A student of grade 9 hit me with a blackboard duster right on my face while he was playing with his friend, as I was about to enter the class to teach Physics after the morning recess. Though I succumbed the pain of that semi-wooden duster, seeing the inflamed face of the child with fear and guilt, I rather crafted some irrelevant flesh of conversation with the class to settle the dust of fear in the mind of that student. Subsequently, that episode of the woeful incident was altogether translated into an ancient history and thus remained completely forgotten.
And bizarrely the wick of my temper, which normally is highly inflammable and explosive was frozen during that moment by remembering the word, “The Philosophic Calmness” as described in the book, “Disturbing the Universe” by Freeman Dyson.
Within the small canopy of my forbearance, I tried to view that unfortunate accident by my student with a calmness and then hyperlinked to the things I did as a student 12 years ago. In doing so, the realization equation I established was that, all he did was the mere manifestation of the teenage mischiefs.
In the crux of psychology, he was rightfully playing a healthy role as a juvenile by portraying the rudimentary teenage characteristics. He was demonstrating the behaviors that was expected to witness during that age. In other words, he was modestly living his youth.
However, the unremitting inflammatory sensation of pain on my face which was further galvanized with an embarrassment for dishonoring me and the classroom rules necessitated me to bathe him using the soap of positive disciplining so as to curb the future relapse.
I am narrating this story of mine not because it recounts the ritualistic behavior of our students in today’s classroom but, it clothes itself with some flesh of profound punchline. The message, if consumed on proper prescription would overwhelmingly aid (we as parents) as a tangible alternatives in understanding our adolescents.
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In contrast to this incident, sometimes when the students embroil into a business that are legally grave, disciplinarily sensitive and societally intolerable, the parents are often summoned to take up the baton of accountability for their child’s gaffe. During such times, the parents blame the school organization regarding the penalties imposed for the wrongdoings, not realizing that, it is intended to lesson the wrongdoers and threaten others to refrain committing the same. In some situations, the parents aggravate the conditions of the child with additional humiliations and apprehensions. They do not view with a certain degree of calmness that it is the way of growing up. So, we need to accept that it is sometimes OK to be caught puffing off or taking a sip or caught dating, after all how fun-less would life be without excitement of living it your way, guilt of breaking the rules, and fear of being caught and the consequences that follow.
Because we have gone through that same stage of troubling our parents as a teen, we should realize and view with a philosophic calmness that, so long as the child does not cultivate a criminal mindset, certain degree of impishness during the adolescence is anyhow acceptable. Having said this, even at one’s narrow interpretation, it must not be misunderstood as cheering to buoy up those disruptive behaviors in our youths. In a simple language, as a responsible guardians, we ought to respect the age they are going through. Using one’s own philosophic calmness, we have to understand that they are teens, and that they are undoubtedly living their age.
“Calmness is the cradle of power” – J. G Holland