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.
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.
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.
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.
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.