Teenage – puberty – adolescence – All three essentially the same, mark the onset of a new chapter in a child’s life, becoming teenagers.
Before embarking on this journey of oscillations between the extremes, a child is happy, carefree, non-judgemental, not so self-conscious and extremely contented with self. The moment his hormones start playing games with his mind, life becomes a maze, transforming him into a maze runner 😊
The roles are magically reversed now! Parents who apparently were the creators and providers of life, are reduced to being mere naïve humans, while the teenagers wondrously become – I know it all humans; and the conflict begins!!
This age is challenging not only for the kids themselves but is mentally exhausting for the parents and the teachers as well. On one hand, it seems like teenagers are hyperactive, bubbly beings, who can go on to conquer the toughest, while on the other hand it seems a lot of their energy has been extracted by their continuous mood swings. They seem to be gazing into the horizon with a blank stare, more often, and we really can’t help it!
With the start of a new chapter of life, come crawling in a variety of teenage pressures like those of body image, time management, emotional management, peer pressure, popularity management, …. And so on! While they are supposed to focus on the shaping of their future and their career goals, they’re also under tremendous compulsion of being noticed at their college, being a cool dude, having lots of friends and hence being popular. Also, they’re supposed to fulfil the constant expectations of parents like – being a disciplined child, getting good grades, escaping mistakes or committing harmful blunders that would blotch their life forever. Now, even though their minds are hyper functional at this age, going through so many ups and downs simultaneously ain’t easy. Consequently, they often break down, questioning their own capabilities and then resort to the wrong pathways and short cuts. For them, parents become a nagging machine and friends become their messiahs, because, of course who would understand them better than their besties going through the same amount of turmoil?!
While they’re balancing between identifying the good and the bad, they suddenly feel they’ve lost the essence of life, and it has just become a burden. It is a traumatic experience of building expectations and failing them often. Every single acquaintance expects perfection out of them, and they’re not supposed to lose their temper or confidence. The guilt traps in, and they feel like a failure. Again, any fickle thing that takes away their mind from this turmoil becomes their savior; be it drugs, alcohol, abusive relationships, toxic friendships… anything! This is the age where hormones are playing a havoc, the relationships are like puzzles and expectations are taking a toll! Simultaneously, it is the deciding age for life that is to follow; they feel the need to explore and take risks, they are supposed to validate their choices without falling into the guilt trap. Exposure and access to social media has made the matters worse. The so called perfect life on Instagram makes our teenagers feel like a total failure in their real life. They absolutely cannot grasp the fine line between the reel and the real life! No wonder, teenage is a traumatic experience 😊
The teenage heads are full of curiosities. Given a chance they would bloom, but given criticism, they’d snap! As easy it is to get intimate with them, it is equally easy to offend them. They can genuinely be full of love and hatred at the same time! While they are in their own bubble- learning, growing, failing, quitting and getting up again like a phoenix, they are also getting acquitted with new relationships, friendships, infatuations, idolizations and motivations. Not to forget the broken families that scar them for life. These succulent minds often give up on life in that dim moment of self-doubt, and resort to grievous crimes like suicide or armed killings. Their tender being tries to create an image of a bad boy, because that’s how they feel they’d get noticed by the world. As parents, siblings, teachers and immediate relatives of such innocent and sensitive adolescents, we are bound with a responsibility of providing them with warmth and comfort at this exciting but depressing age!
Teenagers have a lot on their hands to handle and lots in their minds to figure out. Their plate always seems to be full! In all honesty, they’re just over whelmed at what life suddenly offers to them. They’re constantly juggling between being themselves and being that perfect son/daughter to their parents. It is an obligation of the society to provide them a shoulder to lean on, or they’re sure to go haywire to become anti-social or anti-human elements. Let us ponder over the essentiality of rescuing our next generations from the crux of adolescent brain fogging!