It’s hard enough trying to go through life having a clear sense of identity and purpose as an adult much less for the standard teenager. Due to the way the brain develops, teens naturally lack the brain development to “put everything in perspective”, ultimately making it so much harder to deal with stressful events which can lead to feelings of uncertainty and a lack of purpose.
One of those stressful events in mention is violence in schools. This continues to be a socio-economic challenge globally. It takes many forms and includes, raping, bullying, stealing, harming and sometimes killing other students or members of staff. It is essential that teachers, students, parents and schools take the necessary measures to curb this violent attitude in children. Such an attitude will negatively affect their future.
What really is the root cause of violence in teens? There is no one thing that contributes to this, in fact it’s actually a series of occurrences that can add to it. Some of the more common reasons for acting out involve modeling behaviors. If teens see violence at home, in the movies, in video games, or on the street, they are more inclined to copy such behaviors. Others, who experience bullying or teasing, become enraged enough to begin acting out in revenge. This can be another cause of teen violence.
Because of the evolution of the internet and social media, episodes of serious neglect and physical abuse are featured regularly in the news raising awareness and constantly reminding us of the horrifying cruelty adults inflict on children. Physical, sexual and psychological trauma in childhood may lead to psychiatric difficulties that show up in childhood, adolescence and even adulthood. The victim’s anger, shame, and despair can be directed inward to spawn symptoms such as depression, anxiety, suicidal ideation and post-traumatic stress or; directed outwards as aggression, impulsiveness, delinquency, hyperactivity, promiscuity and substance abuse.
Now picture these same children trying to live an ordinary life focus on the challenges in an out of school and even at home. How is that even remotely possible? We can clearly see that it is not. To add to that most of these children don’t even have a strong support system.
I could't do it; not that I even had the will or the courage to even attempt to keep it together. Or I even knew how to for that matter. I remember being four years old and having to deal with an abusive family member on a daily basis just because she didn't like my mother and her siblings. I remember speaking up about it and being beaten for it, nights with no food, kneeling on the floor for hours with my little hands in the air burning from exhaustion. Any attempt to put them down resulted in blows across my back. Yet I was still expected to be obedient and at least pretend to be happy. I remember being eight years old and being coerced into performing oral sex on an adult male. I remember the horrible taste and smell, feeling afraid but still doing it because I felt as if I had no choice. I remember having my first sexual experience at twelve and was told that it was my fault. I remember starting to lash out my grades started falling and no one cared to ask why. They all just thought that I was being rebellious for no reason. My mind was already conditioned at an early age to not speak up and speak out when I was hurt in anyway, which inevitably taught me to lie. I was being set up in a terrible way for the rest of my life. I remember running away from home to hang out with friends just to get away, not caring about the consequences that I'd have to face after. I got into fights at school, frequented the principal office got suspended on numerous occasions until finally my actions led to expulsion.
Did I really want my life to turn out that way? No, not at all. But it did and I felt as if there was nothing I could do to stop myself from spiraling downwards. I felt misunderstood, no one knew what was happening to me, no one asked. I was just labelled a rebellious good for nothing that wanted nothing good out of life. No one knew how many nights I cried myself to sleep. I became so angry with the world and everyone around me. I had serious trust issues, I was suicidal I went through a serious bout of chronic depression which I sometimes have a relapse of. I was upset with those who were supposed to protect me and they failed miserably. I was robbed of my youth and had to be an adult way before I was even ready. I am fortunate to have come off of that self destructive path all on my own. Most people need a support system, having one is imperative on the road to recovery. I Now have that support to help me along the rest of my journey. But does society really care about what happened to me before? Did the circumstances that occurred in my early years even matter? I feel for the children of today who face the same plight. Some may be able to survive it, some won't; some may become advocates like myself others may turn out to be offenders, rapists, pedophiles, abusers , What do we have in place to assist with breaking this horrid cycle? Are we really understanding our children? Or do we just label them and kick them to the curb? We have such high expectations of our children which is all well and fine. But let us not forget that they face a series of challenges that we need to be aware of and pay attention to. We need to provide a source of hope for them and give them a real chance at life, free from distress pain and worry. We need to create an environment for them where they are free to be children, free to explore, free to learn and free to live.