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Our adolescents are capable of growing into mature well adjusted members of society if the environment they grow up in is supportive. What do young people need from adults to achieve their lifetime coveted goal(s)?  Read on!

Young people don’t need our sympathy. They need our empathic understanding of the difficulties they face on their road to maturity. They don’t need our direct intervention in every one of their problems but the promise of support and guidance. Never solve their problems for them but create an environment to work out solutions to their troubling life questions and challenges.

They need a certain level of permissive attention from adults that can help them explore their endowments and discover their talents. Overly strict and protective parental care may dampen their creativity and maintain their dependency learned in childhood.

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In dealing with adolescents, You need to be non-directive and non judgmental, if we are to obtain their co-operation and make them behave the way they should. Anne Jones, 1977.

You need not see them as a spoilt generation that needs control, rather as a troubles generation that needs our every support- physical, emotional, spiritual- to help them confront the challenges of growing up.

You need not to quickly judge them as difficult, selfish or rebellious but instead help them understand themselves and be able to manage life on their own.

If you need them to behave like adults, you must avoid infantilising them (treating them as kids). They hate to be treated as children because they are not. If you treat them as if  they were adults, they can try to behave as if they were.

It is also a mistake to assume them to be adults because they are not. This means that when you give them some freedom, monitor how they use it.If you allow them to go for an outing as a parent, take trouble to find out where and follow up to ensure they remain safe. That is called responsible parenting.

  • Love and respect that are unconditional; love and respect just because they are our youth. When you indicate to them that you’re their best friend, chances are that they will be able to handle wrong influences from those who start out by becoming friends.
  • Protection from the hostile environment; from the troubles of the world around them. These put a lot of emotional and physical strain on them. They need your support and advice on how to learn and handle life in these situations.
  • Protection from hostile ideologies advanced by the perverse or wicked community- homos, pornographic-leaning media, devil worshippers, and mammon worshipers.

Protection them from their incongruent dreams, self defeating thoughts and effects of their disruptive behaviour.

By Joseph Ssebunya

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