Excitement, anxiety, pride and various other mixed emotions in terms of emotional, physical, social and academic factors are the changes that occur during this transformation. I don’t know if you have realized but this is a crucial phase when these children are moulded into young adults, the country’s future. If you have ever been exposed to a higher class it is clearly observable that there is a constant battle fought by each one of them by themselves. Life has its ways of giving us curve balls at every invisible bend and these bright sparks are jumping the barriers and crossing hurdles to come out as beautifully grown adults at the end of this short race. As mentioned before it is crucial, the choices made by them little by little, in turn, become who they are.

Now we also have to bear in mind that one’s personality and character is built under the following circumstances of environmental conditions such as the climate at one’s home (the major contribution to one’s emotions), peer influence and the unavoidable biological factors. Their decision-making is partly clouded and their judgments are mostly without a proper thought process and it mostly based on ‘spur of the moment thinking’. The initial transformation phase could be jittery and a handful of them would experience anxiety and this is the time the educational institution and the teachers need to step in. This phase is not just crucial but also delicate. They are at a level where they also experience symptoms of emotional imbalance. Therefore, when emotions are running high situations need to be dealt with care.  At this phase commanding and demanding do not work out well. The students need to be felt heard, requested not demanded and appreciated.

Here are a few tips to allow a smooth transformation of these adolescents to move to the higher classes for guardians, parents, and teachers.

1. Intellectually 

The students at this phase learn out of curiosity and interest. At this phase, educating themselves becomes an automatic behaviour. They do not need to be compelled or forced to study. It is the responsibility of the adults around him or her to simply create an interest and the job is done.

2. Social 

At this phase, peer influence is at its peak. The desire to fit into cliques turns out to be of high importance. Restrictions only create repulsion, therefore, adult-like one on one conversations are recommended. The child at this phase is a budding adult and tends to start acting like one. Telling him or her off isn’t going to do you good but instead treat him like the adult he would like to be treated and you would notice him taking responsibility for his actions.

3. Academic 

During this transformation, students are bombarded from all angles academically and are required to up their game. No more casual lounging around in the school and at home. They are expected to keep up with the upgrade in their syllabus, introduction of new topics and various advancements throughout this phase. Again, compulsion and demands will fail to work. Resort to more mature methods of explaining his responsibility and the results he owes to himself and his future.

4. Psychological

The students are self-conscious and still searching for their identities. Dilemmas of what to choose and who to be like at the battles one has to fight in his head. Therefore, give him the space to explore and find himself to avoid a personality crisis in the future.

Adolescents are never easy to handle – but it is our responsibility as an adult to guide, mentor and usher them to adulthood. Challenges will be faced, battles will be fought only to make them the future selves they will turn out to be. But it is important to be better humans than accomplished humans, therefore, focus on creating an adult who will contribute to the society and not just bring success to himself.

 

Pillow fights and fighting for rights; sharing stuff or playing rough- these are things you have to contend with if you have siblings. For kids who have siblings, the grass is always greener on the other side. They long to be the apple of their parent’s eyes and bask in their undivided attention. But little do they realize that having siblings is much better than being an only child.

Research proves that an only child is much more selfish and spoilt compared to the others with siblings. A study by the Southwest University of Chongqing in China further reveals that “only children” may be better at creativity but always scored lower on “agreeable personality traits” than children with siblings. In fact, medical scans revealed that the “only children” have less grey matter in the median prefrontal cortex which is the part of the brain which deals with thinking about one’s relationships with others. This is why “only children” tend to think more selfishly and are more demanding in attention than those with siblings.

If you are not convinced, here are more reasons why having siblings is better than being an only child.

Reasons why having siblings is better than being an only child.

Having siblings is always better because they are

  • Someone to talk to

Your sibling is a great companion to talk to and hang out with. You can always discuss, debate, argue and brainstorm ideas and topics. You will never be bored when you have a sibling around. There is so much to share and chat when a brother or sister is around.

  • Someone to share your secrets with

After a certain age, children find it difficult to discuss their personal problems with parents. For such children, siblings are a boon. Sibling is someone with whom you can share your secrets with. Even the darkest of secrets can be revealed in confidence to your brother or sister. This is because your brother or sister is a person of your age who can relate to you and your problems. They also know you from childhood and are familiar with your strengths and shortcomings. This is why you can always use a sibling as a “sounding board” to express your feelings and share your secrets. 

Your sibling is your alter-ego- the most intimate and trusted friend for life.

  • Someone to lean on

In times of trouble, your sibling is the first person whom you can lean on. They are the silent staff of support who can help carry your burden. You do not have to think twice about asking for help and you can be assured that they will be there for you- any time, any day.

  • Someone to guard you, and guide you

Everyone needs a friend, philosopher, and guide and the best you can get is a sibling. Siblings always speak their mind and warn you against any risks and dangers. They will also guide you on the right path to choose as they have your best interests at heart.

A sibling is your guardian angel in times of distress and your godfather to guide you throughout your life.

  • Someone to giggle, gossip and gallivant and play with

Siblings are such fun. You can speak your mind freely without inhibitions to them. You can gossip and giggle unabashedly. You can also bravely gallivant the whole town with them. Yes, siblings are your best friends and companions for life.

All the special moments of your life will probably be with your siblings. Siblings are a part of your tears, fears, smiles, wails, laughter, grins and guffaws. They are the people who support you every step of the way -in both good and bad. Siblings are not only a part of your growing up, they are a part of your entire life. They can play games both indoor and outdoors – resulting in laughter and bonding. They are great companions during family vacations who want to do and explore all the things that you want to.

It is always better to have siblings than to be an only child for they are someone to share and care in your life’s thoroughfare.

The term “Raksha Bandhan”, literally means, “the bond of protection”.

This is an event that is most looked forward to by the people of India and the only occasion that celebrates the relationship between a brother and a sister. Although there is a story that goes way back to why this practice of tying a decorated rope or a bracelet called ‘Rakhi’ around the brother’s wrist, the whole idea has been forgotten. To the forgotten few, there are a great many myths but this one stands out to honor the brother-sister like relationships is the battle fought by Alexander the Great. The people of India have been practicing this for decades from the Hindu, Jain and Sikh religious backgrounds but in the recent years, it isn’t about it being a religious practice anymore but simply the honoring of this special bond we Indians give the greatest importance to.

So the practice goes like this. After the ceremonial tying of the ‘rakhi’ around the brother’s wrist, the sister applies a tilak, a colorful mark on the brother’s forehead and wishes him a long and healthy life and in return, the brother pledges to protect her and take care of her come what may. The most exciting part is when the brother presents his sister with a gift and the ritual is wrapped up with the distribution of sweets.

Choosing a rakhi for your brother is quite a simple task but for the brother in order to pledge his love for his sister can clearly be done through the chosen gift. Now, this process could be quite tedious and we all know how it could possibly go down when a sister hasn’t been gifted anything close to her expectation. For all those brothers out there confused on what to get your sister this year.

Here are the top 3 items that you could choose from but whatever you choose make sure it’s personal.

Buying a gift for a woman can be quite a task and you could go wrong in a million ways but personalizing anything for a woman sends the message that says ‘you care’ and that you have taken the time to choose and not just something that you have grabbed off the shelf.

1. Photographs

Choose one of your best moments together, be it in your adulthood or when you were kids. Memories are always cherished. ‘Go big or go home’! In order to stay trendy and suit your sister’s apartment choose a canvas wooden frame. It’s trendy with a contemporary look. She could display it anywhere in her home and be reminded of the bond you share.

2. Jewellery

These are a girl’s best friend. From gold to silver to simply choosing from those fancy beady ethic works will bring a huge smile on her face but make sure you choose wisely where the gift is a reminder of your relationship and not just extravagant. Choose from daily wear where she will be reminded of your constant love and protection or jewellery that is to be used on special occasions as a way to cherish your bond on those special days.

3. Wristwatches

It has been a recent trend to gift your sister a watch. It is both symbolic as well as a necessity. When the watch ticks every day it will be a constant reminder that you are always around and only a call away. The watch companies have realized that this is one such gift that tops the list so there are various offers for this auspicious day. Don’t forget to choose based on her personality. If your sister is a tom-boy choosing a delicate feminine one could send the wrong message. Choose wisely!

Giving a gift to your sister doesn’t always have to be extravagant. It is a day where you celebrate each other, therefore, don’t sweat it if you have a low budget simply keep in mind to be that protective, loving and caring brother you ought to be. Take her out to lunch, get to know what’s going on in her life, show her your support. We are all clearly aware that all relationships are not perfect and if you and your sister had a tiff make amends, put the past behind as nothing is as strong as a bond between siblings.

“Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much”, said Helen Keller and this is the basic foundation of teamwork.

What is teamwork?

Teamwork is defined as “a joint and coordinated effort taken by a set of individuals with a common goal in mind”. All the individuals of the team are interdependent on each other and require the cooperation of their fellow participants to achieve this goal. Teamwork is the key to success in both education and sports. How? Take a look.

Teamwork in education

School offers the best platform for teamwork. Group projects, assignments and discussions are advocated at school to promote the team spirit. Teamwork is considered to be a vital quality in a student to succeed in life.  Look at the ways in which teamwork helps students at the school.

1. Creates synergy

When students function together as a team, they realize the importance of focussing towards the goal.  Each student may have his individual talent to promote but keeping in mind the objective of the task on hand, he/she interacts with others to achieve the geol. Here the students focus on the combined effort rather than individual performance. Thus teamwork teaches them the concept of “synergy” where “their combined effort or sum is greater than the individual parts or performances.”

2. Teaches troubleshooting

When working as a team on a project, the students delegate responsibilities to themselves and finally combine their efforts to realize the project’s goal. If the ultimate result is not favourable, they work towards identifying the bottlenecks or constraints that prevent them from achieving their goal. Thus teamwork helps to learn the art of “troubleshooting”.

3. Induces flexibility

Students working as a team have to learn to adapt to situations. Supposing they are assigned a group project by the teacher and suddenly the topic is changed.  The students have no choice but to work on the new topic. When they work as a team, they learn to adjust and adapt better as they have the strength of their teammates to fall upon and so have the confidence of handling any topic. Thus teamwork flexibility in students.

4. Inculcates crisis-management skills

Opinions differ even among students. Students operating as individuals or as groups tend to look at conflicting opinions as problems. But when the students work together as a team, they listen to the conflicting opinions and look at them as opportunities for learning and growth. Team members tend to resolve conflicts better and manage crises efficiently as their ultimate aim is realizing the team’s objective.

5. Promotes leadership

Students tend to gain leadership qualities while working as a team. The leadership traits they learn are sharing, respecting the opinions of others, acknowledging the contribution of their peers, motivating others, resolving conflicts and guiding the team. Teamwork thus promotes these leadership qualities in each and every member of the team to transform them into a better individual.

Teamwork is an integral part of education as it is implemented in group activities at school. Let us now see how teamwork is vital for sport.

Teamwork in sport

1. Coordination

Sports like football and basketball are team activities which require a coordinated effort. All the players in football have their own individual positions like striker, winger, midfielder, defender, goalkeeper etc. But only when they all play with coordination, can they strike the goal.

2. Sportsmanship

In games like cricket, sportsmanship is an admirable trait. The Captain of the team has to spearhead the team and work towards propelling the team to win the watch. The Captain pays more attention to providing opportunities for the right players at the right time rather than promoting his individual performance. This is the essence of sportsmanship taught by team spirit.

Using teamwork for practice

Students can work as teams and prepare for exams. They can exchange practice questions from Letspractise and discuss the problems and solve them together. Using teamwork for practice creates a positive learning environ for the child.

Be it education or sports, Teamwork is the element that helps students scale the ladder of success as better individuals.

August 15 is here. Schools often celebrate our nation’s Independence day by hoisting the tricolour flag, singing patriotic songs and delivering speeches on the nation’s struggle for freedom. If your child is going to be one of the speakers on Independence Day, you have every reason to be proud of him/her. But surely, your child might require some help here. So it’s time to help your child to prepare an Independence day speech and here are some tips.

Preparing your child for the Independence Day Speech

  1. A sense of pride and honour

First, instil a sense of pride and honour in your child. Yes, the very fact that he is going to deliver a speech on our nation on Independence day shows his contribution to the national spirit.  Appreciate this heartily and ask your child to look upon this speech as an honourable task. Your child will then take extra effort in ensuring a perfect delivery of the Independence day address.

  1. Recall history

Independence day is the occasion to celebrate our sovereignty as a nation and the freedom we gained through non-violence. The uniqueness of our freedom struggle in the Pacific path we tread, adhering to Mahatma Gandhi’s code of ahimsa and non-violence. Recall all the historical moments like the Sepoy Mutiny, the Non-Cooperation Movement, Jallianwala Bagh massacre, Civil Disobedience Movement and Quit India movement to trace the timeline of our freedom’s history. This will help the child to recall the main points while delivering his speech.

  1. Outline the facts

Our nation’s independence was won with great hardships and the united efforts of many leaders. Teach your child the facts about the freedom struggle like the names of the leaders, the important places of protest, the preamble of our constitution, the meaning of our national anthem etc. Learning this would make your child deliver an enthusiastic speech with an emotional overtone.

  1. Introduce sayings of leaders

“Swaraj is our birthright,” said Bal Gangadhar Tilak. Quotations like these had a great impact on the freedom struggle. Introduce quotations like these as part of your child’s speech to make it more relevant and convincing.

  1. Nurture values

Illustrate real-life incidents as examples of the values of honesty, truth, and patriotism from the lives of leaders like Gandhi, Nehru, Netaji etc.  Build a sense of patriotism by inspiring your child with their determination, courage and integrity of character.

Make your child understand that the independence we gained was not won easily. So the freedom should be exercised judiciously without harming others. Teach your child the qualities of equality and justice and how they play a major role in current society.

  1. Prepare rich content

A speech for Independence day must be power-packed with rich content consisting of historical facts, quotations, dates, statistics etc. The content should not only be informative but interactive and engaging. Create a unique and stylized content that impresses the audience.

  1.  Offer an easy flow of content

Help your child compile a speech in a simple and lucid language that is easy for him. Avoid using tough and bombastic words that are hard to pronounce. Using too much mathematical data in the speech also makes the speech boring. Allow your child to enjoy each and every word he speaks.

  1. Encourage inputs from the child

Welcome your child’s inputs and suggestions on the speech. Allow him/her to unleash their creativity and express in their own words. This builds their confidence and morale.

  1. Practise

Every child will be nervous when he/she faces the audience. Get your child to practise the speech in front of your family members and encourage the child to speak boldly. Practice makes the child perfect in the rendition of the speech.

  1. Motivate

Encourage your child to participate and perform in such public activities. Emphasize that participation is more important than winning and also underline the fact that with practice, anything can be achieved.

Prepare your child for the Independence day speech using the above tips and watch him/her emerge a sure winner, wishes from Letspractise