Teenage – the period of transition of a person’s life from childhood to adulthood is the phase where a person makes most of his life’s crucial choices, weaves most of his dreams, makes most of the mistakes and gains a learning experience all through these surreal seven years of his life!

The initial stage of teenage is just like that stage of the pot-making where the mud is all wet and a rough shape given by the potter. It requires warmth of the tender hands, lots of pressure and continual gentle pulling – upwards and outwards. And that’s what teenage is all about.

The mental stress, of doing better than everyone, of keeping up with parents’ expectations and dreams for us, is sky rocketing. The peer pressure just adds fuel to the fire. In this time of cut-throat competition, we’re all on the super highway to exhaustion. The ‘mad rat-race’ has become such an important part of our lives that it has put us in a catch-22 situation. Its like either you are in the race or you’re nowhere. And no teenager would like to be a Nobody, would he?

As a result, there are increased stress levels, wrong eating habits, dwindling lifestyles which further result in hormonal imbalance and health problems. Teenage is not just the stage where we grow as a person, but also, the time for physical growth. It needs proper diet at equal intervals. But in the present time, we are so engrossed and pressured to be the ‘best’ that we push our limits to the end of our tether, adding so much water in the yet-to-be-hardened pot, that it falls apart. The newspapers are always filled with yet another teenage suicide due to the inability to handle the immense mental pressure. Did the potter want his pot to be broken? No. Similarly, our parents never want us to fall apart because of their expectations; they indeed want to make us stronger and better. But the famous ‘teenage temper’ is not a myth. This is the time when we’re at our most rebellious stage, not ready to being told what to do and what not to do.

What may help though is an easy communication between parents and children. Parents should be understanding enough to recognize their child’s potential as well as wishes. They should be tender enough so that their children can trust them with their feelings & fears. And in return, the child must be aware of the fact that their parents are twice their ages, hence twice the experience of life. They may not be as techno-savvy as their children are, but they know enough about life and about what can be harmful for their children. So we must listen to them, put forth our arguments, and have an open discussion about the problems we face in the most important stage of our lives- the teenage.

The kind of books that we read & the kind of message that we take from them is the kind that can make us or break us. Just like the right amount of sunlight at all the right angles is needed to harden the pot, similarly, the right kind of awareness, a balanced diet, and a healthy discussion with friends and family must be instilled in a teenager to make the cradle of ‘happy balanced and successful life’, a life time pillar!

Contributed By: Mansi Sharma (learning still…always have, always will.) mansi.s1992@yahoo.com

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