To handle adolescents properly, parents need to have a disciplined approach, effective communication, patience and understanding.

This was the observation of speakers at the ‘Art of Parenting' workshop organised by The Hindu in association with Shriram Panorama Hills at Sri Prakash Vidyaniketan on Wednesday.

Mood swings

Addressing a large gathering of parents, psychologist Shalini Kocherla said that adolescence was a stage between childhood and adulthood, a phase when many biological, social, intellectual and emotional changes take place in an individual.

“The child becomes conscious of physical appearance, is susceptible to mood swings and tends to be ego-centric. Their decisions are influenced by the relationships they share in schools and colleges. This is also a time when they develop a sense of identity and there are moments of rebellion,” she said.

Parents must understand these changes to effectively tackle the situation.

Establishing a set of rules and limits, teaching children to develop self-discipline as well as setting positive examples are vital in handling adolescents.

Academic consultant and nutritionist Suguna Kanan spoke on the importance of nutrition in the overall development of children.

A balanced diet and proper intake of vitamins and minerals lead to better mental development.

Unrealistic dreams

“Nowadays, due to the impact of mass media, youngsters have unrealistic dreams and often suffer due to faulty dietary habits. Right from movies to advertisements like Kareena Kapoor's ‘size zero' goal affects the young minds. They stop eating in order to get a slim figure, leading to severe nutritional deficiencies like anorexia nervosa or bulimia nervosa,” Dr. Kanan said. She listed a health chart highlighting the right doses of food intake.

Director of Sri Prakash Vidyaniketan Vasu Prakash, Chief Marketing Officer, Shriram Properties Ltd., Gan Bhukta, and Regional General Manager of The Hindu T.V. Suresh were present.

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