I love it when adults try to understand teenagers.
Because it is so rare.
It is so easy to write teenagers off as 'bad' or 'lazy' or 'arrogant' or something else.
But that is a practice the teachers at Trio World School ICSE make a concious effort to avoid.
Every year the school invites me to conduct workshops for their teachers and parents to ensure that the 'significant adults' in the lives of their students - understand them. And receive their behavior with empathy and compassion.
Today I conducted a workshop for the teachers of middle school and high school because they were keen to understand how to keep their middle and high schoolers - engaged and excited during online classes.
Teaching teenagers is difficult at any time - and teaching them online is a real challenge.
I loved helping the teachers with strategies to connect with their students during online classes.
I loved it that they wanted to focus on emotional connection - because it is impossible to learn without an emotional connection.
Emotions form the bridge over which information travels from the teacher to the student's brain and turns into knowledge.
It is important to understand 'what makes teenagers tick' if we want to build this bridge. And I was thrilled to receive this opportunity to share that.
#Interviewed by Hindustan Times on "Parenting Teens in the new normal."
Many parents have been reaching out for help with parenting their teenagers - ever since the pandemic began.
There is no doubt that the pandemic has been a difficult time for parents of teens.
But it has been even more difficult for teenagers.
It is important to understand the magnitude of loss that these children have experienced.
And it is important to build empathy and compassion towards them by understanding their suffering.
At a time when they are programmed to move away from the home and their parents... And bond with their peers... They are compelled by the pandemic to do the exact opposite.
In this interview I talk about the struggle teens are experiencing... the reason they are behaving the way they are.... And how parents can make this easier... In various ways... Including by adopting a new approach to screen time.... and friendships.
Can it be COVID?
What should I do now?
Sharing a summary of the latest guidelines for parents in this article : What to do if your baby (0-2 years) has COVID-19 - Morisons Baby Dreams Blogs | Baby Care Tips (smartmums.in)
One of the reasons parenting is so difficult is because - it involves constant decision making for another person - your child.
Parents constantly need to make decisions that may have a long term impact on their children.
And that can be really stressful.
The only way to get past that stress is to be armed with the knowledge necessary to make the right decisions
At today's webinar - organized by EuroKids International(@eurokidsinternational_official) I helped parents understand how they should approach education in the early years through the pandemic.
Yes - starting early is important - because the brain is growing rapidly in the early years.
No - we cannot wait for the pandemic to end to begin educating our children - because the growing brain does not wait for pandemics to end.
So - how should children learn?
Is the digital medium safe for early learners?
How can we ensure learning without addiction?
What about the children who have become restless and aggressive through the pandemic? Will they really learn anything through the digital medium?
I answered these and many more questions today.
And I am absolutely thrilled with the feedback that has been pouring in after that.
"Stress and anxiety can give your child - a flat tyre on the road to success."
I have always said this at my workshops on learning in the past 9 years.
"So what happens now?"
The teachers of Trio Tots Preschool Sahakar Nagar and Trio World School ICSE asked me
"With the devastation caused by the second wave of the pandemic - so many children will come back to school with anxiety and stress.
What can we do to ensure that they keep learning and are not saddled with the additional stress because of not learning?"
They wanted to know.
After reading several books and many many research papers - I came up with this workshop - and conducted it for them today.
Conducting a workshop for the Trio teachers is always a fun experience because I have been conducting workshops for them for the past 8 years now - and meeting them is like catching up with old friends.
It was an amazing morning of learning with love and laughter.
As always - I learnt as much as I shared.
Thank you Bela Ma'am, Greshma Geeta Bharat Momaya Bishwajeet Bhattacharya
A lovely informal meet up with parents yesterday
Organised by Juggernaut Books
So many questions...on so many topics
From tantrums... To sibling rivalry.... To motivation.... To Device use... And so many more.
I loved answering the questions.
And I loved the bonding through the session.
Looking forward to many more.
Learning in the new normal is completely different from the way learning has happened for centuries.
And so it is time to go back to the basics and examine
1. What children really need to learn
2. What is the neurological mechanism by which learning happens in the brain
So that we can create an environment in which learning happens smoothly and children continue to learn happily.
At my workshop
"Learning in the New Normal"
That I conducted today for the parents of Millennium World School Bengaluru North
I helped parents understand the basics of learning in the early years.
And I was thrilled with the response I received.
Parents were thrilled to know that every challenge they were facing as their children learnt through devices could be explained and overcome by neuroscience and physiology.
How I love helping parents discover the magical world of the brain.
Even when the present is so uncertain - we cannot stop planning for the future.
In the midst of all the fear and worry of the present time - many parents are trying to make crucial decisions.
Like - whether to send their child to online preschool or not.
And this is causing them tremendous stress at an already difficult time.
On Saturday I had the opportunity to help many parents find answers to all the questions that they had about online learning.
Do children really need Preschool?
Does online learning really work for preschoolers?
Is online learning safe or can it damage the growing brain?
Will online learning turn children into device addicts?
If children don't sit and listen - will they learn anything?
How can we maximize learning during online classes?
These were some of the questions I answered at my workshop for parents of 3 Eurokids branches - Euro Kids Yelahanka Eurokids Vidyaranyapura and @eurokids_rmv2nd_stage - all run by the amazing Santoshi Singh
Grateful for this opportunity to share the latest research about what happens in the brain when learning is routed through a device instead of being face to face.
And how to maximize learning when children learn this way.
Continuous learning is the only way to overcome the stress of isolation. And I am so glad I was able to help these parents understand how to make this happen.
If you are pregnant - I am sending you a big hug.
All of us are stressed with all that is going on
But I know you are more stressed than others.
After all you are currently completely responsible for 2 people.
And then you are worried about so many others.
If you are feeling pregnancy stress try the relaxation techniques I have shared in this article that I have written for Morisons Baby Dreams
Understand why you are stressed.
And switch your nervous system from the sympathetic to the parasympathetic.
Even if you are not pregnant - you can practice these techniques.
All of us need to feel better right now.
Many children don't want to learn.
Because they struggle with learning.
And several times they struggle because they are not using their memory effectively.
Children learn to use their memory like they learn to walk.
First they use their brains clumsily
Then slowly they teach themselves how to use their brains better
They learn by trial and error how memory works
And then they become effective learners.
It is a long slow process and it takes many children several years to learn how to use their memory.
And many children give up along the way.
But - what if we teach children how to use their memory?
It makes learning easier and so much more fun that children WANT to learn.
I spent this morning sharing some secrets about the way memory works with the teachers of SJBHS so that they can pass them on to the children they teach.
Very grateful for this opportunity to interact with the people who are shaping new minds for the new world.