"To be respected you have to respect yourself - great but you have to have a pretty good reason to respect yourself" - Jasper age 16
An afternoon with five teenagers
In order to understand the needs of today’s teenagers I decided to talk to them, ask the questions and listen to what they had to say.
These five young adults with whom I had the privilege to spending an afternoon took me into their world and shared their souls. Not only were they each expressive, eloquent and animated but extremely honest. I was able to grasp a slice of what ‘teenager’ feels and understand what they go through. They guided me through the constant hurdles of trust, loyalty, fronts and facades – all obstacles encountered on a daily basis.
I admired their confidence when referring to themselves, an issue of great concern within my peer group (25 years ago!) when I was a teenager. Instead their pressures were complications of our hectic life styles and the problems that follow. They yearn for simplicity and innocence – this very desire underlines its absence. They are all engrossed in each others’ problems and genuinely concerned for each other as this makes them feel needed and gives them status of being a trustworthy friend – high up in the teenage hierarchy. But, the very pressure of life’s hectic problems gives them all a need at some point to escape and be alone.
They desire empathy from adults not solutions – why can’t a bad day be just that without a particular reason? This is why they need friends. Friends are their safety nets who give them respect and encouragement in a world where their fears include loneliness, parents splitting up, parent dying, feeling out of control and a constant need to wear a mask.
They consider each person as an onion, where their front changes depending on which layer they are showing – this is confusing and exhausting.
They spoke about the difficulties of being a teenager; “everyone is better than me”, “… never be loved by anyone except family …”, “… need to be liked by everyone – that’s really hard work” and the pressures to be the funniest, prettiest and best.
Although we spoke about drugs, sex, alcohol, bullying, anorexia, bulimia, bad skin, homosexuality, and parent/children relationships, what kept cropping up was the constant stress of helping each other with their problems. Their friends need them and trust them but the price they pay is the fact they are forced to let their childhood run away. In other words; Innocence, Finding things out, Lack of Responsibility, Freedom and Not taking life too seriously.
Because homeopathy treats the whole person and not symptomatically, we have great success in treating young adults. When a teenager comes to the clinic with acne this is not just the result of hormones. By treating each person as an individual we key into what teenagers need. TO BE GIVEN A VOICE. Their complicated lives are not underestimated as their desire to still be guided but not overshadowed.
If you or a teenager you know could benefit from homeopathy treatment please contact me.