Is Adolescence Ending Early?

Posted on February 14, 2010 in Society

Marian Fernando:

Adolescence hedges childhood with youth. That hedge is similar to a bridge over a deep river of preparation experience that flows in between a soft charming meadow and a dark wild forest. In the charming meadow of childhood, most of the times, we are looked after, fed over and protected from danger and mutilation. Conversely, the youth is left alone to make their own decisions and face their own challenges; therefore, young men and women have their autonomy to choose either the correct entity or the wrong one. Thus, the transition in between these two contrasting stages of life, adolescence, becomes extremely important for the betterment of each human being.

However, the problem is, is adolescence ending too fast in the modern world as a result of children getting exposed to the youth’s world swiftly. Then answer is, yes.

Mass media and modern technology certainly has a great contribution to the shortening of adolescence. Through these tools, children get the exposure to sex, drugs, violence, alcohol and many other harmful forces that affect childhood and cause them the need to experience and imitate all that. Today, children are no more under the control of their parents. They can easily access media or modern technology including internet, video CDs and DVDs. Likewise, when parents are not at home, as they do not have any skeptic eye following them, they be friends with these tools of media and technology. Most of the times, these tools present values, scenarios, visuals and music that are not suitable for children.

The more the children experience and imitate the products of the aforementioned tools, the more the children get addicted to their influences. Likewise they enter the adolescence as addicts of negative forces of the society. One of the most basic needs of a child or an adolescent is education and recreation. Education is an essential tool for the better survival in the society. As they have got addicted to some other pleasurable measures, today’s children and adolescence forget their main goal of life- their studies and positive recreation. In this respect, the adolescence ends soon with less or no preparation to take over a successful youth. When children mentally and physically obtain these experiences that belong to the youth and adulthood, they just ignore the bridge of adolescence that well prepares them to the adult experience. Thus, they fly faster from the childhood to the youth over the deep river of preparation experience denying the existence of the bridge of adolescence.

One might argue that there is nothing wrong in a shortened adolescence, just the way scholarly geniuses get promoted to upper grades where they get to study with students who are considerably older than them. Yet, no child is a genius in the subject of the world, unless they have gradually built up the understanding about it. Experiencing sex, violence and drugs does not make a child understand the world any better, but exposes him/her to a world of despair. Moreover, it does not prepare a child for a better future.

Recently, in a feature by the Times of India it was found that children now attain puberty as early as 9, 10 and are more curious about the opposite sex at as early as 10. Influenced by the growing demands of the society, peer pressure and a desire to stay ahead in that social circle of theirs, they end up experimenting the taboo. The year 2009 recorded an all time rise in teenage pregnancies.

Childhood needs to be protected from the influences of the adult world. No child should be compelled to use drugs by any media. No child should be compelled to fight, steal or gamble. Children must be given the right sex education at the right time, before then venture out themselves. Children must get complete support from parents when needed. Every child has a right to experience an innocent, pure childhood. So as every child has the complete right and need to experience a strong, preparative adolescence, thus, obtaining a successful youth and a adulthood.