We asked noted Child & Adolescent Psychologist and Family Therapist, Dr Shelja Sen, a noted author and co-founder of Children First, to share her thoughts for the Batch of 2020 and their parents. Here is her message below! Do read or watch, share with those who might want to hear this, and stay well, stay safe!
“At the outset, I would like to clarify something. I do not give advice as I do not want to position myself as an expert. As a narrative therapist, I believe that people have the skills, expertise to connect to their purposes, intentions, dreams and aspirations. I see myself as a co-researcher who collaborates with children, young people and their parents to help them move forward toward their preferred futures,” says Dr Shelja Sen.
Amrita: Can you share any tips or thoughts for the students of this batch who are going through so much right now?
Dr Shelja Sen: Dear Batch of 2020, you came into came into this world at the turn of the millennium and you have made us question our taken-for-granted ways of living. You have shaken us up from our collective stupor of climate change, challenged our fixed ideas on gender, sexuality, class, religion, success and brought in a new vocabulary on being woke. You are the changemakers, our future leaders and I am sure that this is a stage of metamorphosis for you and you will emerge from this stronger than ever.
To my daughter and thousands of others from the batch of 2020: You have been in lock down not from March 2020, but from November 2019, since the rounds of finals and pre-Boards and then the Boards started.
No going out, no fun, just plain grind. After all you had been told that admission to good colleges depended on that.
But then on 20th March, the rest of the exams were postponed and soon the lockdown started. It has not been easy for you, not knowing when the exams will be restarted, whether you would be going to college this year at all. Whatever happens, one thing is for sure – I salute each one of you for hanging in there. Hold on to your dreams, your aspirations, what you value. We need you, the world needs you. More than ever. #batchof2020 #loveinthetimeofcorona #holdontoyourdreams
Amrita: What would your advice be to other parents of the Batch of 2020 students?
Dr Shelja Sen: No advice! I will only share what I tell myself every day:
- Drop the rope, this is not the time for tug of war.
- Whenever in doubt, do what is best for the relationship
- Let it be – life is teaching them enough lessons – we are all surviving a pandemic here
- Make parenting about radical compassion – towards yourself and them
- Practice joy, playfulness and do all you can to nurture your spirit.
Stay safe, be healthy and live in peace.