Understanding Young Minds

Vidya Murthy
Published on: November 2011
'The ultimate goal of psychology is to benefit the society. Youngsters who are especially in the period of "Storm and Stress"(Adolescence) have abundant energy which can be used for the amelioration of a society. We need to focus on how we can make our teen understand that they are responsible for their own behavior and how it affects the society. The energy, creativity and power of young people should ensure that they can see a future for themselves in the societies in which they live.

To develop a sense of self and personal identity, teens are exploring their independence and developing a sense of self. If proper encouragement and reinforcement through independence and control is given, then their personal exploration will change the society.

The primary sources of tension and trouble for teens are: Relationships with friends and family; The pressure of expectations from self and others; Pressure at school from teachers, coaches, grades and homework; Financial pressures; and Tragedies in the lives of family and friends.
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Most teenagers respond to these stressful events in their lives by listening to music, trying to make their own decisions, daydreaming, trying to figure out solutions, keeping up friendships, watching television and being close to people they care about. These behaviors are appropriate for adolescents who are trying to become independent and take responsibility for themselves.

But to take in their energy for the melioration of the society young people must learn and practice coping skills to get them through an immediate conflict or problem. Coping strategies must emphasize self-responsibility to find positive, non-destructive ways to find relief.

Communication skills are important. This involves being able to talk and being a good listener. It is important to express feelings, vent emotions, and talk about problems and issues.

Peers are good sympathizers, but it often takes an adult perspective to begin to plan how to make changes for the better. Young people need help to learn problem-solving skills. Sorting out issues, setting goals and making plans to move forward are skills that can be taught and practiced. Diverging trends in the youth will reform society if we utilize it at the right time!
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