Parents and guardians of adolescent children especially the class 8 leavers have been advised to strengthen their parenting skills so that they are able to guide them effectively.
It is at this stage that the children can either build or destroy their future permanently, therefore the importance of parental engagement that can enable them to do away with negative influence and focus only on things that can impact positively in the life.
Ms Faith Mutegi, a professional counselor while addressing a three-day seminar organized by the Catholic church for young people at Kaspat Catholic church said it was important that guidance was offered and that it should be timely so as to cushion the young people in the community before they embarked on experimenting with things that could end up being disastrous. The seminar began on Friday and ended Sunday.
She reckoned that “it was the most sensitive stage in youths where especially teenagers in class 8 leavers either made wise decisions or missed out because they did not have a focused and mature adult walking with them on the precarious journey.”
At this age teenagers feel like grown-ups thus they experience adolescent changes in their bodies where at this point parents usually have a tough time in talking to them and a lot of understanding as well as advising them is required.
In her final counsel after the three days seminar, she offered some piece of advice to teenagers on how to cope up with body changes and how to deal with peer pressure in their lives.
“Know and understand your worth of this earth where peer pressure plays a major role in decision making. Pause-stop and reflect, evaluate-find out the positive and negative influence, eliminate- do away with the negative influence and focus on the positive influence for a bright future,” she noted, adding that at this stage, these youngsters should relate as they engage in relating positive influence that they can share with counterparts with similar ideas.
She went further, “It is important to always note down your new resolutions, write them down and pray to God to fulfill them. There are two special days in everyone’s life which is, the day one was born and the day when one realizes why he/she was born on this earth (the purpose),’ she noted.
In order to fulfill one’s goal, Ms Mutegi explained that there were four steps or guidelines that could help in achieving them which includes, putting God first in everything one does, putting your goals as your first priorities, hard work and self -discipline.
She warned that the future was determined by the decision that one made whether one will have a better or poor future in their lives.
She summed up her session by cautioning them on the dangers of abusing drugs that they had not been prescribed by a medical doctor. She warned that drug abuse led to various consequences such as hallucinations, addiction, school dropout, poverty, and sometimes death which was a blow to the family and the community as the youth were the future of the society.
“It is therefore important to choose your friends wisely thus it is said that… Show me your friends I will tell you who you are. In reference to Proverbs 16:3, commit your work to the Lord and your plans will be established.
By Christine Wairimu