Adolescents need to develop positive social behaviour, such as self discipline, responsibility, good judgement and ability to get along with other. Behaviour is learnt by observing others who are rewarded for the behaviour. Behaviour should be positively reinforced than through punishment. Not only the requisite skill but also a clear sense of self-efficacy is required to perform the behaviour. Strong sense of commitment to other people and to the community may be crucial in preventing anti-social behaviour.
Developing Self-confidence: People who are self confident, do better at school, get better job and have a rewarding future. YOU CAN DO IT IF YOU THINK YOU CAN. “Every thing goes wrong with me; I am unlucky; nobody likes me” is a wrong attitude. Self confidence is often a key to success. Self confidence is not inborn. It develops (or thwarts) during childhood and early adolescence. The pillars of self confidence are:
Communication: Communication is the art of sharing information, feelings, attitudes and relating effectively to others. It is the art of breaking the walls that separate the people and building the bridges that help the relationship to flourish. Communication is necessary in human relationship. There are different forms of communication that include verbal (a dialogue), non verbal (a smile or a touch), sign (waving a hand) and written (letter). Verbal and nonverbal communications do not always convey the same message.
Many of the agreements or disagreements in the families and friends depend upon the good or poor communication.
Factors that improve communication:
It is likely that the communication between parents and adolescents break down at this age instead of improving. When the adolescents need their parents, they do not know how to communiate that need to their parents; and perhaps parents too won’t know how to begin to rebuild the relationship with their children.
Aspects of Communication Between Parents and Children:
Negotiation: Negotiation allows people to solve a problem or resolve a conflict. It is a way to get one’s needs met without using guilt, anger or intimidation. It requires give and take on the part of both the persons. Negotiation works best when a problem of conflit is addressed in its early stages. Many relationships and sexual concerns can be resolved through negotiations.
Effective negotiation requires
Most relationships have some conflict even if it is short lived. (A conflict is disagreement or a clash of some kind). Some people get angry, defensive or aggressive when they are involved in conflict. When conflict is strong, people may yell at each other, accuse each other, threaten each other, ignore or misunderstand each other. Therefore, it is important to be able to get through the confusion and agner in a conflict; and solve the problem in a way that will be satisfying to both sides.
The following “Six-step Problem-solving Process” offers a way to work through problems effectively by getting answers to the following questions:
Step One: What is the problem and the resultant feel- ings?
Step Two: What questions need to be asked to clarify the problem?
Step Three: What are all the possible ways of solving the problem?
Step Four: Which alternative are unacceptable to some one involved?
Step Five: Which solution allows both sides to “win” if possible?
Step Six: How well did the solution work?
During that adolescence, young people begin making decisions that will have lasting effects on their lives. The issues could be sex, drug abuse, alcohol, smoking or discontinuation of studies. The adolescents need the skills to make healthy decisions. They receive several wrong, messages through advertisements in news papers and TV. These are to be counteracted through positive decisions.
Our values affect the decisions we make. Adolescents have to identify values to make healthy decisions. They have to accept the responsibility for making their own decisions. In addition, our decisions are motivated by the things we need. A “need” is physical, mental or emotional requirement for survival and well being, e.g., food, clothing, shelter, love, attention, respect. A “need” is not a “want.” A “want” is a desire for something we could live without, but that appears to improve the quality of life, e.g., nice clothes, a good stereo, TV etc.
The Needs are:
How to Make Healthy and Positive Decisions: People are not born with the ability to take wise and healthy decisions. They learn through trial and error. It is possible by learning critical-thinking and decision-making skills.
Risk-taking decisions we make: There are decisions which are associated with different types of risks. Physical Risks: Swimming, driving, drug, sex, hiking, mountain climbing etc. Legal: Stealing, running away, shop lifting, carrying a weapon etc. Social: Revealing someone’s secret, criticizing someone etc.
Cross-cultural: Adapting a new culture, experimenting with new social behaviour etc. Why people take such risks? – For pleasure or thrill – To prove yourself – Possible benefits – Experience of something new – Out of commitment to others – To show off – To achieve goal – To gain approval – Because of deep belief Remember, taking risks can lead to both positive (e.g., a contest) or negative (e.g., smoking) consequences.
The best decision is one that:
Assertiveness is communicating feelings and needs while respecting the rights of others. You are assertive when you stand up for your personal rights without putting down the rights of others. Everyone has rights. It is alright to tell your feelings and needs. Assertiveness is a skill and can be learnt and improved. Most women are not assertive in our culture. Both men and women should be assertive.
People always have the right to refuse any person’s request for any type of sexual behaviour or use of alcohol, tobacco and drugs. Successful persons are often assertive in their personal and work relationships. Sexual partners need to communicate clearly about their needs and limits.
Behaviour that helps people to be assertive includes:
Assertiveness is different from aggressiveness and passiveness.
Passive Assertive Aggressive
When a friend asks him her to buy whisky/cigarrettes/drug or have sex, he/she would respond in three ways. 1. “Well, I don’t know... I don’t think it is a good idea... we might get in trouble...” —(Passive response)
2. “You dummy, don’t you know we could get in trouble?” —(Aggressive response)
3. “No, I won’t feel right doing that. I don’t want to get in trouble. Let us go and get a Pepsi instead.” —(Assertive response) It is not just what you say, but also how you say to someone is important to let that person know that you don’t want to be pressurised. In assertive response l An “I” statement similar to “I feel” l A reason for saying “No” l A suggested alternative l The person maintains an eye contact l Stands up straight l Speaks clearly l Sounds confident Remember, Passive people are not respected, aggressive people are disliked and assertive people are respected and they respect themselves. Advantages of being assertive: Can say “No” without feeling guilty Avoids arguing Has better relationship Others will respect him Disagrees without being angry Feels better about himself Has respect for himself