Making Teenagers Delinquent, pt. 1
Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami , 2000-09-10
A question about how mothers can help teenagers through their "troubled years" triggers an impassioned response from Gurudeva about how children used to be raised as compared to how they are raised and families formed today. It has reached the point where teenagers are supposed to misbehave, so therefore they do. (At 47 seconds we have included a fun exchange between Gurudeva and Sadhaka Thondunatha, our Tamil translator, when he couldn't find a Tamil word for one of Gurudeva's English ones.)
Here's a question from Kadavul Temple devotees for our cyberspace congregation, the question is, "What can a mother do to help her teenager go through what he has to go through during this trying period of his life?"
Well in society fifty, sixty years ago we never heard about teenagers going through anything, it wasn't any different than just becoming an adult. The word delinquency wasn't invented yet and no one ever heard mother and father argue about anything. They always did that behind closed doors if they had to do it. All young people had a lot of things to do, life wasn't easy then, there were no conveniences. There were no automobiles, horses had to be bred and in breeding horses you learned about breeding people. But today you never hear anything more about a well-bred person. Life went on and there were large families because the more children that were in a family the more help the family had to exist, not only as a family but individuals. The problem came when everybody said well lets confine the family to two children and get a car. That's where the problem started and continues until today.
So in todays world we have delinquency, we have teenagers who are supposed to misbehave so therefore they do. We have teenagers who are not supposed to be responsible people, so therefore they're not. They don't have the responsibility of caring for the horse, they don't have the responsibility of cutting the wood so that mother can cook, therefore they're irresponsible. My advise to families when this problem comes up in todays society, is that your teenager is a product of your own creation. He's modeled himself after the mother and after the father and those people that the mother and father allowed him to associate with and this has brought him to a place where if you say "don't" that means "do" and if you say "do" that means "don't."