Monday, February 5, 2018


Uncertainty about its aims

Although Education is an instrument as well as a catalyst of social transformation and expected to bring about qualitative change in man’s perception, attitudes, habits, priority and goals, the real sense of values in recent days is somewhere missing. Moreover, the present system of education is information oriented not character-based. It is consumerist in nature and tends to make one selfish, self-centered, irreverent and cynical. It sharpens reasons but hardens the heart. It lays little or no emphasis on such basic values as truth, love, honesty, humility, compassion, forbearance and justice. It makes one conscious about one’s rights not duties. The net result is that a strongly individualistic and materialistic culture has taken birth, which promotes self-aggrandizement, nurtures opportunism and chicanery, and generates tension in society.

The ghost of technological power unwittingly released by man can be contained only by the right kind of education which combines science with spirituality, fitness with health, reasons with faith, empirical knowledge with intuition and insight; which keeps both progress and peace as its goals and is helpful in mitigating social evils. The parenting in the earlier years and character education in school hours has to be re-organized to meet the needs of the fast moving world.

 The Right Approach

Quote from ‘Manashakti’ published book:  “Learn to Mind Your Mind”

Foundation for nurturing the character has to be set at the earliest, even at preconception and prenatal level. Though it’s never too late to be right, one needs to be totally flexible to melt into new mental mold. Right from prenatal stage to the age of seven, major brain development takes place which is the correct time for the emotional foundation of the child. Emotional and physical, both types of growths are almost complete at age 21. It’s a vital period to inculcate right values and ideas. Teachers, parents and every member of the society concerned, have a key role to play in preparing kids for life and not just for exams and careers. However, elders cannot go on preaching and teaching as they must lead by example. Children learn more through observation. Therefore the proper behavior on parts of parents and teachers is necessary. Indian thinkers and sages have put forth their views in classical literature. Patanjali’s Ashtang yoga is the master plan laid out for the entire life, a guide for highest human evolution by own efforts.


The age-old Ashtanga Yoga system in its initial steps; namely Yama and Niyama ensures the above aspect. If this is imparted properly, children will have a strong base and problems in the next generation will be substantially lesser.

YAMA (यम - Duty for others)

Ahimsa (अहिंसा): Non-violence. Inflicting no injuries or harm to others even to own self. Non – violence of thoughts, words and deeds.

Satya (सत्य): Truth in word and thought.

Asteya : (अस्तेय) Non – covetousness to the extent that one should not even desire something that is not his own.

Brahmacharya (ब्रह्मचर्य) : Abstain from sexual intercourse. To the extent that one should not possess any unholy thought towards any other man or woman except one’s own spouse.

Aparigrah (अपरिग्रह) : Non – possessiveness.

NIYAMA (नियम-Duty for self)

Shaucha (शौच): Cleanliness of body and mind.

Santosha (संतोष): Satisfaction. Satisfied with what one gets after right efforts.

Tapas (तपस): Austerity and associated observances body discipline and thereby mental control.

Swadhya (स्वाध्याय): Study of the Vedic scriptures (spirituality) to know about God and Soul, which leads to introspection on a greater awakening to the soul and God within.

Ishwarpranidhan (ईश्वर प्रणिधान): Surrender to (or worship of) God / cosmic power.

A Road Map for Life:

The yamas and niyamas are the foundation for a meaningful and Life changing yoga path. They are not only useful for the kids but also for all elders. Living according to these principles bring Peace, joy, and understanding to your world. Your compassion and awareness will grow, and your life journey will flourish. As you begin incorporating the Yamas and Niyamas into your everyday life, it would lead to positive changes! This is the right path for the nurture of right character, and total personality development of a person.

Character is everything

Money can give you bread, But not hunger.
Money can give you bed, But not sleep.
Money can give you medicine, not health.
Money can give you comfort, But not peace.
Money can give you power, But not respect.
Money can give you degree, not knowledge.
Money can give you security, not freedom.

It is CHARACTER and CHARACTER alone that can give you … Everything

What is the assistance available from Manashakti?

Manashakti Research Centre conducts special training camps for the children and their parents, teachers on this subject. The training camps receive an overwhelming response as it is useful to help parents in molding character of the kids. Every parent’s experience of raising a teenager is different. More parents probably need support than ask for it. If you have concerns about your teenager’s behav­ior, MANASHAKTI can help. Counselling for specific issues you face and group guidance / counselling is available. Some relevant training programs are given.

Youvanachya Kranti-disha (Revolution in Youth-hood)

This course is meant for teenagers between the age 15 and 21 years. It covers:

1. A special session to enhance better communication between parents and pupils.
2. The technique to develop the right brain along with the left brain.
3. The three day camp at a stage of life when youths wish to prove themselves.
4. The scientific information, guidance and test based solutions about the various
Stages of intellectual and emotional development along with the physical development.

Kutumb-Sukha-Vardhan (Family Contentment)

This course is conducted for parents. In it, basic remedies in principle, on various problems in family life are suggested. The course is designed to guide as to what should be the role of the parents when their children are coming of age as independent personalities, how to guide them while maintaining a friendly relationship, how to help them in getting over their intellectual, physical and psychological stress and how to find a golden median amidst all of this and enhance the overall happiness of the family. This course is conducted parallel for the parents while their children undergo the Youth Revolution course. This course also discusses a number of tips to establish stability in the family. Duration: 3 days

Activities for Teenagers

Teenage is a time of bubbling exuberance, dreaming about goals, boldness to face challenges; a gushing yet a tremulous, sensitive mind having empathy for others! A time when one prefers the company and joy of friends to one’s parents! It's like standing at a crossroad having attractive avenues of future colorful life! At this time, your life can take a successful turn if competent and prudent guidance is at your hand! Manashakti helps through Books, Workshops, Machine Test, Experimental aids, Health Products etc.  The details can be seen from website

The most serious weakness in modern education is the uncertainty about its aims:  

A famous quote on education says “When I was bachelor and doing research I had 5 different theories on parenting. Now married having two kids, I can’t practice any one”.  
Though many of the above points are known, why they are very difficult to practice in prevailing lifestyle? Swami Vijnananand, the founder of Manashakti deals on this in his book “Save your child from yourself”, as follows:

The champions of the cause of ideal education the world over, unreservedly give assent to salient features of model education.

(a) The primary necessity is to impart moral education, a mission which is hardly mechanical.
(b) The pupils possess receptivity beyond our stretch of imagination. They of course learn by our actions. Equally our words subscribe to build their wit, wisdom and personality.
(c)       The essence of education is character-building. Parents in the uphill task should share with the school the bulk of the burden.

Instructors, guides, relatives, priests, parents are too many cooks that spoil the broth. Ordinarily most of them are incompetent to take up the task, when they themselves lack moral conception as well as character. Over and above, they hang fire having no courage to admit it. It is in this sense that the proclaimed aims of education have admittedly ended in smoke.

It is imperative to check up where the shoe pinches. The shoe, pinches where our, own imperfection is evidenced. The delicate embarrassment experienced in acceptance of the moral measure by the parents themselves becomes apparent. They accept moral education as the aim not to be ever fulfilled in practice. None dare pit against canons of morality in theory, therefore- `morality' in education is an accepted goal. But none cares implementing the conditions put forth by ethical law, in the name of formidable practical difficulties in life. As if, all concerned; the parents-and the educationist, have come to an unwritten understanding that, `truth' should be talked of with unrestricted vigor; but practiced or taught strictly when remunerative.

In this world of unbounded, chaotic selfishness, the children inherit pure selfishness-more than his parents goad him to learn. Obviously because the child excels the parents in intelligence. When the child himself ascends to the adult age he learns by heart unqualified selfishness. He himself becomes chaotic. The parents have no clue to the Gordian knot because they themselves were very small kids some decades back and were taught untruth, howsoever inadvertently.

This has to be a collective movement.


Parents may take following stance dealing with their children: “I know my child is born with some of my attributes and it is my responsibility to bring him up properly. But still I have to respect him as a unique and different person. It is not necessary that his entire thinking and behavior will be according to my opinion. I must first accept a fact that my child’s point of view can be different from my point of view. Otherwise my efforts will not be in a right direction.

“It is not a one way process. What I preach has to by my practice. While I would like my child to develop as a responsible citizen with high values of life, I would endeavor to nurture in the best possible manner.  Not the efforts are essential only for my kid, but this message has to spread effectively in society so that all kids in the upcoming generation will develop in proper manner. This has to be collective process wherein all members of the society have to be involved to seek cooperation. This awareness has to be created by collective efforts. To the extent possible I would share my efforts towards this need”. Everyone need to resolve to devote some small percentage of own resources/abilities (time/money) for this important cause of the future world.

This has to be a collective movement.

Vijay R. Joshi.

Sunday, February 4, 2018


Need of Value Education in Modern Era

Nurturing and bringing up kids in proper manner by parents (and schools) is a service to humanity. Imparting proper values in early years ensures a wise person for the future, a deserving world citizen. Values are the concepts that describe human behavior. They are desirable ideals and goals, which are intrinsic and when achieved, in fact, evoke a deep sense of the fulfillment.

These days in continuous changing conditions, values are left far behind. There is gross erosion of values of individual to keep pace with the society in order to fulfill one’s desire to be at the top. The erosion of human values in respect to truth, co-operation, non-violence, peace, love and respect for parents, elders, authority and hard work is leading to the decay of moral and social fabric of society at a speed never witnessed in the history of civilization. Our stress is too much on standards of living and not on standards of life. Though the problem of decreasing values extends to the whole range of human activities, education field is regarded as the proper place to inculcate positive values.

Though we have made progress in knowledge, still we are not above the levels of our past 
generations in ethical and spiritual life. In some, we have declined from their standards. Inculcation of human values has to be stressed in our system of modern education to prevent and combat world terrorism, tension, diversities, self-centered vision and violence. Through quality education; restoring of humane values (viz., social, moral, spiritual, environmental, Political and Work values) is possible. The main aim of value education is to reform attitude and behavior, to promote healthy lifestyle, to shape the high moral character and to develop refined personality of younger generation, who can prove themselves as the best citizen of a nation.

In his book, The Educated Child, William J. Bennett writes, “Good character education means cultivating virtues through formation of good habits.” According to Bennett, children need to learn through actions that honesty and compassion are good, and that deceit and cruelty are bad. He believes that adults in schools and parents should strive to be models of good character.

Character education is most effective when it is spread throughout regular school course. In science, teachers can discuss the value of honesty in data, and in math, students can learn persistence by sticking with a problem until they get the right answer. History holds valuable lessons and heroes of character, such as the honesty of Abraham Lincoln, who walked three miles to return 6 cents.

Character education includes having high standards for students’ academic success, too. “When they are challenged to work up a mental sweat, they learn about virtues such as industry and persistence,” writes Bennett. “When students rarely get homework, when they aren’t held accountable for mistakes in spelling or grammar or arithmetic, when they can put forth little effort but still earn high grades, schools foster laziness, carelessness and irresponsibility.”

A typical Character Education Program:  

The Beaufort County School District’s Character Education program was formed to support parents' efforts in developing good character in their children. The schools counselors identified a list of character words and definitions deem important regardless of a person's political leanings, race, gender or religious convictions. The purpose of the Character Education program is to integrate good character traits into the total school environment, as well as into the community. These words and definitions focus on the attitudes and personal qualities that build a foundation for success in life and work. These character traits are imbedded throughout the curriculum and are a daily focus of both students and school staff members. 

Frequently Asked Questions about Character Education

1.       What is character education?

Character education is an educational movement that supports the social, emotional and ethical development of students. It is the proactive effort by schools, districts, and states to instill in students important core, ethical and performance values such as caring, honesty, diligence, fairness, fortitude, responsibility, and respect for self and others. Character education provides long-term solutions to moral, ethical, and academic issues that are of growing concern in our society and our schools. Character education teaches students how to be their best selves and how to do their best work. 

Eleven Principles of typical Character Education Program: 

Promotes core ethical and performance values
Teaches students to understand, care about, and act upon these core ethical and performance values.
Encompasses all aspects of the school culture
Fosters a caring school community
Provides opportunities for moral action
Supports academic achievement
Develops intrinsic motivation
Includes whole-staff involvement
Requires positive leadership of staff and students
Involves parents and community members
Assesses results and strives to improve 

Character education is always an essential part of schools’ mission. In fact, since the founding of American nation’s public schools, character development was always an integral part of schooling along with academics. Today’s character education movement is a re-emergence of that important mission. 

2.       Why do we need character education?

As Dr. Thomas Lickona, author of Educating for Character, stated, "Moral education is not a new idea. It is, in fact, as old as education itself. Down through history, in countries all over the world, education has had two great goals: to help young people become smart and to help them become good."
Since children spend sizable day time in school, schools must be proactive in helping develop supportive environments where students develop into healthy, caring, hard-working men and women. In order to create the caring and respectful schools and communities we all want, we must be intentional and comprehensive in educating for character. 

3.       Is character education as important as academics?

The social, emotional and ethical development of young people is just as important as their academic development. It is, in fact, the precursor to academic achievement. As Theodore Roosevelt stated, "To educate a man in mind and not in morals is to educate a menace to society." After all, we know that good workers, citizens, parents, and neighbors all have their roots in good character. 

4.       How do we know character education works?

Schools that infuse character education into their curricula and cultures, find improved academic achievement, behavior, school culture, peer interaction, and parental involvement. They see dramatic transformations: pro-social behaviors such as cooperation, respect, and compassion are replacing negative behaviors such as violence, disrespect, apathy, and underachievement. And when these positive attitudes and behaviors are present, students are better able to commit themselves to their work, which paves the way for perseverance, diligence, and ultimately, increased academic achievement. 

Some specific examples of research conducted on character-based programs include:

In a study of four schools using Positive Action, the average number of behavioral incidents (including violence and substance abuse) requiring discipline referral dropped by 74 percent after the program was implemented for one year and by an average of 80 percent during the next six years. Additionally, absenteeism decreased between 30 to 60 percent, and achievement scores improved from an average of the 43rd to the 71st percentile range after the first year of implementation, and to an average of the 88th percentile after two to nine years. 

5.       Isn’t character education just another "add-on" that contributes to teachers’ workloads?

Character education is not an "add-on." It is, instead, a powerful and necessary method of school reform. Character education helps educators fulfill their fundamental responsibility, preparing young children for their future, by fostering caring, respectful, achievement-minded school environments. 

6.       How much time each day/week is needed for character education?

Character education should not be relegated to a "character education class" that is conducted periodically, but should be infused throughout the structures and processes of the entire school curriculum and culture. 

7.       Can character education work at all grade levels?

Although it is important to set a strong foundation during earlier grades and to reinforce that foundation during the latter grades, character education can be initiated at any grade level.

8.       Shouldn't parents be the primary character educators?

Developing character is first and foremost a parental responsibility. The task, however, must be shared with schools and the broader community. Young and old alike regularly voice concern about the challenge of raising ethical, responsible children. As such, parents and communities are increasingly looking to schools for assistance.  

9.       Who decides which character education traits are emphasized?

Each school community should reach consensus on which values are taught. To be effective, school based character education programs need broad support from all stakeholders in the community –educators, parents, community leaders, youth service groups, businesses, and faith and charitable groups. Effective character education initiatives nationwide have shown that, despite differences, schools and communities can join together around a commitment to ethical and performance values. We know that there are some things that we all value – for ourselves and for our children. We want our children to be honest and hard-working. We want them to respect those different from themselves. We want them to make responsible decisions in their lives. We want them to care about their families, communities, and themselves.

10.  Who teaches character education in a school?

Every adult in a school is a character educator by virtue of interaction with students. Regardless of whether a school has formalized character education, all adults serve as role models. Students constantly watch as adults in the school – teachers, administrators, counselors, coaches, cafeteria aides, and bus drivers – serve as models for character – whether good or bad. 

11.  How does a school implement character education? 

Comprehensive, effective character education begins when members of a school, along with the local community, come together to determine the core values that they share.  These values then become the foundation for all that the school does – curriculum, teaching strategies, school culture, and extra-curricular activities.  Character education is then infused into the broader community.

Character Education Seen as Student-Achievement Tool.

Many school administrators are realizing character education, once thought of as an intrusion on the school day, can actually help students perform better. A growing body of research supports its effectiveness, and educators say they've seen a difference in students when positive value lessons become part of the school's culture. “Good character education is good education,” said Marvin Berkowitz, a professor of character education at the University of Missouri-St. Louis. "If kids come to schools where they feel valued, safe, and feel teachers have their best interests at heart; they commit themselves," said Mr. Berkowitz. "They work harder, there are fewer distractions, and kids are more motivated. Of course they learn more."

Character education often entails a school embracing a set of values that are taught in regular advisory sessions or integrated into classroom lessons or both. Supporters say character education is simply about how people treat each other, and the ideas are fairly universal. The primary traits that schools promote, according to Mr. Berkowitz, are respect, responsibility, caring, fairness, and honesty. It is seen more in elementary schools, sometimes getting squeezed out at the secondary level to make room for more intense academics. But experts say resistance is lessening in some places.
Yet some challenge the notion of the public schools, rather than families, being charged with teaching values. They are concerned about whose values will be taught. Others, however, maintain that schools and families should share the job of nurturing character.

Educating World Citizens for the 21st Century, Oct. 8–9, 2009

Mind & Life Institute Conference held in Washington D.C. The Penn State College of Education was organized where experts in various fields contributed their views. The urgent challenges of a globalized and interdependent world demand a new vision of world citizenship that is not confined to national boundaries, but encompasses moral and ethical responsibilities to all humanity. People coming of age in the 21st century will need to develop unprecedented levels of intercultural cooperation, mutual moral concern, creativity, and skill in effectively addressing the challenges of the world today – challenges economic, ecological, and inter-cultural/religious in nature. An education that will prepare young people to become competent and compassionate world citizens in such a context cannot be measured only in terms of cognitive skills and knowledge, but must address wider aspects of the heart, including skills and qualities of awareness associated with conscious self-regulation, ethical and social responsibility, and empathy and compassion for others.

This interdisciplinary dialogue was to honor insights from various perspectives on this issue, including those from educational theory and practice, philosophy, psychology, neuroscience, and the wisdom of contemplative traditions. The organizers intent was for the synergy of these converging disciplines to inspire and support visions of education that focus on the development of the whole person (including both students and educators) within more caring and effective school communities.
Educators have seen impressive results in the field of social and emotional learning (SEL), a form of education that helps children and adults develop fundamental social and emotional skills conducive to life effectiveness. Studies have documented that SEL has a positive impact on promoting ethical and pro-social behavior in young people as well as supporting their academic learning.

Neuroscience is beginning to build a body of evidence on the positive effects of contemplative practices on the minds, brains and bodies of adults. The goal is to “be the change we wish to see in the world” as Gandhi put it. Moreover, since school is often one of the most stable environments for children and youth exposed to developmental risks, focusing on school-based programs may be the best way to help children develop the non-academic skills necessary to be successful and contributing members of 21st century society.

Many such efforts are being done by thinkers in all part of the world but still except some few rare successes, the aim is yet to yield any significant results.

Vijay R. Joshi.

Monday, January 8, 2018

TREAT THEM AS FRIENDS (Age Group 15 to 21 - Part 2)

 Role of Parents - Non Playing Captain

Views, needs and expressions of child, after reaching the stage of puberty, changes dramatically. Sometimes this change is so great that we are surprised and overwhelmed. When parents suddenly come across these changes, many times abrupt and unexpected, not knowing how to reconcile; they tend to worry. Anxiety, anger, annoyance, guilt, fear, hatred, uneasiness, helplessness are often the feelings which storm up in the minds of the parents. They don’t know how to be patient and support children at the same time. To find a way out, parents need to go to the root of the issue.

Problems related to Teen Agers

1. Sex, Alcohol and Drugs
2. Increased Use of Communication Devices and Social Media
3. Mood Swings
4. Aggression
5. Lying or Hiding Facts
6. Defying Rules and Arguing
7. Drastic Changes in Appearance
8. Decreased Communication
9. Spending more Time with Friends
10. Indecisiveness

Reasons of Tensions in  Young Age

In today’s rapid world; where information is processed and circulated on a great scale, young generation have to suffer on many accounts. Some of the reasons for the tensions could be:

                   Self-expectations and expectation from others.
                   Pressure from school teachers & coaches.
                   Homework and marks in unit tests.
                   Tussles and arguments between classmates.
                   Conflicts and arguments between parents and siblings.
                   Physical & biological changes due to puberty.
                   Lack of self-respect, inferiority complex.
                   Tensions and arguments between parents or in family.
                   Frequency of family problems.
                   Occasional unlucky incidents happening in a family (accidents, serious illness, surgeries etc.).
                   Disputes between close friends.
                   Criminal, arrogant atmosphere in locality.
                   Tension due to migration / transfers.
                   Events of terrorism and violence in locality.
                   Admission to new school or college.
                   Participation in various sports and cultural competition in academic life.
                   Problems related to job.
                   Too much travelling and too much inconvenience. 
                   Addictions of parents.
                   Admission problems in expected/desired school, college or faculty.
                   Emotional stress due to sexual attraction.


Young children face tension due to some of the reasons given above also may be various other reasons. Child spends most of his time during this age at home and in school/college. Therefore it is more possible that root cause of tension can be found in home or college.

Response to the stress / tension.

Many young children of this age try to get friendly advice or support from others to get rid of the tension. With this support, on many occasions; these young children solve their problems and find a way out. They may select solution to their stress through means such as playing music, listening songs, watching TV, playing games. They may also seek advice from family members and close friends. We can call such solutions positive and proper. These kinds of measures inculcate habit of independently finding solutions to adverse situation.

But children who haven’t achieved balance of their mind till this period and who are grown up in a less caring environment, may consider above tensions as big burden. They soon find these tensions unbearable. As a result they experience depression, aggressiveness, health problems, self-destructive feelings or fall victim to addiction in life. If parents have to face these kinds of results out of blues, their world gets upside down or suddenly atmosphere in home becomes serious and complicated.

Role of Parents

In such situation parents should not lose their patience and hope. It is important that they should try to keep their calm. They should try to gain confidence of their child who is suffering from strong emotions upsurge and try to calm him down. They should try to understand the problems of children and go to the root to search which series of incidents has resulted in a current situation. Then on the basis of this information, parents should try to understand the complexity of problem and evaluate every available option to get out of mess. Parents must systematically present all the remedy options to the child and encourage the troubled child to choose best suitable option. Parents should also make child understand possible consequences of his choice and encourage him to choose the correct one. Parents can provide necessary guidance and support in this regard. This process of counselling is like tough examination, but as storm settles down, parents experience enormous relief.

Useful Things To Avoid Tension

If young life is walking down the wrong path; tensions will become severe. Some useful things to reduce tension are as follows:

             Having timely and square meal. Avoid outside, spicy and roadside food.
             Regular exercise and yoga.
             Avoiding excess tea or coffee.
             Avoiding tobacco, alcohol, drugs, etc.
             Enough sleep, rest at night. Avoiding staying awake in the night.
             Using relaxation techniques.
             Trying to develop calm, firm and positive attitude.
             Developing hobbies such as sightseeing, drawing, music, dance, drama, etc.
             Cultivating hobbies.
             Reading inspiring biographies.
             Participating in social service activities with friends.
            Respecting elders. Resolving to create gratefulness, attitude of selfless service and              nurturing it with honesty.
         Staying away from vulgar and emotionally disturbing scenes on TV, internet, advertisement and other publicity media deliberately and with determination.
        Avoid chasing temporary attraction and happiness and behaving properly by doing long term thinking about life.

Non Playing Captain

Mostly parents make following statements while guiding their children:

                   This has to be right for you as it was right for me when I was of your age.
                   We try to keep you totally safe and secure.
                   I want you to do big things but only in the way I tell you.
                   You can choose the career from the options I have given to you.
                   Didn’t I tell you? I did not do this when I was young and now I deeply regret it. Why don’t you attempt it? Give it a try.

If parents look at their children as their own extension then problems will arise. Famous psychiatrist and thinker Dr. Anand Nadkarni failed in his M.B.B.S exam in his young age. The story about how his parents helped him is given in his Marathi book ‘Swabhav Vaibhav’.

“In that situation my parents did not take complete responsibility of finding a solution for me. But helped me to find one. First they asked me my opinion. When our opinions matched, they immediately asked me to get going. Where our opinions didn’t match they discussed the problem and solution from a different angle giving their point of view. If I tried to impose my point of view they firmly and clearly put forward what they felt. While contradicting my point they never emphasized my lack of experience or their abundant experience due to elderly age. Their argument used to be to the point. Even after this if I stick to my point of view, they used to warn me about the dangerous consequences of my decisions and their worries. They wouldn’t say anything further. If I got angry, they would tell me so and stop discussion on that topic then and there temporarily.”

Ten Principles for Parenting Your Teen

1.   Remember, parents matter. Make a difference in the life of your teen by providing guidance and support. At times, it may seem like your teen does not want you around. However, your child really does need you and needs to know you care.
2.   Stay warm and close. It’s impossible to love your teen too much. Spend time together at meals, and remember to say, “I love you.”
3.   Stay involved with your teen’s life. Ask questions about schoolwork and friends, and attend your teen’s extracurricular activities. Teens need to know you are interested in them just as much now as you were when they were younger.
4.   Set limits and provide structure. Clearly communicate your expectations to your teen. Rules and expectations should change throughout your child’s life, but children of all ages need clear rules.
5.   Enforce rules and consequences. Let your teen know what the consequences of breaking rules will be ahead of time. Follow through on enforcing punishments.
6.   Be consistent.  Both parents should discuss and agree on basic parenting principles for guiding their children. Then, be consistent each day and in every situation. Mixed messages from parents can lead to frustration for both parents and children. Children need consistency to help them structure their lives.
7.   Explain yourself and engage your teen in decisions and conversations. Discuss the reasons for rules and consequences with your teen. This does not mean that the rules or consequences will change, but it will help your teen understand your reasons and respect you. Teens don’t respect authority when it seems arbitrary.
8.   Don’t use harsh discipline. Harsh discipline, like yelling or slapping, is not an effective long-term approach to discipline. Do not discipline your teen when you are angry. Instead, make arrangements to talk to your teen at a later time when wisdom and good judgment, not anger, will guide your discipline choices.
9.  Treat your teen with respect. Your teen is growing up. Acknowledge your teen’s increasing independence and ability to make decisions. Guide your teen in making positive choices, but realize that he or she will make mistakes.

1   Understand adolescence is a period of change—for parents and children. As a parent, you are changing as you develop new information and skills to help guide your teen. Your teen is changing physically, emotionally, and cognitively. Look for resources to help you understand the changes your teen is going through. Such resources include other parents of teens, and books. Remember, your relationship with your teen is changing, not ending.

Parenting teens has always been an art and a science. But once you go through this with patience and perseverance, the end is always richly rewarding not only for the child but also for parents.

Vijay R. Joshi.