Teenagers are the people who want to be treated as adults, and then as children the very next moment. Hilarious as it may sound, it’s actually true. Teenage is a dodgy age. With hormones messing up with the biology of the body, the brain is a centre of crazy entropy. Being an Indian kid I know for a fact that when a kid turns 13 the parents start getting all hot and bothered about the “dating”, “affair”, “attraction” and “relationship” phase that’s about to follow. It’s like the rakhi sawant of phases, you can hate it, you can like it but you can’t ignore it. What I am about to write in the next part of this article is not meant to offend anyone or generalize the perspective of all parents, rather I am writing this to specifically address that chunk of our population for which it is true.
As a protective mechanism, a lot of parents start putting restrictions on the child, and it is absolutely justified to an extent. But when the parents start putting barbed wires on the line of control, is when it sparks of an inter generation war. The child starts feeling mistrusted and being treated like a kid makes him/her rebellious. In rebellion these teenagers then get into relationships with the wrong people and at the wrong age. Also, since they are scared of their parents they never talk to them about it. So they would date a douche bag and not know it. And sometimes they know and still continue to date him/her out of rebellion. For some, these end in nightmares, for some in heart breaks and for some, sadly, it ends in suicide. So what is wrong? Is falling for someone wrong? Is smothering the Childs instincts with fear the right way to ensure that he/she doesn’t stray?
The fact is NO. You cannot actually control this tendency of your child feeling all lovey dovey at this age. What is missing here and what is critically important is communication. Keeping a check on the child is a one thing, and assuming the role of Sherlock Holmes is quite another. Instead of treating it like a “Hawww” thing, if only the parents would talk to their children about it, it would make all the difference. It is important to establish trust, and to show trust. Trust will make children confide in their parents and ensure that any jumpy news finds its way to the right ears first. A lot of times the children who cannot go to their parents about it seek advice of their peers, who are as immature as they are, in these cases. It’s like a dog trying to teach a kid how to write. Bad advice leads to bad decisions and that’s when things start getting ugly. By the time the parents find out, a lot of damage has already been done.
I am not a psychologist. But this is what I have learnt from my life and from what I have seen. My mother has always exercised restriction on me, but she always knew how much. As a result I never felt the need to hide anything from her. I could discuss my crushes and feelings freely with her, and she has been my guide ever since. It’s my humble request to every parent and to-be parent reading this. Please think about this. Your attitude, your understanding and your trust can change everything. It does not have to be a nightmare. The LOC need not be barbed.