These are difficult times. With the rapid change occurring around us in terms of technology like internet and mobiles, a conservative society like ours can no longer cope with the change. We have discussed adolescent behavior and the lack of socially sanctioned spaces for our growing boys and girls to socialize in our earlier editorials. It has become an issue in present times and cases of eloping early are piling up in recent times. Restaurant drives or moral policing is creating negative waves among our youth. Unless we discuss this problems seriously and find out ways to facilitate such spaces child marriages will be become a norm. And we need to understand our growing youths and adolescent behavior. When you consider that the teen years are a period of intense growth, not only physically but morally and intellectually, it’s understandable that it’s a time of confusion and upheaval for many families.
Despite some adults’ negative perceptions about teens, they are often energetic, thoughtful, and idealistic, with a deep interest in what’s fair and right. So, although it can be a period of conflict between parent and child, the teen years are also a time to help adolescents grow into the distinct individuals they will become. So when, exactly, does adolescence start? The message to send your children is that everybody is different. Many kids announce the onset of adolescence with a dramatic change in behavior around their parents. They’re starting to separate from the parents and to become more independent. At the same time, youths this age are increasingly aware of how others, especially their peers, see them and are desperately trying to fit in. Their peers often become much more important, as compared with their parents, in terms of making decisions. Adolescent youth often start “trying on” different looks and identities, and they become very aware of how they differ from their peers, which can result in episodes of distress and conflict with parents.
One of the common stereotypes of adolescence is the rebellious, wild teen continually at odds with the mother and father. Although it may be the case for some teen and this is a time of emotional ups and downs, that stereotype certainly is not representative of most teens. But the primary goal of the teen years is to achieve independence. For this to occur, teens will start pulling away from their parents — especially the parent whom they’re the closest to. This can come across as teens always seeming to have different opinions than their parents or not wanting to be around their parents in the same way they used to. As teens mature, they start to think more abstractly and rationally. They’re forming their moral code. And parents of teens may find that kids who previously had been willing to conform to please them will suddenly begin asserting themselves — and their opinions — strongly and rebelling against parental control. You may need to look closely at how much room you give your teen to be an individual and ask yourself questions. These are about how could one work at the individual level. What is required is that we need to think and work at the societal level. The conservative norms will no longer work in modern times. The time has come for parents and the society to be more understanding of the adolescent urges and needs. More spaces have to be created for the growing boys and girls to socialize. We need to look back in history and our traditional norms.
The Khambi-Thoiba ballad tells us about how a young boy comes calling at the home of his lover with parental sanction. And this is not about western value system where the boyfriend is brought home to meet the parents of the girlfriend and vice versa. This is about how civilized society work to bring the adolescent home. It is in our own values and it is just that we need to revive it for the sake of our growing youth.