So, life’s a funny thing. It’s completely unpredictable to the human eye. As young, entering freshman, all of you have sort of left childhood behind.
Childhood is so innocent; children learn to dance before they walk. They wake up expecting everything to go their way, they rush to their Mommy, so sure she can fix up every boo-boo, from a scraped knee to a broken heart; they are so happy with a 50 cent bag of potato chips and a new pair of colorful socks; a kiss and a hug really makes all their problems disappear .
And then they children leave childhood and enter a very interesting zone between childhood and adulthood. It’s for a very short period, about 5-6 years. Some people call it adolescent, teenager, young adult years. Call it what you will. It is, I think, one of the most fascinating, frightening, alive, challenging and bursting-with-energy times of a person’s life.
This is the stage that kids realize that life is complicated. You can’t just make a friend by offering her a licorice; you can’t just study and be guaranteed a good mark; you can’t just eat all the junk in the world and not gain weight, you can’t become instantly joyous when you get a sticker from the doctor’s office. Life is not so simple anymore.
Suddenly, you realize there are consequences to every one of your actions. Your smallest comments can insult your best friend and vice versa; if you argue with your parents, everyone feels out of sorts; if your hair or clothing are ‘different’, everyone can judge you wrongly. You might view people more critically now, including yourself! As a child, you could do no wrong; as an adolescent, you sometime feel you can do nothing right! You can analyze yourself and your friends continuously. You seem to be much more intense than you used to be. You absolutely ‘hate’ the way you looked on Shabbos, you ‘love’ your new ponytail holder and you ‘can’t stand’ when your little sister tags along. You care so much. Many of these extreme emotions never existed before!
Yet, this is a time of enormous growth, change and excitement. Your brains-believe it or not-are still developing in amazing ways. You are beginning to experience tremendous insights, realizing so many things that you never did before. You understand concepts that seemed way too hard earlier. You can experience remarkable bursts of energy and creativity. You can talk endlessly to your friends (as a child, you couldn’t speak on the phone to your friend for more than three minutes; you were probably too shy). You can now create and head! songs and dances and plays and write beautiful stories. As Dr. Seuss says, “Oh, the things you can do!”
So, this time in your life might feel like a bit of a roller coaster inside. There can be so many highs and lows. So much shyness and uncertainty. So many likes and dislikes, so many insults, so many terrific times!
So, how do we manage this momentous time in your life? How do we ease the transition period between childhood and adulthood?
As you start travelling on this bumpy, yet exhilarating time in your life, there really are a couple of ‘tips’ to help you along the way.
In this course, we will try to learn certain communication/social/ life skills that will miraculously smooth the way along your travels.
This course will include:
- Understanding the importance of establishing a relationship with Hashem (without Him, nothing will go right) and how togo about creating it.
- Chovos Halevovos
- Discovering your Type Theory and Cognitive Learning Style (this test helps you learn how your personality affects your learning)
- Communication Skills
- Social Skills
- Anger Mangagement
- Active Listening (taken from Faber and Mazlish)
- Learning how to communicate peacefully with siblings from Siblings Without Rivalry (Faber and Mazlish)
- Self-awareness and Self Esteem (R’AkivaTatz)
- How to Make and Keep Friends for Life!
- Any other points of interest students bring up!
Looking forward to teaching and learning new things from my students every day.