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As a mom of 2 kids who will soon be teens, I worry about the dangerous trends like the Blue Whale game - what do I do to protect my kids?
As a mom of 2 kids who will soon be teens, I worry about the dangerous trends like the Blue Whale game – what do I do to protect my kids?
Being a mother of 2 acts as a constant motivator for me to be in sync with all that is happening in the world around us. To add to that, I also feel responsible toward all the parents and schools that I connect with because of my work. ‘Transparency’ and ‘integrity’ are the keywords here.
Over a period, a few of the parents who approach us when searching for schools move from the ‘work’ category to that of ‘friends’. One such friend is the mother of a teenager (totally feel the pain!).
Teens have always been rebellious; we all know that, right? Sleep evades them at night and gadgets are their closest friends. For the sake of convenience, I will refer to my friend as Priya and her daughter as Tish. So, Tish is mercurial; it is as though she suffers from a kind of ‘adolescent fever’. She is 14 years old, (almost an adult…she says). Priya is a working mum so obviously on a perpetual guilt trip. To add to that one hears of the most horrific stories about teenagers and their acts of aggression. Priya is in a constant state of worry.
So, Tish is under the microscope 24/7; her behaviour under consistent scrutiny. But it leaves me wondering if this ‘policing’ is any good… can it predict the future? As a mother of future teens, my brain is on a constant overdrive. With the current situation being so miserable, what would happen 10 years later?
I read articles that talk about a 14-year old killing his classmate as an act of bullying; then there is someone who kills his mother and sister because he felt that his mum did not love him enough. Really??? There is the infamous incident where some senior slit the throat of a 7-year old because he wanted school to declare a holiday. The list continues and gets even murkier. So, I read of 2 -year old girl getting raped and killed; a 4-year old molested by a 5-year old… it makes me shudder!
We all know of the teen boy who comes across the online game, The Blue Whale. He is asked to complete one challenge after the other. He accomplishes every task and keeps moving forward. The last challenge in the series is to commit suicide. The innocent soul takes a picture of himself at the top of a building and jumps. Goosebumps…
As a parent and the founder of a ‘parent/child oriented’ website, I ask myself – Why this ‘blue-whalism’? What is in it for them? Our teens crave for social rewards, particularly the adulation and respect of their peer group. I feel that maybe doing something different gives our teenagers a pseudo sense of acceptance and belonging to their friends. They might also be in a state of constant inadequacy or incompetence due to various reasons. Maybe, they are not happy with the way they look, or that they are not doing great at school, or that they are not popular enough.
More so, teens are a warehouse of raging hormones, further supercharged with the adolescent attention & attraction to the opposite sex. Most of their actions are impulsive, completely ‘in the moment’. Based on my observations, I believe that teens love to take risks. They want to win, irrespective of the consequence. There is an incessant quest for new, exciting or perilous tasks. Gaining an enviable place in their peer group and being a winner outweighs any risk, whatsoever.
Having thought aloud (above), an advice that I have for everyone (including yours truly) is that COMMUNICATE with your teens, without being judgmental. Let them take their own decisions and learn from their mistakes, but always have their back. Be supportive, yet pull back the reins when needed. Make them feel secure and unique. Inculcate compassion, respect and empathy in them. Remember, they do not need perfection, they need you!
Image source: shutterstock
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Pooja Kedia is the founder at SchoolWiser.com - Where Parents Discover Great Schools! From London to Gurugram, from achieving her Six Sigma Black Belt certification to being a Mompreuner, she is enjoying every phase of read more...
Women's Web is an open platform that publishes a diversity of views, individual posts do not necessarily represent the platform's views and opinions at all times.
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Many Indian elderly are firm believers in enslaving a daughter-in-law in the name of tradition which is actually a tradition of oppression and not of religious faith.
Albeit, the popular culture has interpreted scriptures as suggesting that Kanyadaan is the supreme form of donation given to someone, the connotation that the word donation alludes to definitely objectifies the girl.
Even when the exegesis justify the act of giving away the daughter, considering it a ritual to mark the initiation of the daughter into her husband’s gotra and her becoming the part of his family tree.
There is no denial of the fact that this initiation is not required on the part of the groom thereby formally denoting the end of the filial ties with the daughter as it was popularly instructed to the bride during the Vidai ceremonies:
"I chose to go out into the remote, wild, unknown, and make it home," says entrepreneur Kiranjeet Ahluwalia Chaturvedi, who owns Birdsong & Beyond.
The story of my mountain home Birdsong & Beyond started taking shape in 2009, on the internet, the way many stories do these days.
My childhood fascination for a life in the Himalayas led to an internship with a central Himalayan NGO instead of a much prized corporate assignment. But when they offered me a full-time job, I refused. I was overcome by fear and a lack of confidence.
My other longings pulled me away – the longing to fit in, to earn validation from others. By my mid-30s, with all the trappings of a middle-class urban life in place, the call of the snows couldn’t be ignored anymore. So I got to work on it with clearer intentions and a stronger sense of what I needed for myself, and why.
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