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Teenage Dating, Student Love
and Problems

What most parents worry about in teenage dating are teenage pregnancy and studies.

At young ages, teenagers are not capable enough to distinguish the right things. This is also the age when curiosity towards sexual issues begins to emerge. It is a risk for both couple since young girls are not able to handle pregnancy, while having sexual intercourse with underage girls is an offence, by law, for boys. Many teenagers understand the risks but they enjoy going for the thrill. There may not be many news of underage pregnancy reported in Singapore, but the actual cases of underage girls going over the limit are in fact much more than anyone can imagine.

Teenage dating may benefit and also harm a student; but sadly, the latter usually dominates. Some student couples may encourage each other to study and these are known as healthy relationships. However, the amount of time spent dating is usually far too much for students and at the expense of their studies. When relationship problems surface, it can be far more damaging than anyone can imagine, especially when there is a broken relationship.

The openness of teenagers these days are mostly affected by the internet and other media. Youngsters have close contact with adult stuffs through the media. Another cause of early maturity is due to the lack of concern from parents. The high cost of living forces both parents in families to go to work and thus causing the insufficient time to interact with their children. The lack of love and proper guidance encourages teenage students to seek for their life partners at young ages to fill their emotional needs; they do not realise this will create a chance for opposite sex to take advantages of them.

As a matter of fact, most teenage relationships do not last. Student love is also known as puppy love. In the developing age, youngsters do not know what they really want. They often cannot differentiate between "need" and "want". As human grows up, he will face different challenges and his preferences for his life partner will change as well. Without a strong sense of commitment, tolerance and persistence, a teenage relationship can hardly last for months. Very few youngsters can resist temptation and thus we cannot blame them for submerging in the student love.

In order to reduce teenage problems, I urge parents to interact more with their children, especially those who are still schooling. As a parent, you should at least try to get to know your child's closest friends. It may be as simple as talking to them in a tone that you will sound as their friends and not an elderly whom they will be afraid of staying near to. Next, you should measure the amount of freedom you have given to your teenage child. Do not tie your child down but state some fair rules clearly such as the time he or she should get home. Other than these, you should also question yourself over how well you understand your child.
  1. Does your teenage child make healthy decisions?
  2. Is your teenage child responsible towards his or her actions?
  3. Does your teenage child let you know when something goes wrong?
  4. Does your teenage child have decent self esteem?
Through my experience, most of the students who have poor results or bad attitudes are usually students who are having family problems or feeling neglected by their parents. If you have given a precious life to someone, you have the responsibility to guide him or her.

Teenage Dating, Student Love and Problems by Skai Chan,
Ex-lecturer, Institute of Technical Education (ITE) College West, Singapore.

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