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Let's Talk Health

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Introducing Let's Talk Health, an initiative from Apollo Hospitals, where our endeavor is to share knowledge which you can use to keep yourself and your family fit & healthy.

Let's Talk Health.
Let's Talk Happiness.

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in Health & Happiness

Understanding the development process in humans – Part 2

14

To further the understanding of what shapes a young mind, let’s shed a little more light on the process of development in humans.

Years seven and eight

  • Builds up on the skills developed earlier
  • Able to set appropriate goals and reach them with enthusiasm
  • Reduction of ‘egocentricity’
  • Able to instigate and expect responsible behaviour from self and others

Requirements:

  • Group discussions at school and family, to maintain moral and behavioural standards set earlier
  • Appropriate environment to help develop a positive self-identity

Warning signs:

  • Spends time alone
  • Stammering
  • Eye blinking
  • Frequent deep sighing
  • Return of bedwetting

Years 9, 10 and 11
‘Identity vs. Role Confusion’ stage:

  • Preadolescent grapples with various physical, intellectual changes
  • Goes through upsetting period of emotional and physical instability
  • Physical changes take place; girls generally mature earlier than boys
  • Concrete thinking changes to abstract thinking
  • Language becomes an important tool for questioning and hypothesizing
  • Moves towards independence and starts questioning concerns and values of family, peers and society
  • Pride in development of intellectual skills
  • Greater role in community activities

Requirements:

  • Discussion by adults with children about expected physical changes, to help them appreciate their uniqueness.

Warning signs:

  • Signs of anger and isolation
  • Choice of inappropriate role models
  • Unhappiness and rejection of physical changes
  • Inability to make or retain friends

Years 12 to 16
Develops sense of self both from present and future.
Requirements:

  • Adult should listen consistently and discuss ideas without arguing with the youngster
  • Adult and youngster need to establish realistic behaviour standards and set limits on school and outside activities
  • Appreciation and acknowledgement of physical changes
  • Evaluation and maintenance of health habits like sleep, diet, exercise and personal grooming
  • Firm establishment of safety practices with special help meted out to accident prone children
  • Provide age-appropriate sex, drug and alcohol education
  • Make him/her understand the differences and similarities of the opposite sex

Warning signs:

  • Anger and isolation
  • Inability to make or retain friends
  • Unhappiness and rejection of physical changes
  • Leaning towards drugs and alcohol
  • Failure to cope with family, school and societal pressures

It will help to communicate well with your teenager if you:

  • Stay calm, even when they are deliberately trying to anger you
  • Take time out for yourself, rather than giving in to your anger or trying to discuss something when you’re upset
  • Give them the opportunity to reply or participate in any discussion
  • Hear what they say
  • Keep arguments in a neutral place – respect the privacy of their room
  • Don’t put your teenager down or make fun of them
  • Regularly give them positive feedback
  • Avoid giving ultimatums and creating power struggles
  • Talk while you’re doing something together rather than making a big deal out of it
  • Show your appreciation for their help in household chores
  • Give them a hug and tell them you love them
  • Choose your battles – let some things go

As the youngster struggles to work through the many dilemmas of transforming into adulthood, the school, family and community should provide a protected environment to the youngster. Society will indeed pay a high price if our adolescents are not provided this support.

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