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Introduction to Teens
|by Smitha Chakravarthula|
At Boloji we understand your feelings and more importantly take them seriously. We would like to hold your hand through these bittersweet years and guide you. Write to us regarding your hobbies, problems, opinions or just about anything you had like to share and we will put them up in our teens section which is specially designed taking into consideration your views. Tell us what you feel about being a teen and what would you like the people around to to do to make these years smoother for us. Talk to us.
Isn’t teenage all about this? Feeling grown up one moment and a baby the next? Being independent and wanting to make one’s own choices one minute and wishing to cuddle into someone’s arm and sob your heart away the next? Having been a teenager in the not so distant past, I can vividly remember the phase I underwent. It was truly a roller coaster ride of emotions. I felt as if I was riding a car in the top gear and couldn’t find any mechanism to stop the car or even slow it down. Neither was I sure if I really wanted to.
I could see my entire life spread out before me and nothing to stop me from savoring it to the fullest extent possible. I was like a bird that has newly learnt to fly, wanting to spread my wings and test the air at every juncture. I looked upon even the smallest efforts on the part of my parents to curb me as a personal affront - even if their stance was justified. This I believe is the story of teenagers all over the world.
This is the period in their life when they make decisions that will shape the course of their life in the years to come. It is also the years when they are of the right age to develop a good personality, discover talents and nurture them. It is the time to decide the course of future and all do all the thousand mundane things that go with life.
But it is also a time when they really start enjoying life. They become mature enough to understand the issues around them and take charge of their life. It is sort of curious child-adult phase when they are too old to be babies but too young to be slotted as adults. In other words they are too old for Barbies but too young for business magazines. And today’s rat race madcap world make being a teenager all the more difficult. The pressures are too much. Good grades, good talent, good social behavior, peer pressure, drugs, sexual abuse, violence... They hear it all and see it all. They have to steer their life among these and reach the shore safely and it is sure a difficult ride.
I remember agonizing for years over my nose which is slightly on the larger side till I realized that no one really noticed it. That’s the way it is. Teens tend to worry about things that others don’t even notice. They worry if they are short; they worry if they are tall, worry if they are thin, and worry if they are fat. Teenage turns everyone into compulsive worriers. I once had a friend who even worried cause she had no problems. She was sure that there was something wrong with her. Though this may sound absurd, this is not a gross exaggeration. The number of suicides committed by teens every year bear ample testimony to the fact that the teens are extra sensitive and tend to take things harder than the adults. This is partly due to their inexperience and partly due to the pressures applied on them.
It is indeed heart wrenching to see the face of a teenager that ought to be grinning with mischief, bogged down by worries. It is the time when the people around them ought to be more understanding of their emotions. Just close your eyes and think back to the time when you yourself were a teen. Whatever the environment in which you grew up, can’t you identify with their need to know themselves, grow independent, and in simple words cut the apron strings? Can’t you empathize with their struggle to identify themselves and carve a niche for themselves? Give them a bit of space. Allow them to find themselves, make their own mistakes and come out of it themselves. This will only make them stronger in the long run. It is well said that the lessons learnt in your teens serve you till the fag end of your life.
This is not to say that the teens must be left to their own devices. This is the time when they require maximum guidance in life, This is the time when most of them fall prey to bad influences like alcohol, drugs and so on. Parental guidance is a must but it must be done in a manner conducive to harmony. The teen must not feel he/she is being forced into anything rather he/she must be given a feeling of being supported through when required. It is the age when they should be encouraged to meet new people, develop new hobbies and develop a charming persona. But all this should be done without making the teen feel you are invading his space Don’t ever intrude on the privacy of a teen. It is a sure fire way to make him build walls around him and give out “leave me alone” signals. Instead if you sense something fishy in your teen’s activities ask him directly about it. Question him and let him know you are curious because you care. Most teens appreciate honesty in their parents It is well said that you can travel faster if you sail with the stream rather than against it. Guide the teens in a friendly manner with out antagonizing them.
Teens who have a conducive family atmosphere to fall back on hardly ever go astray. With a little bit of help from the people around them the teenage years can be turned into the most beautiful years of the life.
|More by : Smitha Chakravarthula|
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