How can we care for our teenage children today?
On Saturday June 24, the Bridge of peace hosted their second forum on the Family. This time the topic was on how to care for our teenage children. Three young girls 16 to 19 years old were invited to share their concerns and their challenges dealing with the pressure of today society. Maia from the Latter day Saints Church, Shamala from the Muslim community and Erena from the WAIT a performance-based charity that helps young people prevent catching HIV/AIDs and other STIS.
Maia spoke about the growing problem of alcohol and drug abuse among young people and on how it is destroying their lives. Shamala shared about her difficulties as a Muslim girl to socialise with her peers and at the same time keep her religious principles. Erena spoke about her work with the WAIT team introducing to young people their message of abstinence before marriage and fidelity in marriage. The WAIT team also brings awareness about HIV/AID’s and other sexual transmitted diseases. It encourages young people to wait until they are mature to have sexual relations, and empowers them to promote a healthy and meaningful life using the Performing Arts and other presentations. The audience was impressed by the clarity and maturity of the 3 speakers. The ladies who attended the afternoon asked the girls if they could come again and give their messages to a wider audience.
We had a break with refreshments. The afternoon resumed with discussions in small groups reflecting on what are the major challenges young people are facing today and how can parents support their teenage children.
We concluded that this kind of opportunity to listen and speak to young people was very useful for all of us. By listening to our young people we could understand more what young people today are going through dealing with peers pressures and temptations. On the other hand young people could realise that by listening to the women present worrying about their own children they could understand better their mother’s concerns for them.
At the end of the afternoon, we all recognised how valuable those meetings were giving us the opportunity to share and learn a great deal from each other.
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