Adolescence is the most vulnerable period that every individual goes through in their life. The physical and mental changes that occur at this phase creates an adult from a child. But due to lack of awareness, the teenagers of our country don’t know how to cope up with all those changes, and this leads to severe consequences. Keeping this issue on the mind, Reflective Teens organized a webinar with the title ‘ Teenage Years: A conversation about a vulnerable period’ on 23rd October. We invited Ms Anjuman Parvin Ovi, a child development specialist to discuss this issue on the webinar. At first, she described precisely about what are the kind of changes that an individual face during adolescence. She told that different hormonal growths occur during this phase which is responsible for all the phycological and physical changes that an adolescent faces. She also explained the biological reasons behind the physical changes teenagers experiences during this phase and said that they are generally emotionally overwhelmed for some hormonal reasons. And so the teenagers requires as much as care and attention that we give to children. Then she said to help teenagers cope up with these changes; awareness is a must. Besides, the families must understand the emotional and physical difficulties that teenagers face during this phase and should openly discuss with their children about all those. Then she advised the adolescents to try to share their problems with adults/family members because in most cases, they are the only ones that can help. Even peers can sometimes be misleading as your peers also have the same amount of maturity and knowledge as yours. While describing the importance of adolescence, she told if this process is hampered, it could lead to life long consequences. Plus while asked about how to deal with issues which arise due to emotional override during this process such as anger issues, she advised avoiding problematic people and their opinions as much one can. Because setting up boundaries is really important for the wellbeing of our mental health, and so when someone crosses that boundary, which makes us uncomfortable and unpleasant, we should try to stop or avoid them. And she advised teenagers to start practising setting up boundaries from an early age. Later, when asked about how to deal with traumatic experiences faced during adolescence, she advised seeking professional help. In the end, while asked about how to take important decisions during this phase especially those related to our professional career and then how to convince our parents that our decision is correct, she advised gathering enough data before making any decision. She said if you can present enough data in front of a person, they are most likely to be convinced.
Overall the session echoed the importance of having more discourses centring this vulnerable period and increasing awareness so that our teenagers are protected.