Lack of Acceptance leads to Addiction among Teens
Written By: Pritesh Joshi|
January 10, 2016|
In today’s modern era where both the parents are busy running the rat race of accumulating wealth and gadgets for their children somewhere this race leads to creating a feeling of lack of parental love, care and acceptance in a child’s life. This vacuum is filled in bits and bites by short foreign trips, weekend dinners, shopping and buying new gadgets but to no avail.
The children who are loaded with all the luxuries of life other than parental care seek shelter in their friends and other social groups. Often these social circles also belong to the same class and homogenously tend to deviate towards addiction that provides them with temporary relief. These addictions do not necessarily involve drugs, tobacco or alcohol but the children can be spending hours in front of the TV, surfing the internet, playing video games, etc.
According to psychology, ‘Addiction is a state characterised by compulsive engagement in rewarding stimuli, despite adverse consequences.’ These stimulants provide unconditional acceptance to the children and hence they consume them unhesitatingly.
The drifting of the children from the family is not purposefully done but rather happens due to the involvement of various factors. Some of them may be – Rejection from home – 16 year old Rahul came home late last night. On the breakfast table when interrogated about his delay he confessed having been around with friends. His parents suspected him of indulging in malpractices and stopped his stepping out henceforth.
Rahul was taken aback and started sneaking out giving false reasons. Soon he actually became a drug addict. All the parents may not be as stern as Rahul’s but their knee-jerk reactions and being judgmental creates a rift between the child and the parents. This rift widens with time and the child starts seeking love and acceptance outside home among social groups.
Parents should be more responsive and patient when it comes to dealing with teenage issues. Let’s take another example – 13 year old Ravina told her parents about her liking for a boy in school. Her mother was an uneducated woman but acted wisely. She sat down with Ravina on the garden bench and talked to her about the teenage hormonal changes. She explained that at this age it is not right to involve yourself in all this and it may distract her from her goal. She also discussed with her about how to have healthy friendship with the opposite sex. Now Ravina is a successful corporate professional and thanks her mother for her advice that doesn’t make her regret the past.
Acceptance from Friends – children of the teenage group feel lonely due to various biological and psychological changes. During this phase of transition they take the support of one another and form groups. Lack of knowledge and immaturity exposes them to negative activities. Another illustrative example shows how the teen gets carried away towards addiction. 15 year old, Tarun planned to go to a movie with friends on Friday night. After the movie the friends saw a group of people smoking around the corner. Tarun and his friends had the urge to try it and all of them did it hesitatingly out of curiosity. Later, at home Tarun talked about his experience with his father who handled the matter with composure and told him the hazards of the tobacco and also took his assurance not to repeat it. On the other hand, Tarun’s friend did the same and his father exploded.
He was locked inside the house and scolded. The disturbed teen discussed it with his mates. The next time when they decided to try it again Tarun was confident enough not to join them whereas the friend who was already disturbed and rejected from home joined the group to gain their support. Soon he turned into a smoker at a very young age.
This growing epidemic of addiction can be prevented among the teenagers by using some of the following techniques:
A. Give Time – Stealing away time for your kids from your busy schedule and asking them about their whereabouts creates a sense of care and love among them.
B. Learn to listen – A teenager goes through a lot of psychological, physical, emotional and biological changes. These changes take place due to sudden hormonal releases and hitting of puberty. They should be dealt with patience and children should be heard carefully without immediate reactions.
C. Listen to learn – Being a good listening parent will help you to learn better about your child and learn about him and his lifestyle.
D. Have meals together – A meal is one of the most significant events of the day where a family should sit together and discuss about the day and each other’s issues.
E. ACCEPT – A teenager should be accepted with all his flaws and faults and treated with compassion. He/She should be told the pros and cons of a certain activity and given confidence of family faith and support.
Parenting is not only a challenge but also an art that has to be undertaken gracefully with determination. Children are the assets of the nation and the future of our country. They should be nurtured and moulded into healthy souls dwelling in healthy bodies. A child finds shelter elsewhere only when he doesn’t find it at home. Be your child’s best friend before he requires one.
Pritesh Joshi is working as the Head, Department of English at Global Vision International School, Nashik, teaching English, Biology, Physics and Chemistry upto Higher Secondary level. He believes that students are the saplings of a developed India. They need to be nurtured with love, compassion and acceptance. He feels that being in the noblest profession of imparting knowledge it is his moral duty to gift India valuable citizens. Being a student of spiritual science and psychology, he makes ‘my kids’ (as he refers to them) comfortable and interactive in his classroom sessions. The Rotary Club has conferred the ‘Nation Builder Award’, 2015 on him for outstanding contribution in the teaching profession and supporting India in the illiteracy eradication campaign.