Had it not been for a couple of messages I received, I would not have known that today was Friendship Day. One of the messages said, “Happy friendship day to the most fantastic friend. Thanx for being my frd sir...” It came from a past student. I found it both amusing and encouraging. Amusing, because the sender of that message is 36 years younger than me. Encouraging, because I believe the best teacher is a friend to his/her students especially if the students are adolescents.
Teaching adolescents is fun. Because they teach me more than I teach them. Also because I think I’m an adolescent at heart. In fact, a few months back one of my present students remarked that in the class. And I laughed nodding in agreement.
Adolescents are excellent friends. In fact, their loyalty in friendship has no parallel in any other period of human growth and development. Every parent who is struggling to deal with an adolescent son or daughter can take this counsel: be a good friend to your offspring and 90% of problems will vanish.
My observation is that the adults ruin the adolescents with their mood swings, demands that don’t understand the quintessential adolescent rebelliousness, and – worst of all – adult politics. There’s nobody on the earth who understands candidness better than the adolescents.
This does not mean that adolescents can be entrusted to themselves entirely. Not at all; they need ‘good’ friends. And that’s just what they need.
Happy friendship day to all my adult readers, especially those who have adolescent children.