LIFE AS A TEENAGER

Herworld (Malaysia) - - EDITOR ’S NOTE -

D o you re­mem­ber life as a teenager? Hav­ing a 14-year-old has taken me back in time to the days I was first al­lowed to hang out with friends on week­ends – and the study group ses­sions at a friend’s home that al­ways turned into long chat ses­sions in­stead. But times have truly changed be­cause to­day, my teenage son has more friends from around the world than in our neigh­bour­hood. Some days I worry about the ef­fects of be­ing on­line, but I’m mostly in awe of what my kids learn from the In­ter­net. Of course, giv­ing them ac­cess to the web has its pros and cons. Since day one, I’ve told my kids that I trust them to use the In­ter­net wisely and to al­ways con­sult me when in doubt of any in­for­ma­tion or per­son that has ap­proached them. No shar­ing of pri­vate in­for­ma­tion such as the home ad­dress or phone num­ber! Just re­mem­ber you need to al­ways have an open con­ver­sa­tion with your kids and give them guid­ance when deal­ing with life’s chal­lenges.

But, kids will even­tu­ally grow up and do what they feel like do­ing. I know this be­cause I too was a teenager once upon a time. I re­mem­ber the things I got my­self into with­out my fa­ther’s knowl­edge and the les­sons I learnt from my ac­tions. So par­ents, be­lieve me, as much as you want your kids to think or act in a cer­tain way – your way – they prob­a­bly will have a mind of their own. Hav­ing learnt this from my own ex­pe­ri­ence, I con­stantly tell my kids: “When you’re mak­ing a de­ci­sion, whether it’s some­thing you want to do or ex­pe­ri­ence, al­ways ask your­self if you can live with the con­se­quences. If in that split sec­ond you’ve got any doubts, then don’t do it! But if you’re will­ing to deal with what comes next, then go ahead and do it.”

In this month’s ex­clu­sive Teens Is­sue, we’ve col­lab­o­rated with PINTAR Foun­da­tion to give young writ­ers a space for their thoughts and also for them to ex­pe­ri­ence a makeover. Thank you to the rep­re­sen­ta­tives at PINTAR for reach­ing out to schools and sign­ing up the teen con­trib­u­tors. My ut­most grat­i­tude goes to the teach­ers, from both SMK Segam­but and SMK Mun­shi Ab­dul­lah, for en­cour­ag­ing their stu­dents to join us in putting to­gether the spe­cial sec­tion on page 65. To our teen con­trib­u­tors, my hope is that you’ll al­low your mind to em­brace more knowl­edge, re­spect di­ver­sity, and have the strength to over­come all chal­lenges in or­der to be the best ver­sion of your­self.

Eena Houzyama, Ed­i­tor Tweet me at @eena_her­worldmy I would love to hear your thoughts!

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