Our country is the abode for nearly 36 million of adolescents, a significant share of its entire population. Adolescence is the period following the onset of puberty and maturity during which a young person develops from a child into adulthood. It is obviously a transitional period which requires special attention and a greater degree of physical, behavioural, emotional and mental care for teenage-kids. But, to that extent, adolescent-friendly holistic services and care are not well-known in our country.
Adolescent period generally sets out from the age of 10 to 11 and prolongs up to 17 to 19 years. There is also a slight age difference between boys and girls as to the commencement of the stage. At this time a comprehensive and stringent pattern of physical, behavioural, emotional and mental changes appears where the adolescent-kids experience several challenges. By the way, it is treated as the most important phase to be stepped up towards the expected level of maturation for kids. In this phase of multiple changes, dominance of variant growth hormones might function in different capacities in them. Henceforth, few aspects are recommended to be carried through during this pivotal period for the sake of the adolescents.Since during this primal time-frame many necessary physical changes become visible, a balanced diet plays a principal role which is composed of an appropriate amount of food from the available six food groups. Adolescent-kids need to avoid junk food and processed food too as these are not supportive to their growing physique in any way. Besides, intake of adequate quantities of protein, minerals, vitamins, irons, calcium is very essential. Here, parents need to choose a food menu for their kids which necessarily contains the adequate portions of nutrition and vitamins.
In some cases, the regular meal chart and food intake timing of the teenagers get disrupted. They need to take healthy square meals containing proper nutrients and the required time interval of taking meals. The tendency of not taking food on time or taking surplus amounts of food beyond what their body truly needs might be adverse to their overall fitness. Moreover, in addition to taking the three meals, they also need few healthy bites of wholesome snacks from time to time.
Teenagers need to maintain a healthy sleep-cycle consisting of at least eight hours in a day. They must go to bed and get out of bed following a regular timetable. There is a common notion that the human body grows and repairs during sleep, which is indeed true. So, adolescent-kids must not be night owls, rather they should rise early at dawn with the sun. A healthy sleep practice will successfully bestow in reshaping and gearing up the adolescents both physically and mentally.
Teen-kids should also have a scope for physical exercise on a regular basis. Engagement in active games and physical movement will develop muscles and strong bones. A session consisting of a few minutes of physical exercise will essentially structure their brain and free-thinking ability. Alongside, teenagers habit of maintaining personal hygiene, having regular baths, drinking adequate water will boost up their immunity and expedite physical recovery.
On the whole, adolescents undergo a rigorous form of rapid physical, cognitive and psycho-social growth in this stripling period. Many adolescents in Bangladesh experience an acute crisis related to their mental health, yet this issue is under-diagnosed and under-treated. This rigid juncture of teen-life affects how they feel, think, make decisions and interact with the world around them.
As teenagers are largely affected by and biased with the behaviours of the adults and the persons near them, they must not be scolded and made to fear parents and guardians. Concerned parents should feel akin to their kids so that they like to be with them always, provide right care and compassion simultaneously. Sustaining an open mode of communication with the adolescent-kids in respect of their core needs will render them relief and make them feel secured. So, parents ought to deal with their kids with patience and have a keen look into the four-featured growth in a bid to improve their total well-being.Adolescents need to be kept safe from all sorts of risk factors regarding emotional crises. As the more risk factors adolescents are exposed to the greater the potential impact on their mental health. Teenagers with emotionally disturbed upbringing can also experience huge irritability, loneliness, isolation, frustration or anger. Emotional disorders can intensely affect their growth, social inclusiveness and socialisation process. So, in order to promote mental well-being and to protect adolescents from adverse experience, psycho-social counselling is imperative.
The Covid-19 pandemic has compelled the teen-kids to stay at home for a long spell, keeping them restricted within the space of four-walls. Because of the disruption in their regular routine, they are more prone to hazards connected to their adolescent period. At this time no monotonous and melancholy state should be allowed for the teenage kids. They need to be away from all varieties of negative feelings and stress. That is why, respective parents need to listen to their adolescent-kids with patience, give priority to their needs, and provide possible comfort and relief.
Wares Ali Khan is a teaching