They say a parent or a carer is the hardest job you will love. It is absolutely the most important and challenging leadership role. All grown up children, whether it be daughters or sons are truly anxious today. We cannot blame them. When we were of their age, we were either starting University or doing part time jobs and was about to take on the world, without a worry in the world. We had dial up phones at that time and no internet.
The present generation of students feels the opposite. They have the access to the whole world on their phone/laptop. Most of them in the present days are studying at home which they dislike most, even if they want they can’t find a job, they are worried about the elderly people. They are also overwhelmed about the challenges of COVID, and most of them are worried about the state of the leadership of the countries across the world. Most of them want to protest against what is happening around them.
What the youth of today and future generations of tomorrow are dealing with and seeing are beyond anybody’s comprehension. Here are some insights to help anyone leading and parenting our youth today which may not be perfect answers and will not answer all the questions and concerns. How are we to navigate this time as a parent or a carer?
Here are some tips to help navigate as a leader and a parent :
- Be aware of what you know and how you feel about everything going on.
- Be truly open and honest about it.
- If you notice ANY changes of behaviour, do not ignore it.
- If they are scared and anxious, let them know that what they are feeling is truly okay.
- Let them know how you do not have all the answers too.
- Teach them that everyone is different and we must treat everyone with respect.
- What we are seeing around the world is also an opportunity for growth and change.
- If you find they would not open up change the focus. Taking them for a ride together, play along with them some game would be a great way to discuss what is going on around them.
- Help them by understanding what’s worrying them and come up with practical solutions.
- Give them the importance of the purpose of life and how you can support them or you can all support a charity or cause during this time.
- Teach them to reflect their thoughts by writing them in a journal which will mitigate half of their problems,
- Shower them with lots of love& compassion. Listen to them, don’t fix,
- Be approachable. Make them feel safe to talk to you without judgement.
- Teach them the right platforms to educate their young minds.
- Teach them about kindness for themselves and others.
- Show them the importance of telling you how they feel and also the courage for the conversations they want to have.
- Work with them on the importance of values.
- Support and embrace their views and beliefs even though they might not be yours.
- Teach them about how to feel and be safe during this time.
- Tell them that they an we will be stronger because of what’s happening and that they will learn a lot about themselves.
- STAY COURAGEOUS, STAY KIND.
These random thoughts on the issues facing the youth and the young came to my mind after the unfortunate deaths by suicide by many across the country. These are times when our minds have played tricks on us, and sometimes gotten the better of us. When a sudden distrust of everybody and the need to distance from our fellow human beings brought to the fore angst, regrets , and unfulfilled needs that might have lingered underneath the surface always brings to forth the thought that you are unworthy of existing in this world.
And for society at large, or the collective conscience, it leaves a scar that is not so easily healed. Frequently also, a sense of anger and impotence at our inability to reach out to those that need help will also arise from your deep insights.
Mental isolation can have devastating effects as one’s mental and physical health. Meditation and trying to have a total peace of mind, reaching out to your family and friends without inhibition and also openness in thought sharing, can always rouse you and lead you from darkness to a new dawn.
HUMAN RESOURCE CONSULTANT
( Acknowledgement : Adapted from Courageous Conversations Blog)