Adolescents Must Be Guided On Their Roles – Expert

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A Consultant on Child Protection and Adolescence Specialist, Faruk A. Chiromari stated this while presenting a paper titled: 'Common Problems and Criticality to Support Adolescents', a One-day Media Executives, Reporters and Producers Meeting on Preventing Mother to Child Transmission (PMTCT) and Adolescents and Young Persons (AYP) Support in Kaduna State in Zaria on Friday, August 10, 2018.

It is important  to guide and redirect adolescents  on roles expected from them in the family and society to prevent  them from making wrong choices.

A Consultant on  Child Protection and Adolescence Specialist, Faruk A. Chiromari stated this while presenting a paper titled: ‘Common Problems and Criticality to Support Adolescents’, at a One-day Media Executives, Reporters and Producers Meeting on Preventing Mother to Child Transmission (PMTCT) and Adolescents and Young Persons (AYP) Support in Kaduna State, organised by UNICEF and the National  Orientation  Agency (NOA) in Zaria on Friday, August 10, 2018.

He explained that without guidance teenagers may become pregnant before they are ready, adding that  they may also get infected with Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs), as well as Te dreaded HIV.

“Find time to talk with them,  let them know that there is safe sex. You have to talk to them about the consequences  of unprotected sex.  They may act on impulse as a result  of hormonal  changes,” he said.

Chiromari said that addiction  to cyberspace also cuts short their physical activities,  resulting  in an unhealthy  and sedentary lifestyle.

“Internet  addiction  adversely  impacts academic activities.  Even though they may use the internet for research and learning,  they may delve into other areas. Hence do not say no to Internet,  but observe and track what they are using  the Internet for.  You have to redirect their usage of the internet,” he said.

The expert said that no matter what you tell AYPs in schools,  churches or mosques,  they end up following their role models.

” Don’t  let your children get the wrong role models,  be their role models by being friendly with them,” he added.

He explained  that aggression  among boys is noticed  during  adolescence, when the young boys develop muscles, warning that at such times,  it is expected that they are  prevented from access to firearms and alcohol, as well as from violent movies.

On some clues on how to know if AYPs are indulging  in drugs,  he said that “When they sleep too much or too  little,  it means something  is not right.  If they are doing drugs,  you as a parent might be thinking your child is always indoors and of good character.  It may be as a result  of drugs.  Drugs can make adolescent sleep too much or too little.

“Similarly,  when a child all of a sudden starts eating too much or too little,  there might be as a result of drugs,” he added.

Chiromari further said that  as a female child notices changes in her body, she may be worried if not properly counseled ahead.

“She may come back from school when first menstruation  comes and she sees blood,  she may think she is injured and may  find it difficult  to express  what she is going through,” he said.

He cautioned against  spying on children,  saying it could  be counter productive.

“Do not spy on your children,  but let them know you are checking up on them to improve  on their well being,  like checking their toilets to find out if it is clean or not.”

He charged media practitioners to always be at the forefront  of providing  information  that can transform  AYPs.

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