BY O. SHAHID
On Wednesday October 28th, 2015, a number of Milton District High School students, teachers, and parents gathered in the school theatre to discuss ways to improve the lives of troubled teens, and try to determine the root of the problems faced by teens during their time in high school.
Emma Bignell, a senior at Milton District High School, was the first speaker at the event. She spoke about her personal experiences as a teen, and the things that affected her during her time in high school. Another speaker at the event was Tiger Jeet Singh Jr., who spoke about what it was like growing up in Milton as a visible minority. The speeches delivered were quite emotional, and really got the crowd thinking about the variety of problems faced by teens.
Tiger Jeet Singh Jr. Source: http://tigerjeetsinghfoundation.com/tiger-jeet-singh/
Later during the night, people gathered into groups and discussed possible solutions to the issues teenagers face as they enter high school. Towards the end of the event, it became apparent that the most important thing in improving the life of a troubled teen is a good relationship between the teen and their parents.
The relationship between every teen and his/her parents is complex. Every family is well aware of the issues that result from a misunderstanding between parents and children, but not everyone is equally prepared to resolve these issues. It is true that parents and children need to communicate with each other more clearly, and that they need to be comfortable enough to share their concerns with each other, but there is a lot more to a better relationship than most people realize. In every conflict , the perspectives of all sides involved need to be taken into consideration. In order to create a better relationship between parents and children, we need to understand the issue from both perspectives.
It is quite a generalization to say that teenagers are stressed out of because of school or are facing problems in their social life. There is so much more behind the reason why a teenager is upset than most adults realize. Every situation is unique since every teenager is unique, and until adults accept the diversity that exists among the youth, they will not be able to truly understand the problems that a particular teenager faces. It is not just about encouraging the teenager to speak about the problems they are facing, it is also a matter of understanding what the problems are. It is a well-known fact that a mind of a teenager is complex, but unfortunately, most adults do not attempt to understand the complexity of a teenager’s mind.
Teenagers rarely understand what is going through their own minds, so it would be even harder for them to understand what is going through their parents’ mind. Parents, since they are the adults, have a greater responsibility in terms of creating a healthy relationships between themselves and their children. They have to first understand their own concerns, and then try to understand the concerns of their children. A common misunderstanding among parents is that their children wish to be left alone, and that they want space. The truth is the only reason teenagers want space is because they feel like they have been let down by their parents, and they may confuse a parent keeping distance with a lack of concern for the teen. Teenagers still want to have the relationship they had with their parents when they were younger, and they feel like they are being pushed away by their parents. Parents need to make teenagers feel like they are still wanted, and not be too harsh on them or force them to talk about their problems, especially during this critical age. Parents need to trust their children, and be more open with them about their feelings, and eventually teenagers will speak up about their own feelings and problems.
All of this maybe a lot to take in for parents, but parents need to know about these things especially if they wish their children to do well during their teenage years. All of the things mentioned are based on personal experiences of different individuals, and are meant to provide parents with some knowledge on how to deal with their troubled teens. It is no surprise that life is hard, but that does not mean that we give up on things that mean so much to us!
Milton District High School is quite determined to make people understand this. The whole point of this event was to promote this idea, and hopefully we were able to impact the mentalities of many of the people among the crowd. Guidance looks forward to hosting another event like this in the future.