Youth, as they say, are the nation’s future builders. As they mature to understand everything around them, they also need guidance for the betterment and continuity of their country.
Adolescence is a stage of your life that will not last forever. When adolescence comes to mind, many people think of rebellion, parties, drugs, sex, hanging out with friends, having “good times,” and having fun. However, when you think of adolescence, you take it for what it is, simply a time when your body and mind mature. Most people view adolescence, including I wish I could be an adolescent forever, and I am glad this is just a phase and will not last forever.
For parents, the adolescent years can be challenging. Luckily, you don’t have to do it alone. The essence of a community can be paramount for a kid, especially when they enter their adolescent years.
Many adolescents seek a community of their own with peers who share their interests (such as makeup, art, video games, or other activities). These are the years of idealism, creativity, buoyancy, and a spirit of adventure. But these are also the years of risk experimentation and risk-taking, giving in to negative peer pressure, and making uninformed decisions on crucial issues, especially concerning their bodies and sexuality.
Some key concerns and issues observed among adolescents include managing emotions, forming a self-image, strengthening social skills, building relationships, and resisting or dealing with peer pressure. Adolescents at this stage are more vulnerable and prone to high-risk situations and may easily succumb to them.
Below are the life skills that every adolescent must know to acquire a healthy development process.
Self-awareness: Includes recognition of self, your character, your strengths and weaknesses, dislikes, and desires. Self-awareness can help adolescents recognize when they feel pressured or are under stress. Self-awareness is often a prerequisite to interpersonal relations, effective communication, and developing empathy with others.
Critical thinking: It is the ability to analyze experiences and information objectively. Critical thinking can contribute by aiding the adolescent to assess and recognize the factors that influence behavior and attitudes, such as peer pressure, values, and the media.
Empathy: To have a successful relationship with society at large and your loved ones, it is vital that you, during your adolescent years, learn to care for and understand other peoples’ desires, feelings, and needs. Empathy, as defined, is the ability to imagine life for different people. Adolescents will be better prepared to communicate when they can understand themselves.
Interpersonal relationship skills: This would help adolescents relate positively with people they interact with in their everyday lives. This entails making and keeping friendly relationships (which can be of great importance to one’s social and mental well-being), maintaining good relations with family members (an essential source of social support), and ending relationships constructively.
Effective communication: This means helping the adolescents express themselves verbally and non-verbally in ways appropriate to situations and cultures. This means being able to express desires, opinions, fears, and needs and also includes being able to ask for help and advice in a time of need.
Furthermore, there are books available that would supplement how adolescents would become a contributing factor to the success of a community.
THE SOUL OF ADOLESCENCE ALIGNS WITH THE HEART OF DEMOCRACY. It is a book on a constructive critique of old paradigms about adolescence that dismisses, demeans, and sabotages their contributions and understanding of their true nature. It is education, utilizing modern scientific research, the wisdom of traditional spiritual insights, and the current studies of youth development and community organizing. It uses an informal tone, embedding evidence within reflections of direct experience and experimentation. The style is critical but optimistic and hopeful.
This book is, in part, a memoir, incorporating the author’s personal experiences, which align with those of the people he serves, and an exploration of his path undertaken through stages of learning and leading over three decades. It is also a roadmap and a manifesto making an argument that to understand and effectively work with teens, we need to treat them not as problems to be solved but rather as problem solvers for issues we share in common.
Nothing can equal the splendor of the youth. The older generation is responsible for providing the right resources, guidance, and an excellent environment to become potent change agents in the community. They say that the most powerful force is the power of the young. And it is true because the strength and the power that the youth of a nation possesses is unmatched and does bring a chance to develop and grow not only for them but for the people around them.