Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Writing situation-based essay

Problem: Your friend is having problems with teenage child. Tell your friend what you would do in his situation.

You should try to understand your child because it is not easy being fifteen or sixteen. It is a time of conflicting feelings and desires. Of course, your kid wants to go out and have some fun, have a social life, have a boyfriend or a girlfriend, maybe start a serious relationship.

You, as a parent, are worrying because important public exams are clouding the horizon and schoolwork is becoming more and more demanding. Your child wants you to treat him like an adult though he still depends on you for money, food and practical help. You are irritated because your kid is experimenting with his own self-image. However, maybe, he is experiencing hard times because his old friends have dropped him.

Those tactless adults who tell him to "make the most of the best years of your life because it's all downhill after you leave school", at home and among his peers do not help these feelings of pressure and conflict at school.

As you are a friend of mine, I would not think of you being tactless. Mind your child's feelings and desires! Be attentive to his needs! Your kid belongs to the generation of teenagers who are a lot busier than those adults were 30 or 40 years ago.

He is impossibly busy trying to get homework done, revising for a science test, playing in a match, rehearsing for a play, going to a friend's party. Besides, your child is not so bad. He is only trying to solve his money shortage by doing a part-time job.

At the same time, you are expecting more help from him at home with washing-up, baby-sitting and other domestic duties. You should realize that he is longing for establishing priorities but you, as a parent, want to do it for him. However, there is a difference between his own and your parent's priorities that makes family life explosive when your child is 16.

You don't worry too much about whether your child is popular, having a social life or going out with friends. Instead, you emphasize the importance of doing well at school and getting good or even excellent exam results. Your child knows that you are right, that he must have qualifications to get anywhere in this competitive world.

Nevertheless, try to understand that at the same time your kid realizes that however brilliantly he does in his exams, he won't be happy if he does not have any friends. He knows better than you know that if he does not collect new experiences and take social and emotional risks, he will not become an independent and self-reliant adult.

You should find the words of comfort or useful advice that you could give to your teenager. He must decide on his priorities even if he won't always make the right choice. Living with his parents won't last forever. Let him enjoy having a fridge full of food and his laundry done for him.

Please, remember being a teenager only lasts a couple of years. Be realistic, don't try to change him. Don't compare him with other kids. Your child is unique! So, let him have his own life!

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