FEATURE ARTICLE

Ozioma Evangeline EzeMonday, March 13, 2017
hmezefom@gmail.com


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Forwarded by: Prof. Herbert Eze

MY LIFE AS A TEENAGER

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hen I was still a kid according my Mum, I was loving, always cheerful and kind-hearted, but things started changing as soon as I clocked 13 years. I started feeling on top of the world when my heart was telling me hey! You are now big enough.

I found myself saying things I wanted to do even though I was advised to choose which one I would specifically commit myself to. The feeling that I am now a big took me over and I did not want to be commanded about. When I got to school late, I refused to be flogged; I became very stubborn.

My mum was surprised for she said that she never knew I could change this much. She fought her way to stop the ugly character that was taking me over. I saw her efforts as disturbances to my freedom, but now when I see my siblings behaving badly, I give them advice and help to control them.

Many teenagers make great mistakes because, may be, their parents are not controlling them. Some at this age get unwanted pregnancy, involve in secret cults or steal, but the joy of it comes if you change your evil ways or that you did not mess your adolescent period with evil doings, you will be a good adviser to others.

From your experience and understanding of the adolescent life and assumptions that cause the push and the remedial steps to take, you can be of some help in changing the carefree and ugly lifestyle that many youth embrace during this period. I have a friend who told me of her younger sister's bad behavior. She refused to bend down and became very stubborn, She would not attend her WAEC extra- mural lessons meant to prepare her for WAEC examinations.

Scolding her was a waste of time for she threatened thunder and brimstone to anyone that would dare touch her. The father swore to deal with her severely in ways that would not mind she is her child.

I counseled my friend from my own personal experience as a teenager. Dealing with her severely would not contribute positively to her life but would cause harm. I told her that the family should put hands together to help rescue her especially through prayers and to their surprise she will change someday and join in helping others with such teenage problems.

The push that is central in the adolescent age is mostly derived from what parents communicate privately to them at reaching puberty. Puberty is a stage of physical development during which a person changes from childhood to adulthood because of ability to have a child. This is usually at 12 years for girls and 14 years for boys.

Parents are expected to create this awareness in good time to their adolescence especially their mothers. It is not to inform them of how powerful they have become but to alert them on how careful they should be in all their association with the opposite sex in order to avoid unwanted pregnancy and the scandal that goes with it.

How each youth got his or her puberty enlightenment and what becomes assumed in each case may serve to explain why the adolescence react differently to this physical change phenomenon, some with careful attitude to youth life while others with arrogant and carefree attitude.

At this stage, let me reflect on how I got my puberty enlightenment, and what it meant most for me which formed my adolescent worldview. I got my puberty enlightenment first from school through a friend of mine who is more of age than me. She taught me sex education and the changes in a woman including monthly cycle and how to take care of myself during my monthly cycle. So I felt relaxed with her because my mum thought I am not of age yet for it, however, she got it wrong.

When later my mum began teaching me those things, I felt uncomfortable because I already knew them. I had them at my finger tips. It is good for parents to teach their children in time these important lessons and not at their own wish after they have learned them elsewhere.

Learning puberty lessons elsewhere and before your parent feels it is due, when indeed it's overdue, may build a wall of discomfort for an adult who seeks to cross into the teenagers' world for instruction or correction.

Prof. H. Eze can be reached at hmezefom@gmail.com

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