A youngster when faced with a problem would rather avoid than face it. To prevent the avoidance strategy from becoming a habit , parents and teachers must be constantly alert for signs that avoidance of disagreeable tasks is becoming a preferred way of life for the the young ones, and then be prepared to intervene. One of the first things to remember is that children and teenagers often take great pains to prevent their parents from knowing that they have an unpleasant task to perform or something that causes them anxiety. Thought not so easy, there are all sorts of indications that can alert parents to such problems, and most parents will know what these are where their own children are concerned.
Praise like criticism can be destructive. Everyone is aware that no one can praise an individual all the time. It is not human . Hence praise has to be realistic and must be related to the action or the task or something that the individual has accomplished rather than his character or personality. Criticism and praise should never be mixed. It is easier and less confusing for an youngster to cope with honest praise or honest criticism than dishonest mixture of them.
Indifference to studies
A major vexing problem faced by parents is the deterioration
or indifference in studies shown by the teenager. Valuing studies and valuing good performance in a family help the youngster to learn to study adequately and at appropriate times, and make this a habit . For this, the attitude or the family toward learning is very important. It should include in addition to valuing learning, family's commitment to help and support each other in learning tasks. Here again consistency in holding such attitudes and behaving in terms of that attitude are very essential, in the sense that when the children need parents' help in learning, it should be available to them.When the teenager brings such difficulties to the parents, and if the latter are not familiar with the particular subject concerned then scolding the youngster or asking as to why he did not get these doubts clarified from the teacher, calling him or her names, or avoiding or postponing the concerned work by conjuring up excuses, etc.., would not only desist the youngster from ever again bringing such problems to their parents, but would make them adopt a negative attitude towards work. The following are the ways in which parents can help their children to overcome tendencies to shirk difficult learning tasks or mastering a subject:
(1) Getting genuinely engaged in these tasks and facilitating the youngster to get help and learn to master the subject.
(2) Showing a willingness to help find ways to achieve mastery, but making the youngster do the work rather than completing the tasks for him.
(3) Trying to give insights to the youngsters regarding the dynamics behind their avoiding strategies, which would help them to work at resisting the temptation to evade disagreeable tasks.
(4) By being cheerful and at the same time very firm and insisting that the tasks should be completed.
Why does interest is studies flag ?
Many a times, dedicated students show lack of interest in studies during adolescence . One of the reasons put forth by teachers is that they get distracted because of their gradual exposure to new changes in and around them .
How to sense that your child is losing interest in academic field?
Growing children begin with loss of interest in a particular subject or books in general . Some children lose interest due to discouraging teachers and lack of motivation at home . Some begin to complain of severe head aches during study hours . Many children are low achievers and find it too hard to shoulder the burden of higher classes .
In a few cases, children are talented in some other fields but are unable to develop their areas of interest and finally land up doing nothing.
Rights and responsibilities
Another aspect of dealing with teenagers is that of making sure that the youngster understand that right and responsibilities go hand in hand. When teenagers demand certain rights or freedom, they must also be made to understand their responsibilities that go with freedom.
As the youngster reaches the mid-teens, another phenomenon emerges: parent's attitudes, beliefs and values are subjected to direct challenge. These are normal and natural and nothing to worry about.. Parents should not take these intellectual attacks too seriously or personally. Teenage attitudes are notoriously fluid.
It must be remembered that to let their assumptions go unchallenged is most unwise, as it encourages them to think wrongly and gives them a false sense of victory that comes from bullying, which may well become a habit in course of time . Furthermore, they also depend on the parents to point out the limits of acceptable behavior.
Character traits cannot be taught directly; no one can teach loyalty by lectures, courage by correspondence, or manhood by mail. Character education requires presence that demonstrates and contact that communicates. A teenager learns what he lives through, and becomes what he experiences. To him, the mood is the message, the style is the substance, the process is the product.
To conclude, while the science of psychology and education have greatly increased parents' knowledge and understanding of normal child development and of the children's learning methods etc..they have also pointed out that intuition and common sense remains inestimably valuable tools for parents who encounter the normal problems of raising children. Knowledge gained from psychology helps in alerting parents to situations when something more than intuition and common sense is required.
Lack of motivation
Teaching staff and parents are the two main sources of motivation . But both support systems are crumbling down .
"Completing the prescribed syllabus by hook or by crook seems to have become an end in itself unrelated to the philosophical, social psychological aims of education ."
Both teaching and learning have become cumbersome . Teachers always operate under pressure . Their sole aim is to finish the syllabus .
Students on the other hand find learning a boring and unpleasant experience . In fact they mug up full fledged lessons without understanding much . Teachers do not have enough time and sometimes not even the inclination to make sure whether or not a student grasps the basics . In no time, students start viewing books as a load they have to shoulder and examination a fearful experience that leaves them disheartened and broken .
Over ambitious parents
Growing children nowadays undergo a lot of tension and internal conflict because their parents are over ambitious . They want their children to fulfill al their unfulfilled desires and ambitions . Parents provide all facilities to the children, leaving no stone unturned. The result is that children constantly feel over loaded but still attempt to achieve the impossible just because parental pressure mounts.
Ignoring talent and creativity
Every individual is creative or talented in one way or the other . It is not difficult to find out where one's interest lies . A child who is inclined towards sketching will definitely be more interested in his drawing assignments rather than in division or multiplication and vice versa .But if the environment is not conducive then chances are that he may never develop his talents . During adolescence , likes and dislikes come to the fore and the teenagers mould themselves in a particular personality type . This is the time when we as parents and teachers can not only help each other to understand them better but also guide these growing children to choose a particular field . One should always encourage the child to excel in a field of its own choice because success in life has a deep rooted link preferences and interests .
Inadequate Education System -The Cause of all ills
Our education system is qualitatively inadequate . The syllabus is very heavy . Teachers are either not skilled and many a times personal attention becomes impossible as the classes are large .Thus learning becomes frustrating. Some students manage to cope up and weaker souls give up or drop out .
The present education system does not make learning possible . There is too much of stress on one-time performance. Cramming is the only tool that ensures success in exams . Learning and scoring well in exams are two different things . Some students are very intelligent and do well in class tests but fail to perform equally well in the final exams. The reason is simple . The syllabus is more during exams and students generally fail to retain and later on reproduce the prepared lesson . Semester system judges performance in a better way .
In short , the importance of learning should be stressed .
Education system should be reformed, if not changed .
The Influencing Factors
Bringing up a child in the modern age is no doubt a difficult task but a friendly and optimistic attitude confirms a breakthrough .From birth to puberty, parental influence is maximum and is clearly evident in every move, action or for that matter just every thing the child thinks or speaks. While talking to people, children frequently quote their mothers and fathers:
But parental influences wane as children grow older and other social influences become increasingly important with the beginning of adolescence.
During adolescence there main factors at work are:
- Peer influence
- Information from mass media
Nowadays children are maturing intellectually at a faster rate because of better education facilities that have changed the entire school environment. From the very beginning, children are exposed to computers, environmental problems and audio-visual aids are made use of for giving practical knowledge about various aspects of life.
This gives them capacity to think, to comprehend and to sense problems.
Peers are people of the same general age and educational level with whom we associate. What peers think begins to have an effect on attitudes during adolescence, when boys and girls begin to spend less time at home, less time with parents and more time with friends and acquaintances. If your growing children show a behavioral change . make sure you involve them in every decision that affects their life style, if you don't want a rebel in your house.
Normally adolescents reject time tables but if they have a hand in making one they feel important.
Information from mass media
TV. programs that deal with teenage problems, newspapers, magazines etc. are effective platforms that deal with problems confronted by the growing children. The adolescents watching such programs feel as if their feelings are being presented effectively. Adolescents are seen taking out time for television programs or reading ' Agony Aunt sections published in newspapers and magazines. Every child tends to identify his or her problems with those being put forth in such programs or columns. They undoubtedly have a direct bearing on the child's mind, making him think over and over again as to how he should make his parents realise that he should be taken seriously.