Topic: AM I A CHILD OR AN ADULT? Date: 15/07/17

A platform for open discussions where students of Std VII & VIII, parents and teachers expressed their viewpoints and impressions in the presence of a moderator and expert. Areas explored: · Are we treating this age group as children or adults? · Why do we have the communication gaps between us? · What is the path to follow to balance between that of permissive parent and strict parent? EXPERT FOR THE EVENT: Dr. Kurien S. Thomas (Counselling Psychologist & Life Coach) Dr. Kurien S. Thomas is a Counselling Psychologist & Life Coach (Non-Medical) to many individuals, corporate professionals, eminent personalities and celebrities in India and abroad. He has worked with individuals, teenagers and couples as a facilitator to solve marital problems and relationship issues. He has helped people those suffering from acute depression, stress, anxiety, low self-esteem and behavioral problem to overcome these issues by Psychotherapy, Life Coaching and KYoga Therapy.He is also a registered member with International Coach Federation (ICF) and his Coaching Practices are from the CoachU which is accredited by International Coach Federation (ICF). His presence and opinions were deeply appreciated by all present for the programme.

Discussion as it unfolded:

1. If I am a child who cannot go to night parties with my friends, then am I an adult to go to market to procure the necessities?

Student’s opinionated that going out to common places help them to develop the skill of negotiating and understand the value of money. They asked, if they are allowed to face a stranger in the market, why not face stranger in the night club! Students were confident that they can manage unfamiliar places/people and they know the rights/wrongs so they can be allowed in night clubs.

Parents’ agreed that confidence is required in both the situations and they will allow if an adult is accompanying with them. Also life skill is developed when they are sent to market unlike night club.

Teachers voiced against going to night parties as it affects sleep patterns and causes lack of concentration and depression. Teachers added that adolescents should be encouraged to shop as they learn mathematical skills and inter personal skills.

Expert voiced that drug abuse is rampant in such parties so it is better for children not to go to such parties.

2. If I am a child who cannot have a mobile phone then am I an adult to Google the correct information w.r.t my learning without getting attracted to other websites?

Student’s perspective was that accessibility to mobiles can help in quick learning and communication through phone can improve their social skills. They are insisted that internet helps them with vast knowledge and content. They also explained how the relevant site can be reached without opening unnecessary pages.

Parents opinionated that monitoring is required and certain applications should be restricted. Open communication with children is very important is required and as this age is transition period though peer interaction is encouraged restriction should be there in mobile usage.

Teachers expressed that over usage of phones can lead to non-productiveness and distraction.

Expert voiced that mobile usage can result in sleep apnea also radiation affects the brain and drains the energy. Excessive usage of phones by adolescents can affect motor processes. He also advised the parents to monitor the children as they are in a vulnerable age when they may think that they can take care but it may not be so. He insisted that parents spend quality time with their teenagers and engage in meaningful activities/conversations.

3. If I am a child who cannot decide about my career, am I an Adult to know about the value of money.

Student’s opinionated that responsibility comes with accountability surprisingly they voiced the need for strict teacher but wanted a permissive parent. They said they need the shoulder and support of parents.

Parents opinionated that children should give valid reason to choose their career and emphasized that strong foundation can only lead to success.

Teacher’s advised children to balance their duties and rights.

Expert voiced that in earlier days communication was one way traffic, now its two way traffic. He asked children parents and teachers to discuss everything under the sun. He emphasized that an open communication channel can lead to open mind and heart. Dr. Kurian concluded by saying that both teacher and parent play a crucial role in this point of time for every child and said that in today’s challenging time both have to play a responsible and sensible role so that the future generation can blossom.

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