Growing up from childhood to adolescence can be compared to growing up nature’s most delicate plants to their bloom to maturity. The quality of the flower which blossoms depend upon the strength of the root and the nourishment and care it has received over the years. This is followed by a time for facing the changing seasons of real-life and for standing on its own. A time comes, when disintegration sets in, but if the roots are firmly established and the gardener exercises special supervision during this critical time of maturity approaches, the bloom will then appear in all its beauty.
It is the time of disintegration, the beginning of adolescence that comes on now. Great changes take place in the growing child. Besides the physical changes, there is the most noticeable psychological change. The boy or the girl becomes very sensitive and emotional. Reactions come with very little provocation, and these reactions usually go to an extreme. Moodiness sets in and the parents found it very difficult to handle the child at this stage. The success with which the young boy or girl weathers the storms of adolescence will depend very much on the parents and those around, as in the case of a delicate flower.
The second change in the child is the feeling of basic insecurity. He or she feels; 'Everything was going well at home and at school last year. I was really enjoying life. But now I feel physically awake and shy. I am confused by the new element which has suddenly entered into my relations with the opposite sex. I don't know who I am and where I am heading.' The adolescent is no longer at home with himself. He is a stranger in his own house, uncertain and insecure.
In the face of this basic insecurity, boys react somewhat differently from girls. Boys try to hide their insecurity by being aggressive and trying to oppose others, the girls, on the other hand, become timid and mistrustful, withdrawing into their protective shells. They like to appear self-sufficient and are annoyed when disturbed.
This is the time when parents and teachers should show a lot of understanding towards these growing children and realize that behind this aggressive and interesting emotional attitude lies the unsteadiness and insecurity of the child. The young person should be made to feel that, no matter what the problem may be, he or she will always find a listener and understanding help in the partner or teacher.
Especially in the field of religion, the teenager is of vital concern. The young person wants to know why he should be religious. But very often he does not get satisfactory answers to his questions. If the parents have given due religious and moral instruction to the adolescent in his childhood, and show through example the right practice of religion, it becomes easier for the teenager to find answers for his doubts and quotations.
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