Teen Talk

Last weekend, I was travelling by bus from Jaipur to Manesar. I had an aisle seat and adjacent to me (across the aisle) were 4 boys. Here’s a brief profile of my 4 young co-passengers:

  • Teenagers with little light fuzz over the upper lip and some stray hairs around the chin.
  • Their branded Jeans and shoes along with with the Blackberries and iPods suggested they being from affluent background.

They were a bunch of boisterous teens, laughing and talking loudly and animatedly. From their conversation, I guessed they were in class 12.

I was busy reading amidst their cheerful banter and suddenly it was all quiet around me. I looked up and saw that one of them was dialling a number on his mobile. Once his line got connected he spoke to a caretaker of a flat at Delhi. This young boy asked the fellow on the other end, if he had money with him. I guess, the caretaker answered in affirmative because the boy next asked him to arrange for a bottle of Royal Stag!!

I was shocked and this turned into a deeper shock when at mid-way, three of them were smoking nonchalantly! And soon they were discussing about girls!

I looked at them again and they still looked like kids to me despite their indulgence in things which should be off limits for them at this age.

I wondered if the parents knew about their kid’s new behavioural and personality changes!

Then, the other day, I was in the washroom at a shopping mall and just then a girl came running in. She had a mobile in her hand which was ringing. She took a deep breath and answered the phone call and I heard her saying, “I am in the college!”.

While just yesterday, we were discussing about the ‘Facebook and kids’ and a father of a teenager shared that he was in his son’s friend list. A few times it happened so that whenever the son posted pictures or status updates which were unpalatable to the parents, the parents would immediately take it up with the kid and the usual routine of parental questions and sermons would follow. And now the father observed that his son’s wall on FB is virtually clean. When a friend explained that the kid had changed/controlled his news feeds settings, the father was simply flabbergasted!

I believe that a parent is the builder of his/her child’s life, rest of the people around are the sub-contractors. As a parent, one can instill values and principles in a child.

Having said that, I also wonder, how much can a parent monitor or control the whereabouts  or activities of the child. Given their age and immaturity, it is so easy get influenced by peers and the technology explosion around.

Being a teenager and handling a teenager today is so very different than being one some 10-15 years ago.

So, does that mean that if a teenager is going on a path which has lots of unsavoury bumps, the parents are to be blamed?? 

I guess, they are responsible for this partially, if not completely (only if they worked on the basics of parenting a teenage!). Because, a child may still CHOOSE to lead a life which is different from the principles taught by the parents.

I believe, the 2 am feeds or that incessant crying in the middle of night or those frequent dealings with the tantrums of the terrible twos or the whiny threes, is cakewalk as compared to handling teenagers of today!

And teenagers of tomorrow??… an icy cold shiver has run down my spine!!