Adolescence is a critical and valuable period in a person’s life during which a multidisciplinary approach to finding and addressing his or her problems is required. A quarter of India’s 138 million population is estimated to be between the ages of 15 and 25. Adolescents in India face a wide range of issues and concerns, including nutritional deficiencies, reproductive health issues, and sexually transmitted diseases along with other physical and mental issues. Tobacco and other addictive drugs are frequently abused as a result of stress. This is what I believe teens in India require in order to be their best:
Teens require sex education!
According to a recent study, 10,000 schoolgirls drop out each year due to pregnancy. Furthermore, among the 10,314 schoolgirls in the sample population, there is an alarming level of ignorance about contraception, fertility, and pregnancy. One-third had had sexual experience, 18% had used contraception at some point, and 42 per cent had had an abortion. In India, the only thing we are taught about is the basic anatomy and abstinence from sex. Trying to promote abstinence until marriage as the only legal option for young folks infringes medical ethics and adversely affects them. Our ideologies typically promote monogamous, heterosexual marriage as the only correct setting for sexual activity and the only sure way to avoid unplanned pregnancies and sexually transmitted infections. However, the statistics clearly show that this is not working. There is no point in shying away from sex because if we don’t learn from parents and other reliable adults, these days it’s easy to find out about it from unwarranted sources.
If depressed, Teens expect assistance rather than advice.
According to a 2019 study conducted by the Bengaluru-based National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro Sciences, nearly one out of every five adolescents in India suffers from some level of mental morbidity. Teen depression is a severe health issue that causes a continual feeling of sadness and a loss of interest in things. It has an impact on how your adolescent thinks, feels, and behaves, and can lead to emotional, functional, and health problems. Although depression can strike at any age, the symptoms may differ between adolescents and adults. Teen depression signs and symptoms include a shift in the teenager’s previous attitude and behaviour, which can cause significant distress and problems at school or home, in social activities, or in other areas of life.
Depression symptoms are unlikely to improve on their own, and if left untreated, they may worsen or lead to other problems. Even if the common symptoms do not appear to be severe, depressed teenagers may be at risk of suicide. If you’re a teen and suspect you’re depressed — or if you have a friend who suspects you’re depressed — don’t put off seeking help.
Understand that sexuality isn’t monochromatic!
Minority sexual orientation Adolescent girls can have a variety of sexual identity development. Many members of this population are in good health, but some may be disproportionately vulnerable to health risks, possibly as a result of the social stigma associated with minority sexuality. If sexually active, girls in this population frequently have sex with both boys and girls and face the risks that come with sex with any gender. As they progress through adolescence, they may exhibit fluidity in their sexual identity. According to data, sexual minority adolescent girls are more likely than heterosexual girls to smoke cigarettes, drink alcohol, or use illicit drugs. They may be more likely to be victims of violence or victimisation or to suffer from depression or suicidal ideation.
This is primarily due to a lack of encouragement and understanding for these girls (or whatever they identify as). India must take the initiative and recognise the complexities of sexuality. Parents and teenagers may not be on the same page when it comes to relationship thinking, making it difficult to open up. Apart from that, these elements of growing up are frequently best explored alone. While families should keep their doors wide open for such discussions, they really should keep their minds open.
Need independence not to run wild, but to grow.
When children reach adolescence, they frequently yearn for more independence. Parents are torn between wanting their children to be self-sufficient and knowing that the world is full of grey areas. It is extremely difficult to strike the perfect balance between being too free with a child and being too denying. According to research, adolescents perform best when they are closely connected to their parents while also being allowed to have their own points of view and even disagree with their parents. The transition into adolescence is a completely different experience.
Everything in our bodies, our emotions, and our thought processes are changing. We don’t know who we really are anymore, but we’re eager to find out. Learning about oneself is a difficult and private process, and we feel self-conscious if our parents hovering over us all the time. Teens must gradually ease into adulthood and remove the training wheels.
Teens are already self-conscious enough; we don’t need you or any of our relatives to tell us what’s wrong with us.
Teenagers frequently dress in ways that evoke a variety of negative sexual stereotypes. They are not soliciting sex with their clothing—or lack thereof—but rather attempting to project a more mature identity. Tread carefully, or your child will feel judged and criticised for attempting to mature. Obviously, telling your daughter that she is beautiful or your son that he is handsome is lovely; however, if this is an instinct or the only type of compliment you give, you aren’t doing them any favours. Teenagers require a sense of efficacy, strength, and self-esteem in their abilities. Being beautiful is a natural occurrence, not a result of hard work. Aim to direct your compliments toward qualities and actions that will benefit them far beyond the fleeting pleasure of feeling attractive.