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Dating dilemmas for parents

As the age of intimacy reduces, emotional and physical trauma increases, reports Neha Sharma and Rahul Sabharwal.

sex and relationships Updated: Jul 30, 2008 19:55 IST

Even before they become adults, they’re dealing with situations that parents wouldn’t wish them to be in. Kids, as young as 12, have started dating and being physically and emotionally abused.

Dr Gorav Gupta, senior consultant psychiatrist, confirms the increase in the number of such cases. He says that the age of intimacy has comedown from 14-15 to 11-12. As a result, the chances of emotional and physical trauma are higher.

Says Dr Gupta, “Parents often bring them in when they find their children unable to focus. It takes three to six months for them to recover, but if the trauma is deep, the effects may last for a lifetime. Cases come from the age group of 13-18 mostly.”

Aping the West
Repercussions can range from loss of self-esteem to academic problems. In extreme cases, youngsters may try to harm themselves. Psychiatrist Dr Samir Parikh feels the dearth of life-skill training is the problem. Students should be told
what acting responsibly really means, he asserts.

Young girls complain of getting beaten up by their boyfriends and boys suffer from complexes. Sometimes these kids are so attached to the abuser that they aren’t able to see the mess they are in, say experts. Psychiatrists feel that aping Western culture is to blame.

“Children want things fast. They have become aware of sex and want to fulfill their needs,” says Dr Deepak Raheja.

“Girls as young as 12 are harassed by 26-year-old men who con them. Some parents bring in teenage boys who are abusing their girlfriends.” The solution, he says, is good parenting: “That will bring them back on track.”