Understanding of a 14 Year Old
March 9, 2012 Leave a comment
Have you ever tried to listen to a teenager age 14, their feelings, their opinion, their reservations. The adults usually think of them ‘underage’ to discuss anything while they are fantastic people inside. These teenagers are not children, they are grown up people, they are passionate, they just need the right guidance.
Do Pakistani parents and teachers want to know how children feel about them? Are Pakistani parents and teachers easy to talk to for their children?
FIRST CONVERSATION: NATIONAL AFFAIRS
Teen) Is there a shortage of water in Pakistan?
Ans) Yes, there is.
Teen) But we never had a shortage in our house.
Ans) That is because you are living in a city and you have built a well underground and use motor to pull water to the tank on your roof. So you have a proper arrangement for 24 hour water supply.
Teen) Why don’t other people do the same arrangement?
Ans) May be they are poor and can’t afford this arrangement, they are uneducated and can’t think of all these methods. One reason for shortage is that we waste gallons of water everyday. So we are responsible for the shortage.
Teen) Why can’t we purify the sea water and make it drinkable?
Ans) It is a good idea and Gen. Pervaiz Musharraf had a planning on it but he couldn’t accomplish it. Beside that, who’s gonna do it?
Teen) Who’s Pervaiz Musharraf? The government should do something about it.
Ans) Gen. Pervaiz Musharraf was the president of Pakistan right before Zardari and he belonged to Army. Do you really think that this sitting government or any other government would ever do anything about these issues?
Teen) No, but someone should do this.
Teen) Us, we all together…
Ans) What do you mean by ‘us’ and ‘we all together’….. are you gonna do it , how? Which people will come together?
Teen) No, I mean educated people, those who have completed their education and are jobless. If government cannot do it, then they can hire educated people to do that.
Ans) Hmm, the government or our politicians would never do anything that has anything to do with the betterment of people…. and they would never do anything that would provide job opportunities for educated people.
Teen) Then educated people do it themselves.
Ans) What do you think how much this project will cost? Where would they get the money from?
Teen) Rich people can collect money and hire educated young boys and girls.
Ans) Rich people won’t give their money for free, they will ask for planning in written. The jobless educated lot will have to do this for free. I mean do you think that educated boys and girls have ability to sit and think about it and then elaborate and illustrate on paper? Do you think they would take interest in all this for free? and let me tell you, if we don’t consider this an issue now, each and everyone including me and you would suffer from the shortage of water.
Teen) so we can’t do anything?
Ans) Why not, you read the chapter in your book, you got the idea which shows your concern about your country and people and exactly this is the purpose of education…. now you write about it on your blog and share it with others.
SECOND CONVERSATION: FAMILY MATTERS
Q) At your age (of 14), if your parents ask you that how do you want them to treat you…what would you tell them?
Q) your parents are not friendly?
Q) What is your dream of life at this age?
Q) What are most grateful to Allah for beside His regular blessings like food, clothes, home?
Teen) Having friends.
Q) That is it?
Q) What kind of freedom… what do you think what is freedom?
Teen) I want permission to go to my friends’ house and have fun. Freedom means I do what I want to do.
Q) Do you think your parents would ever agree with you and grant you the kind of freedom you want?
Teen) No, they would never. Mom will say that ask your dad and dad will listen to me, will tell me to go to my room and will be mad at mom that where am I learning all this from.
Q) So your father is the sole authority?
Q) It means if you try to express yourself to your dad, your mom would automatically be in trouble?
Q) Hmmm, it means your dreams will never come true?
Teen) I know.
Q) What would you do then?
Teen) I don’t know.
Q) How about if a third person tries indirectly to make your parents realize where they are wrong?
Teen) He would listen to them the first time and then he would never listen to them.
Q) and have you thought where will you find such an adult, because adults support parents and they will advice you to listen to your parents and obey them?
Teen) Yeah, that is the point too.
Q) Do you feel angry about all this?
Teen) Yes, sometimes I feel very angry.
Q) Do you let out your anger?
Teen) Sometimes, and then I am being scolded (verbally). They say, is this what you are learning in school.
Q) Your parents are not bad parents, right?
Teen) No, they love us. They give us everything. But I can’t do anything on my own.
Q) How about if you tell them that you just want freedom to spend some times with your friends and that is it?
Teen) They say, you get time in school and you use facebook… isn’t that enough?
Q) You can tell them that school is not a place for one on one friendly talks as other students and teachers are present there. Facebook is a written expression and the family members are also there so it does not replace ‘face to face’ chatting.
Teen) They won’t listen.
Q) They don’t allow such ‘face to face’ friendship… is your mom friendly with you?
Teen) She is very friendly but there are few things that I cannot discuss with her.
Q) Like what?
Teen) I cannot tell you either.
THIRD CONVERSATION: MONEY MATTERS
Q) Do you get pocket money?
Teen) No, mom and dad buy everything for us. When we want to buy something of our own choice, they say, what will you do with this, this is useless.
Q) So, you want to have pocket money? Why?
Teen) Yes, so I can buy things of my choice.
Q) Do you think teenagers, boys or girls, at the age of 14 should be allowed to raise their own pocket money?
Q) Why? So when you go for shopping, the shopkeeper cannot cheat with you?
Q) Do you think your parents are easy to talk to about these issues?
Teen) No, they are not. They say you are very young to know or talk about these things.
Q) But what if they get you into marriage after two years, like your mom got married at the age of 16? Shouldn’t you know about all these issues?
Teen) I don’t know. I don’t think about marriage.
Q) But if your father decides, then?
Teen) I don’t know.
Q) What if your parents find out who is teaching you all this, would I be in trouble?
Teen) Yes, you will lose your job.
Q) It means we both should be careful.
FOURTH CONVERSATION: TEACHERS AND TUTORS
Q) What kind of experiences you had with tutors?
Teen) We had many tutors. Mom hired one because she was double M.A. but she didn’t know how to teach so mom fired her. We gave hard time to another one, made her run after us all around, she was also fired.
Q) So you never had a good tutor?
Teen) There was one, she was friendly but she got married.
Q) What qualities do you want to see in your teacher?
Teen) She should be friendly. She should be able to help us in our homework. She should satisfy us if we ask her something.
Q) Something what?
Teen) Like, if we ask her questions about things we have in our mind, we want to know about many things.
Q) Don’t you think this is too much to expect from a tutor, she is just there for one or two hours?
Teen) Yeah, but if we ask our teachers in school, they say “Why are you asking this? I don’t have time. I will tell your mother.”… and if we ask our mom, she says “this is not your age to ask these question, go study”…
Q) Is it only you or all your friends feel this way?
Teen) We all do.
Q) What do you think of me?
Teen) You are okay. You chat, you make us laugh, you talk to us, you help us in our homework, you teach other things too and you answer our questions.
FIFTH CONVERSATION: MORALITY
Q) Have you ever witnessed your teachers in school cheating or doing something wrong?
Teen) Yes, they help us in exams, not always but sometimes they write answers on board.
Q) Don’t you tell them that this is cheating?
Teen) If I say it, they will say that we are helping you and you are complaining about us.
Q) Do you think it is ok?
Q) So you know that cheating is bad and they shouldn’t do it?
Q) Have you observed them lying to you?
Teen) When they cannot give any answer, they make excuses, they say “period is over, do it at home or I will tell you tomorrow”.
Q) How do you know that they are making excuses, may be they are right?
Teen) because they start looking here and there and they pause between words.
Q) Is this how you all observe everyone?
Teen) Yes, and then we talk about them when they are not there.