The Period of Adolescence and the Cultural Aspects
Both male and female circumcisions were practiced as early as in ancient Egypt. Initiation rituals are common in African societies where girls have to undergo clitoridectomy and are tattooed so as to mark their entry in adulthood. In North America, the rituals are in the form of a vision quest in which both boys and girls are sent to a jungle where they have to stay, fast and wait for a vision which will reveal their future. These initiation rituals used to be very important in ancient times but are now looked at with certain contempt especially when the abuses and ill-treatments of the adolescents are taken into consideration.
It is now considered as inhuman and is in contradiction with the Human Rights as these Initiation rituals have cost the lives of many boys and girls as the tasks imposed on them during these rituals are much too hard for their tender bodies. b) Physical development in an adolescent is both biological and physiological. Their metabolic rates increases and so do their skills. Their body changes drastically as boys and start having manly voices, with a body growing muscular, with appearance of hair on the chin, armpits, and genitals and as for girls, they start having their menstruations and a body which starts to shape itself.
Considering these changes, child-minders should pay particular attention to what the adolescent is eating so as to keep their metabolism at a correct rate and also the proportion of food taken in should also be monitored so as to avoid obesity, anorexia and bulimia nervosa. Self-confidence and self-esteem of the adolescents can be boosted by the encouragements he gets from the people around him. Encouragements are very important in cases when the adolescents feel that their body is not growing they want it to and this may cause a feeling of inferiority in them which can lead to depression and disorders like anorexia.
Child-minders should stress on the fact that it is very important to develop their personalities too along with their physique. Adolescents may also be influenced into having unsafe sex, thus child-minders aught to inform them about the dangers like AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases and the risk of early pregnancy. An unbalanced and premature sex life may cause a dependence to sex and a loss of concentration in studies and academic achievements. Parents should explain and clear out any confusion about superstitions which the adolescents may have.
All adolescents must be encouraged to have a proper personal hygiene and exercises at a regular basis. c) Adolescents are highly emotional when they, for example, come across situations they never have faced before. Like the first time they have been ragged or the first heartbreak they have experienced. This can be highly stressing as the latter may feel insecure and lack of self-confidence. This may be accentuated by the pressure of getting good grades and be academically successful. This can cause a feeling of inferiority if the expectations are not met.
Adolescents are also very troubled if their family impose difficult expectations on them as this causes confusions and this may damper their self-confidence. Their friends and family have a great influence o them as they may feel left-out or inferior if they show-off a significant difference compared to their peers. Emotional stress from family members also deeply affects them as this distorts their view on family life and may cause serious psychological disorders. d) A proper career guidance officer should give suggestions instead of imposing his personal views or opinions.
He should always bear in mind what the person wants and what are his chances of obtaining it. An accurate and realistic opinion should be given to the adolescent on his skills and what are his chances of pursuing in the field he wants so that he can be encouraged to improve himself and not feel inferior. The tone that he uses should be a friendly one and the counselor should empathises with the consulting adolescent. Their confidence level should be boosted up so that they themselves can take their own decisions and decide about the criteria on which they can rely to determine the career they will choose.
The counselor must have a good knowledge of job trends and know which field is an expanding one. Job-seekers must understand that the task of looking for a job can be tiring. Tips about how to submit a proper application letter and a motivation letter can prove to be very useful for adolescents. Reaching puberty, the individual already possesses moral values, now in this stage; the adolescents themselves determine their own notions about what is right and wrong. They now have the ability to make the difference between the two, analyse ideas and beliefs and see for themselves whether they are reliable or not.
For example they can voice out their opinions about issues like homosexuality and the effects of drug abuse. Adolescents should be allowed to build up their own value system in which they will add their own ideas about what is right and wrong. We need to let them take their own initiatives and decisions but we should not impose unshakable discipline on them. They should be given the chance to voice out their feelings, aspirations and opinions without them having to feel awkward or embarrassed.
Criticism should not be too stern but should always be accompanied with encouragements. Question 2 a) Depression is defined as being a state where a person feels deeply sad and has a pessimistic approach to one’s future. It is also described as a medical condition which causes unhappiness and leading a normal life becomes difficult. (Longman, dictionary of Contemporary English). It ranges from mild sadness feeling of being left-out to more serious depression where a person loses all contact with the reality and stops responding to stimuli.