LIFE AS A TEENAGER
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!