Food For Thought Amid Pandemic: What Happens To Irresponsible Teens?

The biggest scandal rocked our picture-perfect family a week before everyone was advised to stay at home due to the coronavirus outbreak. My middle sister came clean about having a four-year affair with a colleague who had been living with his original girlfriend for the same amount of time. She only decided to drop the bomb on us when the guy decided to get hitched with the latter, and my sister thought that she might be pregnant with his baby. (Luckily, she was not.)

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This news was so sudden and so unexpected, given that my sister did not seem like the type to act desperately for a man. In a word, she was statuesque—the type that men sought after and women envied. She was a bit careless and gullible during her teenage years, yes, but we all assumed that she had grown up wiser since she had been living alone in the city for at least four years. As it turned out, though, my sister made one wrong decision after another, which could haunt her for eternity.

While this drama was unraveling, though, none of us accounted for one thing: my 13-year-old sister was silently taking it all in. Then, one day, she told me, “Big Sis, how can I be more responsible than our sister? I want to start now that I am already a teenager; I don’t want to end up with the same issues when I become an adult.”

Perhaps it’s still too early say this, but the fact that my little sister thought of that made me think that she would never put herself in a sticky situation intentionally. So, I gave her a water-downed explanation of what happens to irresponsible teens.

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Need To Grow Up Early

The first thing that I reminded my youngest sister is that not all parents are as forgiving as ours. Sometimes, if a teenager butt heads with their parents one too many times for going against the rules, they’re lucky to be shipped to a boarding school. In case the problem is more severe than that (e.g., teenage pregnancy, felony, etc.), they get disowned and left to fend for themselves on the streets.

Both instances are harsh, I know, but that is the reality that many teens face around the globe. One day, they can get a monetary allowance from mom and dad and live without worrying about rent or mortgage. The next day, they find themselves taking odd jobs to survive. If only they listened to their parents’ advice, they wouldn’t have had to grow up early.

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Take Longer To Achieve Dreams Than Others

I believe in redemption, so I will never say that someone who has committed plenty of mistakes will be unable to get back on their feet. Regardless of your age, you can redeem yourself and correct your wrongdoings. However, your journey to success may be longer than that of others.

Say, if you become an alcoholic at 15 or 16 years old, the addiction can keep you from focusing on studying. No substance abuser is known to pay attention to activities other than the one they are addicted to, so you might get kicked out and placed in rehab. Thus, instead of graduating high school at 18 or 19, you may need to be a year or two behind your classmates while cleaning up your act.

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Final Thoughts

We had all been quarantining for over two months now, and it’s been mostly excellent for everyone. I won’t lie—there was a lot of crying and lecturing from my parents to my middle sister, especially in the first three weeks. She had some slip-ups, too, considering we caught her exchanging texts with her ex. But we took everything as a life lesson, no matter how challenging it had been. That’s especially true for my youngest sister.

Hopefully, what I just shared should also teach teenagers and young adults about why you need to shake off irresponsibility early.