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    I wrote this book to help parent and teenager to understand each other and equip them to identify, handle or prevent these challenges | Dr. Smita Dipankar’s Exclusive Interview

    1. Your book is basically about mental health. What makes it different from other books?

    Just wanted to clarify my book is not on Mental health. It falls in the category of Self-help, Personal development, Family & Relationships, Parenting and academics, Education. It’s an easy and powerful practical self-help guide for teens and parents to know what teenagers are & how to handle day-to-day issues faced by both and thus simplify the teenage journey, exclusively for teenagers and everyone who knows one.   
    What’s the book about: 
    Teenage is one of the most difficult phases for teenager and their parents. During this journey of growing from a child to an adult, both parents and teenagers go through a lot of frustrations, challenges, and confusion on how to handle them. This book is a guide, an aid, a rescue for every parent and teenager. This book focuses on every process related to teenagers, answers questions on why the developmental process in a teenager is different and how it affects their behavior and habits. 
    Who is this book for: 
    This book is for boys and girls, aged between 13 and 22 years; Every parent and grandparents with teenagers at home; Every teacher and coach who works with teenagers; Every parent of tweens (pre-teens) between the ages of 9-12 years; Every parent with children of any age group; Every person who has enjoyed and cherished their teenage years wishes the same for every teenager. 
    What makes it different from other books
    Normally, the self-help books are written for and focus on either teenagers or parents separately. Since I am a mother of a teenager and also being certified teen life coach with the experience of guiding many teenagers & their families, I have written the book in the voices of teenagers & their parents or family. My idea behind writing this book was to make both parents and teenagers understand each other’s perspective, the thought processes that each one of them goes through while handling various day-to-day situations and big challenges, and the challenges that each of them faces when the other person doesn’t understand them. So, I always recommend that the parents, grandparents, and teenagers buy their own separate copy of my book, read it every time they face a simple or complicated situation, and understand each other’s perspective from the book before judging and reacting spontaneously. This is the most unique point of my book and hence it is totally different from other books. 
    The book deals with the top challenges faced by teenagers and their families which are described in detail here, with the advantages and disadvantages of each. Get ready for a paradigm shift, to understand the root cause of all the problems in teenagers and how a simple change in perspective can instantly transform the teenager’s and their family’s life, from dull, stressed to happy and exciting. 
    It provides simple techniques, practical tips, and solutions for day-to-day situations for Self-identity, academic stress, low self-esteem, relationship issues with parents, decision making about the future, etc… Read and learn from teenagers and parents’ stories who successfully applied them and achieved amazing results.  Some problems cannot be handled by parents and teens themselves, may end up into conflicts and if not identified and prevented, may later lead to mental health diseases in teenagers. This requires an experienced person called a life coach who can support and guide in handling and even preventing them before they reach extreme situations. Know about what is life coaching and its benefits to teens and parents, who is a teen life coach, and why a life coach is important especially for teenagers. Explore the life coaching programs and know-how such personalized programs have changed the lives of many parents and teenagers. With the knowledge acquired, learn secret family rituals to create the strongest parent-teen bond forever. 
    It’s all about simplifying teenagers and celebrating the magical journey through teenagers.

    2. What is the most memorable moment in your experiences as an author?

    There are many such moments but the most memorable one is: 
    The foreword of my book was written by my daughter. 
    We have both experienced the ups & downs of her teenage journey together.  She has experienced and faced the ups & downs of my journey as she watched me grow as a parent, juggling between home and my busy anesthesia profession, being on call 24X7, 365 days a year, supporting and guiding teens through my teen club, following my passion to be a certified life coach for teenagers and fulfilling my long lost childhood dream of being an author.
    It’s a proud moment for me, because as a parent if your child understands you and your parenting journey, your dreams, and passions, supports you in it, and also herself transforms into a better human being following you as her idol, it’s a big achievement for the parent. 
    Another memorable moment was when I started writing a book of 150-200 pages and it ended up to 500 pages which later reduced to present 400 pages. I realized that I had gained a lot of experience in this field and I am able to put it in simple words for even a layman with basic English knowledge to understand the concept and crux of my book. This boosted my self-belief a lot. 

    3. What keeps you inspired in the area of mental health self-help in parenting and teen life coaching?

     I believe every teenager is like a magician’s magic box. As the magician opens the box, a stick transforms into a flower bouquet, a pack of cards changes into a series of colorful ribbons, and a rabbit pops out of an empty hat. Similarly, every teenager is like a magical box and can transform into the magical person they want to be. When you really understand teenagers and feel like them, only then you do realize that they are magical. That’s exactly how I feel every time I talk to or coach a teenager. I believe and I know they are going to be magical forever. I love talking to teenagers, learning new things from them too. 
    Teenagers are the future of every country. So, if the teenager is guided and supported in the right direction, with their new innovative thinking and drive to change the world, they can transform the world and we all could live in a happy, loving, peaceful planet, growing and becoming successful together irrespective of caste, creed, religion or nationality. This strong belief I have in teenagers keeps me inspired to simplify teenage for them and their families. Thus, every day I am motivated to work in the area of self-help in personal development, parenting & teen life coaching. 

    4.  Do you believe there will be a time when mental illness is perceived in society like any other ailment of the body?

    As a doctor, looking at the present scenario with an increase in mental illness in every home, I do feel it will be perceived as any other ailment in the body. If the situations in society and behaviors of people are not changed then yes, mental illness will surely increase and worsen and in the future will be like a common cold affecting every person of any age group. 
    But as a life coach, the law of attraction practitioner, an NLP practitioner, I feel if we all can start practicing being happy and live our lives with a heart of gratitude, caring, and love, stop judging people for their actions and be there for each other, no none will be mentally ill. Yes, it does feel and sound philosophical, but that’s my dream and passion. That’s why my book and my coaching sessions are unique. I focus on enhancing strengths rather than belittling the weakness of people, I believe in them and put myself in their shoes instead of spontaneously judging them. Yes, I am a work in progress, but, I have seen the transformational changes in the teenagers I have coached and parents whom I have worked with & they have joined me in this thought process and working towards it. For me, it’s one teen, one family at a time, but in the next 10 years, I believe and know I’ll have impacted millions of teenagers & their families to actually create or think of creating & working towards a loving, caring, supporting world of human beings.  

    5. What inspired you to write this book?

    Being a parent to a teenager myself, I have gone through challenges, adopted solutions that have made my teenage journey with my child simple and exciting. I want these same techniques to be learned by every single parent and teenager out there. As India’s 1st certified life coach for teenagers, during my life coach training and while actually coaching teens, I realized that teenagers today are misinterpreted and misunderstood by everyone around, no one tries to understand their perspective and what they are actually going through, while they are transitioning to adulthood. Another point I learned is that the conflicts between parents & teens are just small arguments that can be instantly resolved and thus prevented at a very early stage from becoming a huge conflict in adulthood. One more point is that parents’ perspective, their state of mind, their thought processes of why they say things or scold teenagers are not understood or misinterpreted by teens and young adults. Personally, having sailed in their boat and still sailing in it as a parent to a teenager, who is now a young adult, I know that every parent and teenager goes through challenges and problems almost every day. 

    Hence I wrote this book to help parents and teenagers to understand each other and equip them to identify, handle or prevent these challenges. Thus, empowering both parents, teenagers and their family’s to cherish and celebrate their journey called teenage. So, my objective is – to simplify teenage for every teenager and their family for years to come.


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