'My teenage daughter just has to dress differently, just like all her friends.'
‘My teenage daughter just has to dress differently, just like all her friends.’

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AAJ KAl KE BACHHE
Everyone seems to have an opinion on teenagers’ behaviour and tantrums. And the flavor is often critical and regretful. Their labile moods, their unkempt mane,their weird wardrobes, their cultish obsession with some symbols and charms and their constantly rebellious attitude sends unsuspecting parents into a tizzy and they generally start questioning the value system and emotional intelligence of generation which is very rightly  being called Millennials.

The social get-togethers where parents meet their fellow parents or other adults who are directly or tangentially involved with teenagers tend to reverberate with this common catchphrase UFF! AAJ KAl KE BACHHE!!
Well, only pervert would disagree that teenage years are indeed very tough years for kids themselves and as well as for parents and guardians. But the key lies in understanding that teenagers themselves don’t realize the changes that are going on within their bodies. Their bodies are flush with hormones making them moody,even a bit sadistic sometimes, judgemental and unreasonable. Their physical appearance also is raw and yet to undergo grooming of a young man or a young woman. Ironically, this is also the time when they start becoming conscious of their looks and sexuality and start seeking social acceptance, making place in peer groups, develop infatuations and get exposed to information beyond their capability to process it in a balanced manner. At this time, the process of individuation also begins, where children start feeling very wise and capable themselves.They tend to resist adult presence physically and mentally in their lives.Their interactions become need based and many a time they find adult presence unsolicited and jutting out.
Adults must be very wary of the timings and should know when to be at the left, right and centre of their teenager’s space  and when to completely back off and do a disappearing act.This really helps the relationship.
The research has brought out that a certain part of brain in teenagers becomes very sensitive turning them into a bit selfish and unreasonable by societal and familial standards.
They probably don’t even seek to correct their so called unreasonable behavior as they have has yet to learn the finesse of the so called societal good behavior. But adults do and therefore it is a natural corollary that if correction is required and is possible anywhere, it is in the behavior and attitude of adults who are interacting with them at that point of time. It will be worth their while if adults don’t indulge into unleashing a spiel full of nuggets of wisdom which are extremely patronizing in nature and condescending in attitude.
The most undesirable thing an adult can do to a teenger is to indicate to him that how messy his behavior is and how he needs a serious rehabilitation.
Adults must use their discretion in putting forward their experiences in front of their kids. Generally we tend to glorify our generation ad nauseum starting from how we paid respect of obsequious levels to our respective adults, never raised voice or argued,never wasted time and resources and so on.
One such attempt of mine was met with a rebuttal of this type.”Why on earth you had to be so demure and self-effacing. You were no better than a loved pet or a tethered goat. Well taken care.Voicing an opinion is not disrespect.It is confidence and self –respect. Charity and tyranny both begin at home, Ma.”

And then I nearly said ,’ Uff, aaj kal ke bachhe!!!
Yes, Aaj Kal ke bachhe are very capable. They are creating robots, they are chess champions, they are math wizards, they are spelling bee champions, STEM wizards and junior journalists. They are authors, poets and bravery awards winners.
They are Malala ,Eric Finman of Botangle.com, Jaden Smith ,Flynn McGarry . They are Mark Zuckerberg, they are Deepika Pallikal, Saina Nehwal and Pankaj Advani to name a few.
Yes ,let us take pride in our aaj kal ke bachhe. They are sharp and hardworking and prodigious. They are dynamic and are set to become true global citizens supported by technological revolution. They are free from shackles of caste, colour, creed, breed and gender biases. They are indeed true EARTHLINGS set to bring Change .Let us celebrate them and take pride in GENNEXT.

 

 

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Read more: Parenting & Pregnancy Tips

 

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