Why avoid the unavoidable? Life itself is so simple, but we make it complicated.
We limit ourselves… and sometimes it just makes everything worse.
“I’ve been making a list of the things they don’t teach you at school. They don’t teach you how to love somebody. They don’t teach you how to be famous. They don’t teach you how to be rich or how to be poor. They don’t teach you how to walk away from someone you don’t love any longer. They don’t teach you how to know what’s going on in someone else’s mind. They don’t teach you what to say to someone who’s dying. They don’t teach you anything worth knowing.”
― Neil Gaiman, The Sandman, Vol. 9: The Kindly Ones
Yes, for teenagers, school is a perfect example of what I’m going to write about today. Of course, I won’t say that this type of education isn’t important; it does have advantages like, it is now critical to have passed high school and at least followed tertiary courses to have a stable and respectable job.
But then? This only benefits us in our professional life.
Many people in educational institutions persuade their students not to fall in love while they’re still at school. We’re not allowed to feel attracted to someone. It makes our mind go crazy. It makes our heads turn round and round. Then some parents totally agree and may even prevent their children to go out and have some fun with friends. They’re overprotective. Scared.
I don’t blame anyone, but check out this comparison:
What most adults see when they think about love + teens:
Unprotected sex. Vulgar language. Open flirt. Bad relationships. Nonsense and a wasted of time.
What most teens see when they think of the same thing:
Warmth, comfort. Friends. Socialisation. New experiences, new feelings. New mistakes, new lessons.
The media has been thinking like most adults – fortunately yes, there are exceptions – and when this image of teenage love is being reflected on TV, the teen him/herself wonders and begins to doubt what most teens think of an early love. Because, there are indeed exceptions to what most teens think of love + teens.
Parents, it’s good to be protective, but let me tell you that most teens will do what you will tell them not to do. This is called rebellion. Depending on how you raised them, the degree of rebelling will vary, but it will come round. It might last for one day or two… or many years.
Face the fact: teen rebellion is unavoidable.
Just like falling in love.
Yes. Your child is growing and will sooner or later encounter their first love. Whatever barriers education or family will build, the teenager will break them all. And the more you try to imprison him/her, the more he/she will do things wrong. You will lose their trust and affection. You will find yourself with a depressively in love teen.
First love is usually very innocent. A smile, eye-contact… so what are we afraid of? Maybe we should apprehend this:
Influence + Heartbreak = risk of conversion
What do I mean by ‘risk of conversion’? I mean that when a teen first encounters love he/she views it like ‘what most teens see when they think of love + teens’ (scroll up and you’ll see it). But if he/she ends up heartbroken, two paths will open in front of him/her:
i) either become like those teens that do things wildly, like go for more… (i.e. what most adults see when they think of love + teens) and neglect studies;
ii) or become antisocial, have the I-hate-everyone-because-no-one-understands-me attitude, and be depressive while burying themselves in their studies.
What would you choose?
Yes, teachers are right: love makes your head hurt. But it is unavoidable. So instead of blocking the way and limiting the growth of teenagers, adults should walk beside them. Help them make the right decisions. Not mock their silly feelings or harassing them for having a private life.
The teenage years of one’s life are the hardest ones. Support and affection is greatly important. Feelings can’t be restricted… while studies can’t be ignored.
Don’t avoid the unavoidable. Wait for it, though, don’t rush. But be prepared when it comes.
‘When’, not ‘if’.
An Evil Nymph.