As a CADET trainer for the NCC, I work with young people (19-21 y-o) on some weekends of the year, talking to them about soft skills and how important these are in life. Eventually, by the end of that weekend, these cadets get really comfy talking to us and confiding in us trainers.
I think one of the reasons they do this is also because we are not their parents who’ll reprimand them, teachers who’ll cut marks for saying things or friends who will judge them.
Let me describe one such incident. One of these girls from one such camp connected with me long after we had worked with her group. I received a message from her saying she needed help and wanted me to speak to her parents and stop them from ‘arranging’ her marriage. She had already chosen someone to be her life partner and was afraid to tell her folks about it.
Now I was in a dilemma. Not because I was thinking of whether to speak to them or not, but because I had to send out the right message. So I told her that she needed to fight her own battles, that she needed to voice her opinion peacefully, listen to perspectives and then decide what to do.
Now, you may ask me: Why did I not speak to her parents about her relationship? I certainly could have, but it’s just that, as an adult, I would like to help a young person to understand everyone’s point of view. In this case, the girl needed to understand what her folks are saying as well. Secondly, when people tell you about themselves, they tend to give you only their versions and those may not always be the one and only version, right?
So, bottom line, I think as adults in the lives of young people, we create an impact when we deal with the answers they seek. How we respond to them is critical. You don’t want to be the one to instigate someone (boy or girl) against the family they are part of. It is up to the person to be able to approach adults, take them into confidence, allow for all to see the different perspectives that are out there and then make informed choices.
IMHO we should instil in them the faith in themselves to deal with situations amicably.