The curious world of ...ADOLESCENTS - HashOut
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The curious world of ...ADOLESCENTS

Dealing with peer pressure and social acceptance in adolescenceAdolescents? ...'Scream foul play' was the first thing that came to my mind. It's difficult enough being one of three with siblings who seem permanently stuck in adolescence without having to explain and analyze their next to inexplicable behaviour. Still, I decided to actually try and understand what exactly makes an adolescent tick; after all it wasn't long ago that I was one myself.

I spoke to a couple of befuddled parents of this 'breed'. The love for their offspring was not lost, a tad diluted maybe, but still there. It is the growing up years from childhood to adulthood that make them different. Most of them become extra rebellious during this period, in fact, relatively shy and timid kids seemed to acquire unexpected gumption. "To me it looks like my daughter will be an adolescent for ever!" sighs the mother of a particularly vociferous going-to-be adult. Doors slam, reason is thrown out of the window, captured by the wind and pushed some place where it cannot be found. Another mother of a son this time, says her 16-year-old toes the line. Pretty much. "He knows who lays down the rules, and respects that," this lucky mother smiles.

Psychologists have different theories to this. To most popular one: "This is the 'in-between phase' where you don't really understand if you are grown up or you're still a kid. If you do something wrong then you are chided for 'acting like a kid' and if you act too grown up then they think you 'know' too much and are going above yourself." In fact it as at this stage that in a desperate attempt to gain acceptance from adults, society as well as their peers that a crack occurs. It's cool to party late nights but it ain't cool to come back late! Often this conflict of interest results in them being so rebellious. "I don't know how to handle it sometimes. My friends and my parents have opposite interests but I try to always have a meeting point between the two even if what I'm doing is not very morally correct though by myself I would do things differently," says Arjun.

There are two sides to every coin. Adolescents now days are taking things in their stride by learning to deal with a great many aspects of their lives. Right form peer pressure, to social and moral responsibilities and their parents. Speaking to one parent Mrs. Krithika "I give my son full freedom and don't really restrict him unless it involves his safety and he completely understands that. They just want to be able to make their decisions and we don't question him unless it's truly not the right one. The best way to ensure they don't do the wrong things is allow them to make their decisions after explaining the consequences." The way to understand them is to accept them, sooner rather than later they'll grow out of it; but it should be kept in mind that acceptance is not the same as negligence. While peer pressure and social acceptance is necessary and important for the adolescent, they should be well aware of the consequences of undesirable activities.

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