Having fun with personality: a challenge for teenagers

Having fun with personality is not easy in today's society since adolescents receive numerous messages inviting them, precisely, to the contrary. Parents worry that the usual practice of many young people is to party, to drink alcohol until they reach disinhibition and easy laughter, that is, loss of personality. This is the terrible paradox that we face, that to have fun you need a poor personality.

How can we help our teenagers to have fun and have fun without giving up their personality? Because the leisure time, according to the classical perspective, was the time to cultivate the spirit, to dedicate oneself to those occupations that we like and involve the unfolding and development of our spirit. How far that seems from all the afternoons of the nightclub, the large bottles and the search for a roll, like the highest aspirations of many teenagers today!

And, nevertheless, it is not necessary to renounce to that they learn to use well their free time, in a rational and responsible way. Free time can become a continuous source of information and experiences, especially in this adolescent age.

Lack of sense to use free time

The lack of meaning in the use of free time in adolescents manifests itself in three ways: omission of activities formative (artistic, cultural, hobbies...); occupation in harmful activities (abuse of commercialized diversions, harmful readings ...); and certain inappropriate attitudes (passivity to the ways of filling the time that are already given by the environment in which they live, lack of autonomy and critical sense both to choose and to carry out activities, little effort ...).

These inappropriate attitudes they have as a consequence the creation of bad habits in all ages, but more especially in adolescence, mainly due to the fact that they work harder than before. Among these habits we can mention laziness and disorder, something that usually increases during the holidays, when they understand as absolute idleness the continuous search for mere pleasure, the escape from all demands ...

Another consequence is the boredom. Adolescents are more sensitive to boredom than children for two reasons: their curiosity is less broad and they need more novelty. If we are not alert, the boredom can originate, in turn, destructive activities, with which they try to compensate for that lack of novelty of their usual occupations.

On the other hand, abuse of commercialized entertainment Nightlife has very important effects on teenagers such as, for example, excessive spending (with the consequent need to find that money as it is), the damage to their moral life (as a result of the bad environment that exists in certain places: discotheques, etc.), the massification or cult of the cinematographic and / or sports star.

Paternal concerns

These are some questions that summarize the parents' concern:

Always think of having fun and doing nothing of profit ...

- Sometimes, pcan we go from demanding. Fun is necessary and we should not be afraid of having a good time. The process of change to which our son is subjected along with the greater effort that is required of him at this stage (in studies, in his responsibilities, in his social relationship) added to the sea of ​​conflicts in which he moves. It makes a time of rest, fun and social coexistence necessary.

- Must respect the moments of leisure of the children, avoiding, for example, ordering them to study or help at home continuously. This attitude on our part will help them to discover the importance of free time for their own training and to make an effort to find it.

I'm afraid that he only dedicates himself to the screens ...

- If you think that your main option for free time is to be connected, we must ask ourselves what happens with our own free time: what example we give them, how much we value it, whether we know how to find it and how we use it. Parents who passively accept free time activities imposed by the customs of their environment can hardly foster good attitudes in their children. The same can be said for parents dominated by the "vice of work" and the "boring" and without hobbies.

- The screens take a lot of time for other things. Along with their great educational possibilities, these media often encourage gregariousness (think like others, do what everyone does), mental infantilism (accept only what is pleasant) and lack of reflection (passively follow the opinions of others, not thinking on their own).

- Try to always be busy in free time activities that pursue some purpose, avoiding the idleness of doing nothing and lying on the couch. If they have nothing to do, they can make orders at home, for example.Teaching them to cook, as well as fun, will be very useful.

I am afraid that you will be influenced by your friends when having fun ...

- It's a logical concern, but we can not expect our son to always stay away from this type of negative influences. Although we know all of their friends and trust them, we must prepare them to face situations of danger, both physical and bad behavior. Never miss the occasion: on the beach, during the holidays, in an "innocent" place of fun, during a party or birthday ...

We all have the experience that within the group we behave differently and it is important to warn the child. We must teach him to say "no" when necessary and for that we must help them to have personality, without overprotecting them.

Situations in which you can never give in

- In the health of your own body: drinking or taking drugs, for example.

- In respect for one's own life or that of others: Beware of friends who use their father's car!

- In trampling on your deepest beliefs, for that harms his spirit that is as valuable as his body.

- In what denigrates his sex, which is the door to the wonderful gift of life. In the rest, in general, we can not expect our son to refuse on a system basis what the gang likes. If the child raises an effective barrier with respect to the previous points, it does not matter if he dresses as an extraterrestrial one day and as a man from the caverns to the other.

It will give you many lights to think about how was your group of friends and how well it came to defend your position and your ideas in front of them. Sometimes, parents have poor control of their children's free time and we worry more about not having excesses (coming back soon, not drinking too much, not spending a lot) but not on the type of activity. This is really the important thing, and we must try to know and control the use they make of free time, be informed of where they are, what they do and how they do it: either directly or indirectly.

Ricardo Regidor
Advice: Gerardo Castillo. Author of "Teens and their problems"

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