keep the channels of communication open with adolescents to facilitate ease of expression.
This can be done by parents, teachers or friends, said Shalini Sharma, Professor and Head, Counselling Welfare, Training and Placement, Nitte Mahalinga Adyanthaya Memorial Institute of Technology, Nitte, here on Friday.
Speaking on “Understanding our adolescents and their emotions” at a seminar on “Youth and wellbeing” being held at School of Social Work Roshni Nilaya, Prof. Sharma said keeping the channels open helped the listener relate to even facts that were not pleasant.
Those lending an ear to adolescents should not be judgemental. Furthermore, the discourse should be kept secret. “This will encourage adolescents to pour their heart out,” she said.
To drive her point, she presented case studies of students who had no one to share their problems with. One of them was about a girl who had been photographed with her boyfriend in a room when she had gone for a picnic with her fiends. “The person who had taken the photograph blackmailed her and extorted money by threatening to send the photograph to her parents,” she said. The girl could have been spared the trauma if she had a confidant, she said.
Prof. Sharma said adolescence brought with it a range of emotions, which were largely inherited.
Children obey their parents till they were 10, then they started questioning authority figures.
This was the time when attraction towards the members of the opposite sex was felt, she said. “If they commit any mistake, correct it in a right way,” she said.
It was important to allow adolescents to develop relationships beyond their family. A group allowed them to keep their feelings in check, she said.
Prof. Sharma’s presentation was first of the four talks scheduled to be held as a part of the two-day seminar.
Gopinath, retired Professor, Canara Pre University College, inaugurated the workshop.