According to World Health Organization (WHO), the age range of adolescents is between 13–19 years. This phase starts with the onset of puberty, and two main body changes occur during this phase, biological (related to physical appearance) and social (pertaining to peer pressure).
During this time, adolescents experienced a lot of psychological turmoil. They start to have special feelings towards the opposite sex. It is normal to make friends of the same gender. Most school students from 6th grade onwards indulge in relationships. Because it is the human tendency, they want a love relationship from family or the opposite gender.
The relationship between girls and boys involves expressing interest, involvement, and dependence and can be extended from face-to-face meetings to an open and unrestricted relationship.
In Indian culture, from conception to middle adulthood age of the child depends on the parents. Children are closely bonded with parents because they are the strong pillars to develop love, security, safety, warmth, intimacy, emotional and social attachments. They also guide their children through many complicated and challenging stages of life.
Reasons adolescents involve in relationships
Lack of emotional attachment
When children have not received these emotional attachments from their parents, they find other alternatives like indulging in a relationship with the opposite sex, drugs and juvenile crimes. These problems are faced by children whose parents were divorced, adopted children and neglectful parenting styles.
Children feel lonely
Changing the structure of the families from joint to extended reasons for the transformation of the family pattern (joint to extended families), westernisation, digitalisation, mass migration, shifting employment patterns, and shrinking socialisation practise has a strong impact on children.
Children start using social media like Instagram, Facebook, and WhatsApp chat. They feel more comfortable sharing their feelings and emotions with the opposite gender than their parents. Children are away from their parents’ control and start arguments with them.
Dispute between parents
Many studies also reported that those children who live with single-parent families (either stepmother or father) adopted parents suffer more socio-emotional problems. Positive parent-child relationships were correlated with lower socio-emotional problems, indulging in relationships with the opposite gender, drugs, and juvenile crimes.
Structured peer support system
A structured peer support system should be established at the school level. This support group is a students’ body meant to render support and guidance to all the school students and when required by their fellow students. This support system is appreciated by the new entrants every academic year. They should have a strong peer support group at every school level to help them cope with life’s issues.
The positive role of parenting
Parents played a particularly significant role in teenagers’ life. When children and young people experience warm, positive relationships at home and in school, they are less likely to experience social and emotional problems.
Role of the teacher
School is one of the significant places where students spend their major time and learn most things like values, manners and discipline. Teachers enhance attitudes and ways of looking at situations that help them achieve their goals and success in all the ups and downs.
Dr Rajinder Kaur and Gurpreet Singh Maan Janisar are lecturers at Punjab Agricultural University. Their research interests include human development and family studies.