Adolescence & Addiction-The pain of Growing up | by Olowu Festus

Adolescence is a stage when a young child (male or female) experiences changes both physically, mentally, emotionally & spiritually. Behaviors, manners, and attitudes are also developed during this period. This  is the season when a child goes into the stage of puberty. A lot of things happen during this season that most of our parents do not know. Recent studies has it that a few of our parents take note of the changes that occur in their wards. Many parents are too occupied with the worries, struggles & hustling of life, forgetting that this stage, in an adolescent, is a very critical one.

Whatever changes, attitude, groups or peer, behaviors that a child gets involved in during this period will determine what kind of a person he or she will become (either good or bad). Many who are addicts today did not start being addicts when they got married, most of these cases starts between the ages 12-19. A lot of youth are facing mental and emotional issues that can’t be explained to anyone because their years of Adolescence were wrongly used. They either had no one to put them through or had someone who was too busy fixing up other areas of the child’s life or they even had someone who put them through in a wrong way. Most times, I do not blame the kid facing these challenges. I blame the parents because it was their responsibility to give their wards a proper upbringing. Though, parents aren’t 100% perfect, but it is left to them to determine how their wards’ life will be (as God has given the capacity). You will agree with me that there are many things our parents failed to do in order to help us while growing up. I will point out a few so that you won’t make such mistakes when bringing up your wards.

Scriptures says “train you child in the way of the lord, so that he will give rest”. Many parents are not having rest today because they did not train their children in the way of God. A child that does not fear God will throw back words at the father or mother or even slap them when he or she is in wrath. Every of the issues we face in this country all started from our homes. Once the God factor is not in place, the life of the youth becomes miserable. “Fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath”….many of our parents do not check up the meaning of that scripture verse, all they are concerned with is the first part, which is “children honor your parents in the lord, so that your days may be long”. It’s funny sometimes when in the western part of this country, parents are always right, parents do not lie either because you dare not say that an elder lies. But come to think of it, were there not times when your parents offended you and hurt you? Now, ask yourself, did they bother to apologize? Sometimes, NO! They couldn’t have apologized because it is a belief that elders are right but we forget the fact that here is s child whose emotions is being tampered with.

Many people keep to themselves, stay indoors most of the times, and hardly keep friends because they have been hurt several times by their own immediate family members who found “SORRY”, big a word, to say. Irrespective of your age or status, once you offend a child even after punishing him for doing something wrong, draw the child close and sow a seed of smile, apologize when you know that you wrongly punished him, it won’t cost you a thing. It will even help the child build a deeper trust in you.

When an adolescent misbehaves especially morally, cane is not the next option. Many of our parents feel that beating a child always for a wrong doing will solve the issue, NO! , it won’t. In fact, you will only worsen it because a stubborn child will resolve into a collusion of “at last, daddy or mummy will beat me”. Instead, when he does something wrong and usually you were meant to beat him, do not touch him. Scriptures says that the word of God is like a two-edged sword, it pierces through the heart. When God was going to deal with Adam and Eve, he spoke. There is power in your words. Many parent also make this mistake, they speak at the child instead of speaking with the child. I would rather ground my child and deprive him of a game or something he loves doing because he did something wrong than to beat the child.

A child that is grounded becomes sober unconsciously; he therefore thinks about his flaws, you don’t need to teach him never to do so again because he knows he would be punished. Also, learn not to give a child the same measure of punishment, diversify! And after the punishment, call your child and speak sense into his or her head.

An aspect that hurts most, in which our parents handle carelessly or harshly, is the emotional aspect. Listen, an Adolescent, due to the changes in the level of hormones (especially growth hormone and the hormones of the gonads, e.g. estrogen, progesterone and testosterone) tend to have changes in Emotions. He or she begins to feel strange emotionally and mentally. They tend to feel among and this is where Peer pressure comes in. If they are not properly monitored and guided, they fall into the wrong group and become total strangers to you. Dress sense changes, manner of speaking changes, attitude becomes annoying. Parents at this point, shout at their wards and rebuke them instead of advising and guiding them properly. Check it, you are who you are today because of the kinds of friends you’ve moved with. If you smoke, drink, fornicate, masturbate etc, check the source. A lot of girls are prostitute while guys are armed robbers or gold diggers because of the company they made. “Blessed is the man that walks not in the counsel of the ungodly or sits in the seat of the scornful or walks in the ways of the sinners…” Anyone that is found in these groups could be handled in a Godly way using the Word; a shout can’t solve the issue. You need to make your ward see the dangers of such groups and let him or her make a choice because, many times, we know the right thing but making the right choice is difficult.

Having an affair with the opposite sex is an issue that we do not handle well. Once a parent discovers that their ward is in an affair, they shout, scream, abuse both parties even send words to the other parent. This is wrong. You have a child who is just being exposed to an affair because of his or her emotions or feelings for the other party. It is your responsibility as a parent to let your ward see the importance of an affair, the good side and the bad side, also, tell them the consequences of such affairs at that age. Let’s be sincere with ourselves, most of us are in a relationship or affair that none of our parents know about. It’s funny but it’s the truth. It is not meant to be so, your parents are meant to guide you as you engage in such relationships. But to be candid, we could not tell them because of some experiences we had in the past. The first girl I ever spoke to about love was my classmate in secondary school. My mom got to know two weeks after we started the affair. On that fateful day, my mum slapped, kicked and beat me with anything she found around considering the fact that she is a teacher. The next day, she took both of us to another teacher who threatened to deal with us. I was embarrassed and emotionally disturbed. Her action was to stop me from having an affair at SSS2 but it was approached in the wrong way. Few weeks later, I still approached another lady but this time I was smart enough not to let my mom know. Yes, I was smart but my education was at stake because mom failed to guide me and make me understand that once you find it difficult to control your emotions for opposite sex, you cannot find a balance academically.

If only our parents took enough time to guide us in the right way, the world would have been a better place without mess. Many lives have been destroyed because of the careless attitude of their guardians when they were Adolescence. Addictions such as smoking, sex maniac, drinking, masturbation, homosexuality, etc would have been dealt with at the early stage of our lives before things went out of hand. The mistakes have been made, hearts have been broken, scars have been left but it must not repeat itself in the life of your own kids. You   know what to do, so do it. No home can have peace if the God factor is not in place. “Come unto me all ye that labor…..and I will give you rest”. Jesus has the peace that surpasses human understanding, because he is the way, the truth and life. Invite him into your life and homes today and he will repair the broken hearts and homes, he will wipe away the scars and he will give your life and homes a new meaning. JESUS LOVES YOU!

About the Writer

I am Olowu Festus Olusesan. A Physiology student in the College of Health science, LAUTECH. I am a vision inspired person and an agent of Transformation in this generation. I love writing, blogging, and gisting. I’m a friend of God, a philantrophist by nature, and I love motivating people.

FB: @Olowu Festus
IG: @olafest
Whatsapp: +2348105079758


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5 thoughts on “Adolescence & Addiction-The pain of Growing up | by Olowu Festus

  1. Excellent. God bless you. Thank God for our parents. I am grateful for so many things that my Mum has helped in, I owe a lot to God in her.

    I however must state categorically, that our lives are a product of our own choices. If you have bad parenting, you must trust God to get your life right. You must give all it takes to learn from good fathers and mothers around you. Read books that will challenge your life. Create a whole new entire environment for yourself. You shall shine, I love you all so much.

    Liked by 1 person

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