Who do some teens go astray?

PUBLISHED : Monday, 07 April, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 07 April, 2008, 12:00am

My cousin is a Form Five student. When she was in primary school, she was very sweet and playful.

Unfortunately, when she was in Form Three, she started hanging around with a gang of friends who were a bad influence on her. She smoked, skipped school and came home late.

When she was in Form Four, she went out with a boy for three months. When they broke up, she was so sad she cried for a whole day. The next day, when my aunt went to wake her up, she found my cousin had taken a lot of medicines the night before and was feeling weak. She was taken to the hospital and had to spend a week there.

But why do some Hong Kong teenagers go astray? Do parents have the responsibility to teach them? I think parents shouldn't focus on work and money alone and should give their children equal importance.

Cherry Leung Ching-yi, Our Lady of the Rosary College

From the Editor

Thanks for your letter, Cherry. Your cousin went through a lot. In fact, all teenagers face a lot of difficulties and obstacles, and parents play an important role in their growing up process. But we do need to take into consideration that parents work very hard to make a living and maintain a family.

All parents care about their children. Sometimes they are just too busy and at other times, they don't know how to communicate with their children.

Communication is a two-way street. Children also need to open up and let their parents know what's going on. A problem shared is a problem halved.

Teenagers should also be positive in the face of obstacles. Life is full of ups and downs. We need to learn from our experience so we don't make the same mistake twice. Also, if you stay positive, you'll be happier and you'll be able to look at the bad times as challenges rather than drowning yourself in misery.

Helen, Chief Sub-editor