In today’s time teenagers hold high priority to their interactions through social media profiles and they are getting glued to their smartphones, day by day. No matter if they are at home or in a social gathering, more than involving themselves in a real conversation with their parents, siblings or even with their friends, their one portion of concentration is always attached with their Facebook or twitter profiles – how should they share a current moment in the social media? or how many likes and comment have appeared for their last updated post or pic? etc.
As per psychologist Shivani Misri Sadhoo there are many negative implications of this trend but one primary damaging factor among teenagers: they are losing their ability to sit in silence, do introspection, to do thoughtful real life discussion and most importantly they are missing the ability to be 100% present in the current situation. Psychologist Shivani shares that adolescence is a time when young people discover their unique identities. They need moments of silence to reflect on their experiences, to discover who they are as individuals, what kind of relationships they desire, and what they value and believe about life. Tuning out the noisy world helps young people develop the ability to reflect and grow.
For parents, Shivani shares some tips that parents can follow to develop introspection, sitting in silence and to get 100% involved with life in teens:
1. Be proactive to invite teenagers to a conversation that ask them to go deeper. Generally parents start giving hard thoughts to sort out teenage issues when the situations start getting bad. Instead from an early age, give adequate time to spend personal time with teens, ask them how they feel about a particular situation, what they believe should have been done etc.
2. Instead of adopting critic approach, ask teens to share their experiences, feelings, fears, anxieties. For example, instead of telling a teenager just how bad they have scored in exams or they should be ashamed of their results; parents should explore the scope to ask their teens to share how they are feeling, fearing, pain from their results, do they believe their scores are justified for their efforts they have given? What caused them to score less, how they should perform better next time. Don’t put your observations and understanding on them as the final truth, rather guide your teens to develop their own realistic understanding.
3. Teens have their own individual experiences, environment, external situations that can be different to what their parents has experienced in their own teenage. So parents should honour the validity of young people’s thoughts and feelings rather than judging them. Adults should accept ideas with open-mindedness. When we accept and listen to a young person’s feelings, it gives them permission to explore meaning in greater depth.
When we engage teenagers in conversations that encompasses the above suggestions, young people become curious and thoughtful. They start doing self-reflection and when this starts, they will likely find their own ways and times for silence and introspection. They will ignore the noise of text messages, cell phones, and nonstop activity.