Drop-out from school due to Teenage Infatuation.
Adolescence is that period in life when emotions are walking on ice. The individual is sometimes treated like an adult and is expected to be responsible. While at other times they are not allowed to take on decisions and are expected to be a child. This brings about a confused state of mind for the teenager. All this confusion ends up in the teenager turning into a rebel or going into a shell, both being difficult situations for a parent to handle and which causes a lot of unpleasantness in homes.
During this stressful phase the poor-little teenager is very lonely and sad, when he is not angry. His energy is drained most of the time and feels lost and low. This loneliness makes the teenager seek comfort from someone of the opposite sex and leads on to teenage infatuation or a ‘crush’. The teenager finds the other person so attractive and gets totally carried away with this feeling of “love” which they believe it to be. They are completely preoccupied with this sensation which they believe is “love” and are so intense that it starts reflecting on studies. Marks start dwindling and there is no interest in school or academics. The teenager in love has to now face a new music in the form of nagging from all sides. Teachers are angry with the poor performance; parents are worried and at times livid with the deterioration of marks. All this makes the teenager more upset. The teenager is now sure that nobody loves him/her except the person he/she is infatuated with. The crush turns to an obsession and the involvement becomes serious. Grown -ups trying to make the teenager see sense fall on deaf ears. Hormonal changes add to the emotional chaos and chemical imbalance can occur.
Caught up in this puppy-love the poor adolescent does not look beyond. All the love and care given by parents is nullified and in most cases parents are the worst enemies. Studies are relegated and become non-consequential and the absolute infatuation make the teenager feel like a total misfit in the school. This eventually makes the student a school drop-out much to the consternation of the parents.
Infatuation, rebellion, anger, depression and attitude are situations parents need to handle. They are fragile situations and need to be handled with the utmost care. Some suggestions that will help to cope up well with such situations include:
1. Parents should be friends at most times and encourage the teenager to talk freely. At the same time, the parent should be patient and firm when necessary.
2. Parents should completely avoid being judgmental, as that would only drive the child away from the parent. The parent’s proximity with the adolescent is of paramount importance. Being close to the teenager can spare the question of dropping out of school.
3. Talking carefully with the teenager without criticizing the love or infatuation is one way to win the confidence of the child.
4. The parent should try to bring about a realization of the futility of that love especially at this tender age, can help the adolescent see reality.
5. If need be the school authorities and teachers need to be roped in to save the situation of the student becoming a drop-out.
This is a delicate situation for both the child and the parents as emotions are so high-strung that it could lead to depression or even suicide due to teenage infatuation. In case parents are at a loss to handle the issues they can always seek professional help, easily available in today’s stressful world. Counselors are there to help the teenager as well as parents. Infatuation is a common phase most individuals pass through, one only has to take care that it does not blind one and ruin one’s future.
( Anup sharma is an educationist with more than 15 years of experience in India and abroad. Presently he is serving the cause of education in Tanzania.)
The photo is taken from http://www.flickr.com/photos/martinaphotography/6877840433/