Saturday, January 6, 2018

TREAT THEM AS FRIENDS (Age Group 15 to 21 - Part 1)

Sweet Sixteen

So far, we have tried to understand the parenting efforts for the kids from stage of pre-conception till age 14. Let us now move to the next important stage of child which is age 14 to 21.


Conception, prenatal stage, childhood, teenage, and initial teens till age fourteen……..We have considered all these stages in child’s life. Now we have reached the dawn of youth, i.e. 15 to 21 years of age. A traditional formula for this period gives following message to parents - “As your child becomes 16 years old, treat him like a friend. Once father’s shoes fit in child’s feet; treat him like a friend. Recall the quote from Chanakya neeti:

Cycles of Seven Years

While considering child’s development in post birth period, we take seven years period as the base (stage 1: age 1 to 7, stage 2: 8 to 14, stage 3: 15 to 21 years). This has scientific reason. In a human body tremendous upheaval of cells takes place continuously. Millions of cells die every second and millions of cells are born every second. This process goes on from birth to death. One blood cycle in the body gets completed approximately in ninety days or three months. It means each and every blood cell in a body is changed in ninety days. In this continuous process, each and every cell in a body changes during the period of seven years. It is said that only few brain cells don’t take part in this process. In brief, it takes about 7 years to complete one cycle of change in a body.

First three seven years stages of human in this world are especially important in character development of a person because during this stage a child transforms into a mature young person.

In this series of articles we are reviewing characteristics of brain development in these seven years stages and child’s personality that develops accordingly. The last stage in this development is 15 to 21 years of age. This stage is very important as it combines emotional development, conscience, wishes/desires and ambitions in an individual and overall personality development. This stage initiates with onset of adolescence and takes child at its peak. This period is very important for a child to create self-identity in the world and prove his capacity. Foundation building for free and successful personality should begin at this stage.

Pampering, Nurturing and Friendliness

This is master key of parenting skills given by Indian Vedic System. Children who get this kind of nurture are lucky. First parents should pamper their children, later they should shape their mindset. This means developing every possible ability in child and guiding for disciplined behavior. Then in the last stage development of child should take place in a friendly manner. Parents should treat children in a friendly manner and advise them as an elderly friend whenever they need.  If child spends first 25 years of his life thus studying, learning and building physical/psychological/social skills, this will create confidence in the child and ability to achieve ambitions. He can use his mind, body and intelligence properly. When parents are pampering and nurturing child; they first give sense of security and direct him towards balanced attitude and discipline. Friendly discussion and heart to heart dialogue with parents widens the horizon of child’s intelligence, and optimizes his understanding and attitude.


The thought waves in the atmosphere (of homes and schools) influence the child’s behavior.
The decision process in brain influence the action of the child.
The brain functioning depends upon genes functioning.
The genes function depends upon nature and nurture.

This should be the key to the process of the Nurturing.


But parents must nurture child properly at earlier stage. Parents should not allow children to do whatever they want, howsoever they want, sleep and wake up whenever they want, behave with people the way they want. Verbally, clearly parent should make them realize their mistakes in proper way.

As observed from many homes, these days, Sundays and holidays have become time to make parents themselves and their children lazy and fun seeking person. People, all members in the home sleep late till 8’o clock, 9’o clock in the morning. In a lighter mood they eat whatever they want, behave howsoever they want. This could be considered ok for the elderly, as relaxation, but not for the upcoming teenagers, who have to mold their future.

Actually, looked from the child’s future, this is the stage when parents have to discipline child’s body, senses and habits. They must learn the lessons of disciplined behavior during this stage which would help them in future life. Therefore if child is not taught discipline in this age he becomes promiscuous and wicked. Children must learn discipline from parents and schools. It is inevitable that parents and teachers should be aware of this and should lead the child’s behavior through their role model by own behavior.

Not Much Left In Your Hand But Many Things Are Still Possible

Most of the emotional and intellectual personality of a child is shaped till age of 15 to 16 years. He has built himself according to his natural characteristics, through the experiences he has gained till now. Life is now calling him. He gets an inkling of his youth and sees the challenges in life. ‘Self’ in him is getting more aware but still there is some time to leave the nest and fly freely.

Child is getting aware that he must prove himself before jumping in to world of competition. He must prove excellence in competition. For this he must learn something. He must pass the criteria of examination. Such awareness is getting shaped at psychological level. The child understands that he has complete support of his parents to accomplish this and such support is very necessary. He needs guidance of his elders in his journey in future, but not only in the form of orders, but in friendly, tender & understanding words.

Here at this very sensitive stage, the role of parenting is important and vital but requires different skills. If parenting till date has been successful, then this new friendly role is easy. If not; this requires special efforts.

16th Year Is Dangerously Challenging

During puberty children’s mind is full of new but important topics. Many physical and psychological changes are taking place such as - Impact of media like TV and internet, peer pressure, expectation of other people. Besides, many questions the blooming child faces while staring in the mirror, which create worries in mind about his future life. Generally everybody tries to find answers to some such question during this stage. For example who am I? How do I appear from the point of view of others? How will I know that? Will I be able to look like my idol? Can I be like my idol? What will be my future? How will I create my own place in the world? How will I face daily problems and daily challenges?

Child is confused with these questions and expecting help and co-operation. But on the other hand, he has developed ego that ‘I know everything’. So even though he needs help, his ego stops him from asking for it. This dilemma triggers contradictory, sometimes even strange behavior. Such behavior of the child creates tension, anger and disgust in the minds of parents. During such time, if miscommunication takes place, it will create rift in the relations and if not diagnosed and treated in right manner the rift gets widened. Parents become distressed and sad. Children become too aggressive and too depressed. At this point parenting of young child becomes a bigger and complex challenge. Every moment’s decision in this age has long term impact in the future life.

In next article let’s discuss what to do in this regard.

Vijay R Joshi.

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