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Infatuation or love?

Jaya (17) and Shashank (18) are both high school students who think they are in love. They feel the world is at their feet. The moment Jaya thinks about Shashank, her face glows with joy. Both believe they are made for each other and should get married at the earliest. Irrespective of what their parents may advice, they want to tie the knot right away. Everything seemed very rosy till the time they actually got married and went through the harsh practicality of life. Fights over petty issues and constant nagging from both sides turned their dream of heaven into hell.


Teenage years are like spring in one's life. When children enter their teens they go through certain biological and psychological changes, which is termed as adolescence. Physical attraction towards the opposite sex is natural fallout of adolescence, which is the transition period to adulthood. Children in their early teens who live under the protective shelter of their families barely experience life in all its aspects and often take life to be one fairytale. Infatuation is quick to grip their tender hearts and they often mistake it to be undying love.

It is not their fault; it is their age that is responsible for such misadventures. This is the time when they should be concentrating on their education and career. Unfortunately, these issues take a backseat. It is the parent's prime duty and responsibility to guard their wards against such mishaps, to warn them about the pitfalls of infatuation and its disastrous effects on their future.

Here are some guidelines to help your child come out of the web of infatuation.

Tell them to be patient

Tell them to buy time. Make it a deal. Ask them to wait till they become adults and secure their future. Then you can relent and consider their side too. Warn them not to take any decisions in a hurry. Make them understand that they need to give time and space to each other. Let them judge for themselves, whether their relationship can stand the test of time.

Point out differences in lifestyles

Social surroundings and one's lifestyle plays a vital role in the extent of commitment and adjustment one can make. Is your child ready to sacrifice some to adjust to the lifestyle of his or her partner? As a parent, you must point out the differences in the lifestyle of both families and explain the pros and cons of the situation. Your ward might not be able to cope up with drastic changes. It is possible that they may have overlooked such parameters.

Stress on importance of financial security

Let your children know how important it is to equate love with financial as well as social security, in order to get a healthy balance in life. Let them know gently, but firmly, that life seems hunky dory as long as the parents' are providing their lavish lifestyles. Let them know that they should first strive to achieve that financial stability before they can build castles in the air.

Keep your communication lines open

Doubts and misconceptions are two evils that can ruin one's life. Encourage your child to be open and clear on all issues however trivial they may seem in the face of the current problem. By keeping the communication lines open you can win over your child's trust. Knowing that you are a friend and are always there for your child, no matter what, is very important. It will make him see you as a supporter and well-wisher and not an opponent.

More to social relationships than 'you' and 'me'

Children should learn that relationships flourish on trust but not on blind trust. They should know how to live within their means. Life should not be self-centric; it should enable you to see beyond "you" and "me". They should be able to survive and sail through rough waters.

Arm them to take decisions

Talk to your teenagers as young adults and not as children. Parents cannot force their teenagers to behave in a certain manner but surely they can guide them, so they are not misled. Imbibe them with the knowledge to differentiate between reality and illusion. There is absolutely nothing wrong in falling in love; it can be the most beautiful experience of one's life provided decisions are taken with an open mind and clear head. Teach him the wisdom of "Love with thy heart; think with thy mind."

All said and done, it is possible that you may not be able to save your teenager from the pitfalls of infatuation, but at least you have passed a word of caution.


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