Ah! Teenage. An age full of hormones and confusion. Teenagers are often considered to be the most troublesome people in the whole human chart. They are confused, rebellious, very moody, and thus difficult to control.
Teenage is also an age where a person tends to find themselves and have fun with life experimenting with all sorts of things which includes ‘dating’, the topic of this very article.
Check out: Body Changes in Puberty: The Teenage Attack
Teenage dating has evolved in the past decade or so with the introduction of smartphones and the internet. A lot of teens now are able to interact online and form bonds beyond just friendship. And because of a lack of support, knowledge, and encouragement from their parents, they embark on a journey of exploration.
1. Guidance and therapy should be encouraged wherever they are needed
2. The new generations may not take heartily to the old rules but are still human beings and deserve to have a healthy mindset
3. Considering how much relationships have changed, parents/guardians need to include and provide extra care and guidance to their children.
4. Not all children are the same and need to be assessed individually not everyone can be grouped in one category. Let a teen establish their individual identity. Do not guide them when they aren’t ready to listen.
5. Remain calm and avoid any derogatory remarks. Take time to accept and reflect on whatever your child tells you, do not react suddenly to the news.
6. Acceptance is key. Take your time and make them understand the repercussions of their actions and how it is important to address both parties and provide rehabilitation in case of any wrongdoings.
7. Let your child be aware of the dangers and things they should absolutely avoid and how they are supposed to handle themselves if they are in one.
8. Basic knowledge such as sex education as well as helpline details should be something every teen irrespective of their gender should know about.
9. Helping others and accepting them should be encouraged as well.
Due to their curiosity and general energy, they are able to grasp more about human psychology as well as about other aspects of life. Dating isn’t as easy as it seems.
There are many factors that play a part in the forming and maintenance of a ‘teenage relationship’. Due to their extremely moody nature, most teen relationships don’t last very long.
A majority of them do not understand a lot of what they face and it is something that they may look back on in the future and ponder over the lesson that they learnt from it.
Teenagers have many different stages attached to their relationships, most of which are influenced by their peers and what they accomplished in their relationship.
Some of these goals are also influenced by their parents and their relationship.
Another major factor is movies and other forms of media. Some believe achieving these goals is the sole purpose of the relationship and the moment they achieve these the relationship is over but there are many others who are motivated by different factors and may have different reasons for staying in or leaving the relationship.
Social interactions play a major role in the development of a teens skills and personality traits and with the correct guidance and encouragement can help them deal with a lot of life situations easily. Unfortunately, since relationships aren’t encouraged openly in every family the overall development isn’t always positive and may lead to a lot of negative habits and misinterpreted mentalities among them.
Especially for Indian parents and teens, relationships are seen as a bad influence on people, and children are encouraged to wait for the ‘appropriate’ age to date and their urges and views are neglected and since a teenager is an egocentric human being their rebellious nature leads them to date and keep it a secret from their families which becomes a negative factor all by itself.
A lot of things happen that have a negative effect on the mental or even physical health of teens. Due to their hyper-aware sense of being they often injure and harm their mental health which indeed might affect their physical health.
They are sensitive about their physical features and do not take insults on them lightly.
Many teenage girls develop anorexia and bulimia trying to get into shape as they feel that they aren’t ideal for their potential partners or even themselves.
While considering the topic of physical health the concept of relationship abuse is also a very relevant topic as teens often keep things private from their parents or even their friends since they do not have much guidance.
They might not even complain or tell others about any abuse they might be facing which is very unhealthy.
Teenagers act on what they have learnt from the environment around them and some guidance and discipline can do wonders in their relationships.
They must be taught to voice their opinions openly and to the right people so that they can remain in a healthy and happy mindset and not be traumatized by the ill effects of abuse.
They do not openly seek guidance due to their egos and fear instilled by parents and guardians, especially since India is such a conservative country and parents often find it difficult to accept change.
Teenage is an age where a person can openly experiment and prepare themselves for their future. A huge role here is played by the sexuality and who they choose to be as a person. Their interests, habits, and identity are all they can discover and develop during these years.
Open-minded individuals aren’t really appreciated by the conservative culture of India but since times are constantly changing and new cultures are entering India people have started to accept and believe in an open mindset.
Teenage dating can be a great learning arc for life lessons and understanding people and their behaviors. Teenage dating isn’t romantic or regretful, it is an experience that would teach an individual about many many things they wouldn’t be able to learn and understand otherwise.
Also read: Teenage Dating: Moral or Immoral?
Healthy dating should be encouraged and supported by parents after all parents are the ones who have the most say in the teen's lives.