TODAY -

You are 14, what next ?

Chongtham Meenakshi Chanu *



Adolescence is a period of experiencing many changes-mental, physical and of course the attitudinal variations of people surrounding us. Once a child reaches puberty, parents and guardians should, no doubt, act as watchdogs to him irrespective of the gender.

It is one of the most delicate periods of their lives when they are matured in comparison with their close siblings & a little in proximity to maturity vis-a-vis their parents or any other adult.

In this career-oriented age, girls are more focussed and dedicated to their goals than their male counterparts. There are various evidences to support this statement. Contrary to this, many young girls and boys who have just touched the onset of puberty are in a desperate hurry to start a family. The road they walk is simple-elope once or twice or even thrice before ultimately walking down the matrimonial aisle.

It is true to say that child marriages were a common occurrence in early days. The most important feature of these types of marriages being, the couples married against their wishes. Ironically, the present situation is the total opposite of it.

Increase in independence in mindset and decision-making and lack of family attachment and convergence during meal time which were mandatory a few decades back may be a big reason behind the changing scenario. These family discussions and meetings are important instruments shaping adolescence to the right path of mental development.

The not-so-fully learned child develops the capacity to think, understand and react to different kinds of situations during this period. Since this is the most crucial stage in the overall holistic development of the child-physically, mentally, psychologically and spiritually, it is advisable to supply ample quantity of mental nourishment so as to make him able to differentiate between "The right and the wrong".

Failure to receive this emotional lesson results in various unwanted events-substance abuse, unsafe sexual experience, deterioration in character development etc. The most common of such unwanted events is the process of elopement and marriage that has filled these young minds who have hardly passed their puberty stage.

It is not just enough to send young boys and girls to schools and tution centres to impart growth and knowledge. Well, it is common to experience infatuations, crush and flings. There is the need to control not only their minds but also their bodies when they begin to take these infatuations, flings and affairs to a level much beyond the normal.

The aftermath of these infatuations is the so-called early marriages. It is indeed a sad picture to see young innocent minds who hardly understand the basic knowledge of books, stepping forward to shoulder the huge unbalanced burden of managing the family when it is still time for them to be looked after and nurtured by their guardians.

So, in order to safeguard these young minds during their most vulnerable stage of life, it is advisable to request all parents to ask their sons and daughters enjoying adolescence this simple question- "You are 14, what next??"


* Chongtham Meenakshi Chanu wrote this article for The Sangai Express
The writer is a journalism graduate and can be reached at chongchanu(at)gmail(dot)com
This article was posted on May 14, 2015.


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