Click here for shortcuts to regional language blogs and city-specific events.
I stood there, totally embarrassed. So embarrassed that I couldn't look in the eyes of the pharmacist, as I ordered the medicines prescribed to me. Well, there was nothing wrong in my prescription. It was that, just a minute ago, a teenager (maximum 15 or 16years old) came to the shop, ordered for a pack of his 'preferred' condom, bought it and left the shop.
And, I stood there all startled, in dismay. Not because, he asked for a packet of condom. But, cause of the fact that such a young kid was actually involved in a physical relationship. He raised a plethora of questions inside me,
1-He bought condom, good in a way that he was aware of protection.
2-He had the money to buy the packet and definitely, a place where he would accomplish the deed. But.
3- Was this the right age to get involved in a physical relationship? We Indians are definitely born and brought up in a different culture.
4- If he is a teenager, then the counterpart involved must be of a similar age, or younger/elder to him or may even be a hired prostitute. You never know.
5- The confidence he showed in buying the packet made it sure that it was definitely not his first purchase.
6- Are his parents aware of this?
Apart from these questions, I had a few more.
7- If, he has started having a physical relationship at such tender age, than what will happen by the time he is all grown up?
8- Will he be able to stick to that one girl for a lifetime? Or will he have multiple partners?
9- What about his emotional state, when he grows up? Will sex have a different meaning for him or will it be just like a thrilling game he has always played as a teenager?
10- What about, when he gets married? Will he love his wife for real, or still try seeking the thrills and adventures beyond his marriage? (An extra marital affair is one of the leading causes of divorce in our society).
I know, I am overthinking. But, I too, have a son, who one day would grow up to be a teenager and than a man. And like any other mother, I too, want my son to become a responsible adult, who has an understanding, that his actions will bear consequences. So the main question is, how do I handle him? How do I teach him the meaning of a physical relationship? How do I teach him that sex should not be just a game, its about the love you share with a special person, and how that special person may become an important part of your life?
We all talk about sex education, being frank and open with our kids. Talk to them about everything in details. But is sex education enough? Can it teach them the real meaning of physical relationship, the feelings and bonding attached to it? Or the role it plays in ones life? And how much that can effect ones life or marriage or happiness?
Being a teenager is tough. Attractions to the opposite sex at this age is very normal. Every single attractive girl or boy you see, you might just fall in love with. Every fortnight you might find yourself madly in love with another person. But, this age is too tender to understand true love (let alone, physical relationship). Plus, the present generation of kids think and act differently (off course exceptions are always there). If you don't have a boyfriend, you are considered as a Behenji, if you don't have a girlfriend, you are not man enough. Peer pressure may succumb a teenager to deviate from their path and choose the wrong path, just to prove their supremacy among their friends,
We all have have seen, heard or read about teenagers going through series of affairs, make ups and break ups. And how emotionally taxing it could be. And being physical involved with your partner just increases the problems tenfold. Makes one emotionally vulnerable, weak, break-down ones confidence, may at times make you hate yourself for falling prey to such a partner, may lead to alcohol, drugs, rapes, depression, suicide, teenage pregnancy, rehabilitation centers. The list is endless. And so are the casualties. A bad relationship leaves a scar even on an experienced grown up, who has a much better understanding of the world around. So just imagine, how much a bad relationship can effect a teenager?
So as parents or guardians what should we do? Rather than restricting ourselves to giving sex education to our kids, I guess we should teach them the emotional aspects of a physical relationship, to understand what it is and how can it effect one emotionally? To teach them that, there is nothing wrong in waiting for the right person, who accepts them, the way they are. To get involved in a physical relationship, only when they are mature, emotionally, mentally, as well as physically.
For this, I think the first thing to be established, is a very friendly environment, where your kid feels free to discuss even the worst experiences of their lives with you. It may sound absurd, but maintaining transparency is very important. They should consider us as their friend, with whom they can share their problems without any fear of criticism or punishment.
But the question is, can we come out of our shell and treat them as our friends? Can we become that parent, with whom the kids are willing to share everything, that they can share with their close friend? Can we come out in the open and freely discuss the emotional aspects of a "physical relationship/sex" with them?
It's a tough nut to crack, but the earlier we do it, the better it is.