Prof. Nevzat Tarhan: “Parenting is not shaping the child like a sculptor”

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President of Üsküdar University Prof. Nevzat Tarhan was interviewed about the book "Conscious Youth". Students from 15 different high schools from Esenler district participated in the interview with great participation. Stating that the problem of non-understanding between generations is a natural process, Tarhan emphasized that throughout the history of the world, young people have acted with the desire to build a better life than the generation before them. Tarhan said: "Parenting is not about shaping a child like a sculptor,” and added that young people need to be understood, but they are not understood.

"It is necessary to give new answers to ancient questions with new information"

High schools that read Prof. Nevzat Tarhan's book "Conscious Youth" came together with Prof. Nevzat Tarhan in the 'Conscious Youth' interview moderated by Üsküdar University Media PR Unit Manager – Journalist Şaban Özdemir. The interview was held at NP Health Campus Ibni Sina Auditorium with the support of Esenler Municipality. In the interview, which started with the question of why he wrote such a book, author Tarhan said: "I decided to write this book upon the questions that came in 2005-2006. In these years, there was a serious change in the world, social media had not yet become so widespread. With the commercialization of the Internet, we have received signals that the 21st century will be different from the 20th century. The 20th century was the 'Information Age', and in the 21st century we are heading towards an age of intensification of speed and pleasure. In such situations where communication is intensified, it is necessary to give new answers to old questions. If we give old answers to old questions, they will misunderstand the next generation, they will be cut off from the younger generation. As Ali said: 'Raise your children not according to the age in which you live, but according to the age in which they will live.' ”.

You can think of "Conscious Teenager" as a pill-like book...

Stating that it is necessary to give new answers to these ancient questions with new information, Tarhan said that "There is a need for guidance for young people to improve themselves in their life journey. Human learning goes in three ways: 'Through trial and error, which is the method of learning that the average person does; the second learning is 'learning from the experiences of others' is the smartest learning, and in the third learning, one repeats a mistake several times. This person is the same thirty years later. Our goal in this book is to enable young people to learn from the experiences of others, you can think of it as a pill-like book.".

"Parenting is not about shaping a child like a sculptor"

Tarhan, who also made evaluations about the parents' approaches to the child, emphasized that the sense of autonomy in the child should not be damaged. Tarhan said that "What we see most often in teens who hit the puberty is that ' My parents don’t understand me.’. Adolescence is the period when the person asks the questions 'who am I, where should I belong and why'. It starts at the age of 12 and ends at the age of 22. When a person does not get appropriate answers to these questions, it backfires when the parents turn their speech into a conference or a preach. Parenting is not to take a child and shape them like an engineer, but to be a companion on the path of life. One of the biggest mistakes is to see parenting as shaping a child like a sculptor. Thus, the child cannot feel free. The child cannot use the sense of free autonomy even though they have it. If there is no sense of autonomy, they become passive children, obey and then start to do the opposite of what the mother and father say at the first opportunity. If there is a sense of autonomy, the child objects, opposes. Parents get very involved in some things, and because they are so involved, the child says the opposite of what the parents say. There is a sense of defense. Especially in families where there is a lot of criticism, the parents have good intentions in doing so, but it is not good for the child, and there are family types that allow everything. In such cases, the house becomes like a hotel, there is loose discipline in the child. Either the child is left under external influence because they cannot find a warm environment at home, and many examples of substance use and so on appear in such families. What kind of habitat is where a plant is grown, and the family is the smallest habitat where good people are grown.”.

"Young people need to be understood"

Stating that the problem of intergenerational understanding is a natural process, Tarhan emphasized that throughout the history of the world, young people have questioned whether they want to build a better life than the generation before them. Tarhan said: "So, young people this age need to be understood, but they are not understood. The needs and expectations of young people often do not coincide with the needs and expectations of parents. This is often what for centuries has always seemed to be a generational conflict. It is in Egyptian papyrus, it is in tablets. Socrates, for example, complained of multigenerational conflict. This seems to be a generational conflict, which is actually a natural thing, because without it there is no development. In other words, the new generation will do one step more, one step better, which will question the elders. It is natural for this questioning to happen. So, when you stop questioning, you fall over like you have stopped riding a bike. After a while, you find the history in the bin. That's why it is like that as a society and as an individual. Questioning develops people here, that is, trying to improve oneself towards better, more beautiful state. As soon as a duck hatches, it swims, but a person can stand for a year. At the age of 14-15, one can only begin to distinguish between good and bad right and wrong. This period, therefore, develops the human environment and social contact. In early adolescence, parents are hero of a teenager earlier than 10-12 years of age. But after that, the child needs to be socialized, and for a young person, the friend is now more prominent than the parents. In other words, if a young person feels that he belongs to the home and feels free at the same time, that person is a healthy young person.".

"To be part of a team is to be part of a meaning"

Stating that young people make fewer mistakes when they learn emotional and social skills, Tarhan drew attention to the importance of teamwork and being part of good cooperation, which are 21st century skills. Tarhan expressed that "The only purpose of a human in school life is academic and technical success, but it is not academic and technical success that makes a person successful in life; however, social and emotional skills make a person successful in life. Therefore, their life success is also important. I also tried to convey the development of social and emotional skills in this book. Success, life success, is much more important than actual technical success. For example, a person is a very good engineer, but they cannot manage marriage, human relations, they argue with everyone at work, they cannot engage in teamwork. Therefore, to be able to work in a team is one of the truths of this age, to be part of the team is to be part of a meaning. 21st century skills are some of the skills we try to emphasize in the book. When young people learn these emotional skills, social skills, they make fewer mistakes and can move forward in a faster time. If we place this information in the person's mind map beforehand, it gives the ability to solve problems when a problem arises.".

"Set abstract – concrete goals and take action"

Making evaluations on the meaning of life, abstract goals and the target pyramid, Prof. Nevzat Tarhan underlined that after setting an ideal, it is necessary to be an activist and to act to realize these ideals. Tarhan stated: "There are three important skills in human mental health: one is the stress coping style, which we call the cockpit style. The second style is what we call the communication style; the way the person communicates and the ability to form communication in human relations. The third style is the habits of thought, the way of thinking, the style of thinking, which we call the cognitive style. If one uses these three styles correctly, one uses life input correctly. These are the three pillars of a personality: communication style, stress management style and thinking style. There are three pillars in managing them: realism, activism, and idealism. Young people today are becoming idealists. Let your concrete ideals and abstract ideals be in semantic ideals. Material ideals; whether it is my house, my car, my life at work, fame, office, these things, these are all material things, but it is difficult to put a semantic ideal. One does not set oneself with abstract goals. How do you want to be remembered when you reach the end of your life? What kind of person you want to be, having a reason to live in life, are abstract ideals. For this reason, it is important to be idealistic. Secondly, you need to be an activist. If the ideal question is written, you can draw it, but you cannot turn what you do into action. For this reason, being an activist is going and planting a tree is activism. In the Hadith, it says ‘Even if you know that the apocalypse will break out, plant trees.’. This is activism.”.

"Your purpose and meaning determine how you want to be remembered"

Referring to the importance of setting goals in the youth and in the journey of life, Tarhan said that "What kind of person do you want to be at the top of our pyramid of life, how you want to be remembered? Purpose and meaning are important for this. A person with purpose and meaning determines their importance and priorities well. The brain perceives important issues more because it says this is very important, brain immediately understands when an idea about it comes to catch up and uses. When it comes to a trivial subject, the brain does not perceive it. It makes better selective perceptions about the issues you call important. Therefore, if we examine the issues we care about, we make healthier decisions, one pillar of the will is endurance training. After deciding and believing what to be right, you will not be stuck in regrets or wishes. Whoever gets stuck with it will waste their will. Free will is unique to humans, there is no free will in other living things. If you look at the dream world of a cat and a dog, there is meat, there is bone, but if you look at the human imagination, every person is different, so we will build our dream world well, we will create a good target pyramid and we will have passionate projects and goals, dreams. If you cannot decide on your own to make a healthy decision on the way to the goal, we will get help from a person with experience, you will get an opinion from the experienced and you will decide on it. It is important to benefit from the experiences of others, and once you have done what you know is right, the third condition is the secret law of psychology. Life rewards those who tolerate it, you set your goal, you know it is the right path, then you will endure it, if you do not, if you aim for short-term pleasure, you are often wrong. We all have a childlike side. The child wants it immediately, but it is a skill to be able to postpone it.".

Tarhan signed the book "Conscious Youth" for the students.

In the program, where the book "Ezber Bozan Hayat" was presented to 4 students who asked the best questions in the interview, Prof. Nevzat Tarhan also signed the book "Conscious Youth" at the end of the program.


Üsküdar News Agency (ÜNA)