The pleasure of Youth!
YOUTH come with strength, enthusiasm and more lauder virtues. Youth is best understood as a period of transition from the dependence on parents in childhood to adulthood’s independence.
Youth is more fluid than other fixed age-groups. Age still remains the easiest parameter to define this group, particularly in relation to education and employment, because ‘youth’ is often referred to a person between the ages of leaving compulsory education, and finding their first job.
The United Nations, for statistical purposes, defines ‘youth’, as those persons between the ages of 15 and 24 years, without prejudice to other definitions by Member States.
Personal life experiences are marked by an individual’s environment, cultural norms or traditions. While a youth’s level of dependency means the extent to which they still rely on their family economically and emotionally.Social issues right from Nurture are problems that affect large groups of people and can affect how well a society functions.
I once heard the sad story of a young girl who was so sexually loose that she slept around at an alarming rate. It was much later that the reason for such sexual immorality was traced to her upbringing. She was a product of two separated parents, the mother left her with her dad who got married to another wife. The step sibling would taunt her every time the parents were not around telling her she didn’t belong to the family. The lack of love from home made her vulnerable to the slightest show of love from anywhere. What forms the identity of an individual, especially from young age?
First, let us touch major challenges of youths and teenagers, they are as follows;
LOW SELF ESTEEM & DEPRESSION
Data from National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) also shows that depression is much more prevalent in female teens than male teens and among teens who reported two or more races.
Spending too much time on electronic devices may be preventing young people from in-person activities with their peers, such as sports, which can help ward off depression. They also experience new conditions like “fear of missing out”, which further leads to feelings of loneliness and isolation.
Depressive disorders are treatable, but it’s important to seek professional help.
SEXUAL ACTIVITY & DRUG USE
The decline in pregnancy doesn’t necessarily mean teens are using contraceptives, however. Just over half of sexually active teens reported using a condom in their last sexual encounter, according to YRBSS data, while about 31% used hormonal birth control and 9% used both.
Marijuana use exceeds cigarette use in teens now, and is at its. In fact, many teens believe marijuana is less harmful now than in years past. This new perception may be due to the changing laws surrounding marijuana.
Teen use of other substances is declining, according to the Monitoring the Future Survey published by the National Institute on Drug Abuse. While this decline has been noted since the survey began in 1975, decreases in 2021 were “steep and atypical.”
BODY TYPE & OVERWEIGHT
More than any other age range, young people suffer from the urge for acceptance. This is deeply linked to affect individual self-image.
Overweight children and teens are often targeted by peers who are bullies. Obese kids also are at a much greater risk of lifelong health problems. They also may struggle with body issues or develop wrong eating patterns in a bid of changing their appearance.
Parents are not always aware of these issues. Surveys show parents are bad at noticing their child’s obsession with body types. Early detection can help to solve matters that can affect self-esteem.
PEER PRESSURE & BULLYING
Research suggests that social media has made bullying much more public and more pervasive. Cyber bullying has replaced bullying as the most common type of harassment that teens experience.
Social media has further heightened the level of peer pressure. It brings it to a whole new level. Sharing inappropriate photos is not the only thing kids are being pressured into doing. Teens face pressure to have sex, use drugs or alcohol, and even bully other
Facebook, Instagram and Twitter are set as ways for young people to connect with one another, however social media can be problematic for several reasons, if not well managed. One of it is sexting, sexual predators, kidnaping etc. stalling around the cyber space. Social media can have a huge negative impact on a person’s life, self-image and sexuality.
FINDING YOUR IDDENTITY IN LIFES MAZE
One of the major things that improves a young person’s self-esteem and self-reliance is finding your identity. It is said that parents give children a sense of identity, especially fathers.
The presence or lack of proper parenting, especially the father figure in a person’s life can by and large determine how that child sees his or her self.
The affirmations of a father figure in the life of a child can determine how much that child believes in his or herself. It can also determine how he or she grows up and their self-esteem.
Statistics show that larger percentage of adults from broken homes end up having children that are dysfunctional too
If you have a father who affirms you, that is huge blessings that money cannot buy. However, if the tables are turned and unfortunately, you there is no such parental presence in the formative years. There are a few things you can do:
1. Have a Mentor: Parenting is deliberate but Fatherlessness is by choice. There would be a parental image, whether in the environment you grew up in or at your religious gathering, get a good adult to emulate and talk to and learn from.
2. Have Set Goals: Get a clear plan or dream of what you want to be, how you want to see yourself in future, perhaps your childhood was troubled, decide how you want your own kids to grow. You determine a lot!
Sometimes life plays you wrong cards, but you must find how to play to win even with those faulty cards. Life offers you lemons, make it into Lemonades. Again, you determine a lot. You find out that when you achieve those goals, your life has a sense of MEANING. That is just one major thing you need.
3. Be a Person of Integrity: They say being good does not pay, but in the long run it does pay, because a good name can open extra ordinary doors for you,. In a corrupt world, so it is. But you can make a difference. Whether you had good parental influence or not, make a pact to stick to truth, rightness and integrity. Be a person of your words. Let all and sundry be able to vouch for you. As much as it depends on you
4. Succes: There’s an African proverb that states it is the successful that the world celebrates, not the person who “tried”. Hence it is expedient that you ensure everything in your power to do well in life. Run with shaky legs, clap with one hand, paint with faulty brush, but make sure that you are a success in whatever godly endeavor you embark on.
5.Happiness: In all these, find what makes you happy. Not at the detriment of others or whatever society sees as foul. Find what bring you joy and explore within righteous boundaries. It could be study, singing,
love or in connecting to your creator. But your happiness is important, as you pursue success and relevance, remember to stay Happy.
Fasehun Tolani, RD.
Clinical Nutritionist & Lifestyle coach
Presenter ONYXH Show,
Asst. G.M. Operations, Union Television,
LiDa Broadcasting Systems, LBS, Lagos.