Transforming Relations (Part 4)


Transforming Relations

A Journey from Autumn to Spring – The Secrets of Blissful Living

3rd Chapter – Growing Up

Independence: Adolescents need to become less dependent on parents. The dependence begins to shift from parents to peers and from existing to new belief systems in order to achieve independence. This shift is strong and may manifest in the form of rebellion against parents and elders or guardians.

Identity: Adolescents usually look out for a renewed self-image and identity. They search for answers to the questions like: “Who am I ? What can I be ?” This process involves doubts and experimentation.

Intimacy: Adolescents develop special interest in the opposite sex and also in other members of their peer group. They are quite often driven towards search for intimate relationships, with a feeling of love and also a desire to be loved.

Integrity: Adolescents develop a foundation for sorting out values. Parents provide a base for this. However, there is a tremendous amount of other inputs at this phase-peers, media, school, etc. Adolescents engage themselves in deciding what to believe in and how to behave.

The Three R’s Of Growing Up

  1. Be Responsible: Most people think of a grown-up as someone who takes responsibility for his/her own life and can handle more freedom.

Here are six ways to be a Responsible Person:-

  • Take care of your own affairs.
  • Follow through on commitments.
  • Answer for your own actions. Don’t make excuses or blame others for what you do.
  • Be trustworthy.
  • Don’t procrastinate. Don’t put things off. Doing things on time helps you take control of your life and shows that you can manage your own affairs.
  • Always use your head. Think things through and use good judgment. When you use your head you make better decisions.
  1. Choose to do the Right Thing: Some decisions are easy to make, others are more complicated. When it’s a choice between what is right or wrong, you don’t need to weigh the pros and cons; choosing to do the right thing is an act of self-respect and responsible decision-making.

Here are some Guidelines for Deciding What’s Right:

  • Could it hurt anyone – including me ?
  • Is it fair ?
  • How would I feel if somebody did it to me ?
  • How will I feel about myself later if I do it ?
  1. Respect Yourself: Respecting ourselves helps us make good choices. And making good choices lifts our self-respect. Good self-respect helps every aspect of our personal and social lives, and makes it a lot easier to get through the tough times. Here are some things that are almost guaranteed to make you respect yourself.
  • Take responsibility for yourself.
  • Always do what you believe is right.
  • Be true to yourself and your values.
  • Respect others and treat them right.
  • Set goals and work to achieve them.
  • Say “no” to negative pressures.
  • Don’t let others make your choices for you:

In the following Slok, Guru Nanak Sahib elaborates the various stages of growing up in a person’s life.

ਪਹਿਲੈ ਪਿਆਰਿ ਲਗਾ ਥਣ ਦੁਧਿ ॥  ਦੂਜੈ ਮਾਇ ਬਾਪ ਕੀ ਸੁਧਿ ॥ 

ਤੀਜੈ ਭਯਾ ਭਾਭੀ ਬੇਬ ॥  ਚਉਥੈ ਪਿਆਰਿ ਉਪੰਨੀ ਖੇਡ ॥ 

ਪੰਜਵੈ ਖਾਣ ਪੀਅਣ ਕੀ ਧਾਤੁ ॥  ਛਿਵੈ ਕਾਮੁ ਨ ਪੁਛੈ ਜਾਤਿ ॥ 

ਸਤਵੈ ਸੰਜਿ ਕੀਆ ਘਰ ਵਾਸੁ ॥  ਅਠਵੈ ਕ੍ਰੋਧੁ ਹੋਆ ਤਨ ਨਾਸੁ ॥ 

ਨਾਵੈ ਧਉਲੇ ਉਭੇ ਸਾਹ ॥  ਦਸਵੈ ਦਧਾ ਹੋਆ ਸੁਆਹ ॥ 

ਗਏ ਸਿਗੀਤ ਪੁਕਾਰੀ ਧਾਹ ॥  ਉਡਿਆ ਹੰਸੁ ਦਸਾਏ ਰਾਹ ॥ 

ਆਇਆ ਗਇਆ ਮੁਇਆ ਨਾਉ ॥  ਪਿਛੈ ਪਤਲਿ ਸਦਿਹੁ ਕਾਵ ॥ 

ਨਾਨਕ ਮਨਮੁਖਿ ਅੰਧੁ ਪਿਆਰੁ ॥  ਬਾਝੁ ਗੁਰੂ ਡੁਬਾ ਸੰਸਾਰੁ ॥੨॥  (SGGS – Mehla 1 – Page 137) 

Mehlaa 1 ||

Pahilae Pi-aar Lagaa Than Dudh || Doojae Maa-ay Baap Kee Sudh ||

Teejae Bha-yaa Bhaabhee Bayb || Cha-uthae Pi-aar Upa-nnee Khayd ||

Panjvae Khaan Pee-an Kee Dhaat || Chhivae Kaam Na Puchhae Jaat ||

Satvae Sanj Kee-aa Ghar Vaas || Athvae Krodh Ho-aa Tan Naas ||

Naavae Dha-ulay Ubhay Saah || Dasvae Dadhaa Ho-aa Su-aah ||

Ga-ay Sigeet Pukaaree Dhaah || Udi-aa Hans Dasaa-ay Raah ||

Aa-i-aa Ga-i-aa Mu-i-aa Naa-u || Pichhae Patal Sadi-hu Kaav ||

Naanak Manmukh Andh Pi-aar || Baajh Guroo Dubaa Sansaar ||2 ||         (Page 137)

1st, the baby loves mother’s milk;

2nd, learns of his/her mother and father;

3rd, learns of brothers, sisters-in-law and sisters;

4th, the love of play awakens.

5th, runs after food and drink;

6th, in pursuit of lustful desire, does not respect social customs.

7th, gathers wealth and dwells in his/her house;

8th, becomes angry, and his/her body is consumed.

9th, now turns gray, and his / her breathing have become labored;

10th, at last is cremated, and turns to ashes. Companions send him off, crying out and lamenting. The swan of the soul takes flight, and asks which way to go. The person came and went, and now, even the name has died. After leaving this world, food was offered on leaves, and the birds were called to come and eat. O Nanak, the self- willed Manmukhs love the darkness.

Without the Guru, the world is drowning.


It’s not easy being a teenager. Teenagers want independence and to be treated like adults, but often lack the necessary maturity, which only comes through experience. They need some independence, coupled with guidance. Give them freedom of choice in matters that will help them mature, yet won’t seriously harm them or others when they make wrong choices.

Teens are in a process of continual change. Just as teens need lots of good food, lots of sleep, and lots of exercise to meet the needs of their growing bodies, they need lots of positive input to grow emotionally and intellectually.

Each teen is different and has individual needs. Most teenagers go through the same phases, but at different ages and with varying degrees of difficulty. Treat them as individuals.

Upbeat is better: If you only talk to your teens when you need to reprimand them, they will avoid you. Establish positive communication when they are younger and keep it up as they get older, and they will be more likely to receive direction from you during the tough teen years.

Teens are learning the balance between fun and responsibility:

Help your teens grow into adulthood by teaching them to put responsibility before having fun, and reward them with fun activities when they do.

Teens need clearly defined limits: Teens often test the limits set for them to see how much they can get away with. Discuss the rules together, agree if you can, and then enforce them lovingly but firmly.

Teens need space: In their attempt to establish their own identity, it is normal for teenagers to distance themselves from their parents. Don’t take it personally. Let them flap their wings, within reasonable limits, but make sure they know you’re always there for them.

Teens need to feel fulfilled: Help your teens set goals for themselves that are worthwhile, challenging, and attainable, and then help them achieve their goals.

Peer pressure is strongest in the teen years: Your teens’ friends are going to have influence for good or bad, so get to know them and try to bring out the best in them.

Teens need to feel understood: You may not understand them any better than they understand themselves, but God does. Hearing them out and then taking their problems to the Lord together will go a lot further than you trying to supply them with all the answers yourself.

Guru Nanak Sahib very clearly defines the process in the following Shabad.

ੴ ਸਤਿਗੁਰ ਪ੍ਰਸਾਦਿ ॥  ਸਿਰੀਰਾਗੁ ਮਹਲਾ ੧ ਪਹਰੇ ਘਰੁ ੧ ॥

ਪਹਿਲੈ ਪਹਰੈ ਰੈਣਿ ਕੈ ਵਣਜਾਰਿਆ ਮਿਤ੍ਰਾ ਹੁਕਮਿ ਪਇਆ ਗਰਭਾਸਿ ॥ 

ਉਰਧ ਤਪੁ ਅੰਤਰਿ ਕਰੇ ਵਣਜਾਰਿਆ ਮਿਤ੍ਰਾ ਖਸਮ ਸੇਤੀ ਅਰਦਾਸਿ ॥ 

ਖਸਮ ਸੇਤੀ ਅਰਦਾਸਿ ਵਖਾਣੈ ਉਰਧ ਧਿਆਨਿ ਲਿਵ ਲਾਗਾ ॥ 

ਨਾ ਮਰਜਾਦੁ ਆਇਆ ਕਲਿ ਭੀਤਰਿ ਬਾਹੁੜਿ ਜਾਸੀ ਨਾਗਾ ॥ 

ਜੈਸੀ ਕਲਮ ਵੁੜੀ ਹੈ ਮਸਤਕਿ ਤੈਸੀ ਜੀਅੜੇ ਪਾਸਿ ॥ 

ਕਹੁ ਨਾਨਕ ਪ੍ਰਾਣੀ ਪਹਿਲੈ ਪਹਰੈ ਹੁਕਮਿ ਪਇਆ ਗਰਭਾਸਿ ॥੧॥ 

ਦੂਜੈ ਪਹਰੈ ਰੈਣਿ ਕੈ ਵਣਜਾਰਿਆ ਮਿਤ੍ਰਾ ਵਿਸਰਿ ਗਇਆ ਧਿਆਨੁ ॥ 

ਹਥੋ ਹਥਿ ਨਚਾਈਐ ਵਣਜਾਰਿਆ ਮਿਤ੍ਰਾ ਜਿਉ ਜਸੁਦਾ ਘਰਿ ਕਾਨੁ ॥ 

ਹਥੋ ਹਥਿ ਨਚਾਈਐ ਪ੍ਰਾਣੀ ਮਾਤ ਕਹੈ ਸੁਤੁ ਮੇਰਾ ॥ 

ਚੇਤਿ ਅਚੇਤ ਮੂੜ ਮਨ ਮੇਰੇ ਅੰਤਿ ਨਹੀ ਕਛੁ ਤੇਰਾ ॥ 

ਜਿਨਿ ਰਚਿ ਰਚਿਆ ਤਿਸਹਿ ਨ ਜਾਣੈ ਮਨ ਭੀਤਰਿ ਧਰਿ ਗਿਆਨੁ ॥ 

ਕਹੁ ਨਾਨਕ ਪ੍ਰਾਣੀ ਦੂਜੈ ਪਹਰੈ ਵਿਸਰਿ ਗਇਆ ਧਿਆਨੁ ॥੨॥ 

ਤੀਜੈ ਪਹਰੈ ਰੈਣਿ ਕੈ ਵਣਜਾਰਿਆ ਮਿਤ੍ਰਾ ਧਨ ਜੋਬਨ ਸਿਉ ਚਿਤੁ ॥ 

ਹਰਿ ਕਾ ਨਾਮੁ ਨ ਚੇਤਹੀ ਵਣਜਾਰਿਆ ਮਿਤ੍ਰਾ ਬਧਾ ਛੁਟਹਿ ਜਿਤੁ ॥ 

ਹਰਿ ਕਾ ਨਾਮੁ ਨ ਚੇਤੈ ਪ੍ਰਾਣੀ ਬਿਕਲੁ ਭਇਆ ਸੰਗਿ ਮਾਇਆ ॥ 

ਧਨ ਸਿਉ ਰਤਾ ਜੋਬਨਿ ਮਤਾ ਅਹਿਲਾ ਜਨਮੁ ਗਵਾਇਆ ॥ 

ਧਰਮ ਸੇਤੀ ਵਾਪਾਰੁ ਨ ਕੀਤੋ ਕਰਮੁ ਨ ਕੀਤੋ ਮਿਤੁ ॥ 

ਕਹੁ ਨਾਨਕ ਤੀਜੈ ਪਹਰੈ ਪ੍ਰਾਣੀ ਧਨ ਜੋਬਨ ਸਿਉ ਚਿਤੁ ॥੩॥ 

ਚਉਥੈ ਪਹਰੈ ਰੈਣਿ ਕੈ ਵਣਜਾਰਿਆ ਮਿਤ੍ਰਾ ਲਾਵੀ ਆਇਆ ਖੇਤੁ ॥ 

ਜਾ ਜਮਿ ਪਕੜਿ ਚਲਾਇਆ ਵਣਜਾਰਿਆ ਮਿਤ੍ਰਾ ਕਿਸੈ ਨ ਮਿਲਿਆ ਭੇਤੁ ॥ 

ਭੇਤੁ ਚੇਤੁ ਹਰਿ ਕਿਸੈ ਨ ਮਿਲਿਓ ਜਾ ਜਮਿ ਪਕੜਿ ਚਲਾਇਆ ॥ 

ਝੂਠਾ ਰੁਦਨੁ ਹੋਆ ਦੁੋਆਲੈ ਖਿਨ ਮਹਿ ਭਇਆ ਪਰਾਇਆ ॥ 

ਸਾਈ ਵਸਤੁ ਪਰਾਪਤਿ ਹੋਈ ਜਿਸੁ ਸਿਉ ਲਾਇਆ ਹੇਤੁ ॥ 

ਕਹੁ ਨਾਨਕ ਪ੍ਰਾਣੀ ਚਉਥੈ ਪਹਰੈ ਲਾਵੀ ਲੁਣਿਆ ਖੇਤੁ ॥੪॥੧॥ (SGGS – Siree Raag Mehla 1 – Page 74)

Ikk-Oangkaar Sat Gur Prasaad || Siree Raag Mehlaa 1 Pah-ray Ghar 1 ||

Pahilae Pahrae Rain Kae Vanjaar-iaa Mitraa Hukam Pa-i-aa Garbhaas ||

Uradh Tap Antar Karay Vanjaar-iaa Mitraa Khasam Say-tee Ardaas ||

Khasam Say-tee Ardaas Vakhaanae Uradh Dhi-aan Liv Laagaa ||

Naa Marjaad Aa-i-aa Kal Bheetar Baahurh Jaasee Naagaa ||

Jaisee Kalam Vurhee Hai Mastak Taisee Jee-arhay Paas ||

Kah-u Naanak Praanee Pahilae Pahrae Hukam Pa-i-aa Garbhaas || 1 ||

Doojae Pahrae Rain Kae Vanjaar-iaa Mitraa Visar Ga-i-aa Dhi-aan ||

Hath-u Hath Nachaa-ee-ae Vanjaar-iaa Mitraa Ji-u Jasu-daa Ghar Kaan ||

Hath-u Hath Nachaa-ee-ae Praanee Maat Kahae Sut May-raa ||

Chayt Achayt Moorh Man May-ray Ant Nahee Kachh Tay-raa ||

Jin Rach Rachi-aa Tis-eh Na Jaanae Man Bheetar Dhar Gi-aan ||

Kah-u Naanak Praanee Doojae Pahrae Visar Ga-i-aa Dhi-aan ||2 ||

Teejae Pahrae Rain Kae Vanjaar-iaa Mitraa Dhan Joban Si-u Chit ||

Har Kaa Naam Na Chayt-hee Vanjaar-iaa Mitraa Badhaa Chhut-eh Jit ||

Har Kaa Naam Na Chayt-ae Praanee Bikal Bha-i-aa Sang Maa-i-aa ||

Dhan Si-u Rataa Joban Mataa Ahi-laa Janam Gavaa-i-aa ||

Dharam Say-tee Vaapaar Na Keet-o Karam Na Keet-o Mit ||

Kah-u Naanak Teejae Pahrae Praanee Dhan Joban Si-u Chit ||3 ||

Chauth-ae Pahrae Rain Kae Vanjaar-iaa Mitraa Laavee Aa-i-aa Khayt ||

Jaa Jam Pakarh Chalaa-i-aa Vanjaar-iaa Mitraa Kisae Na Mil-iaa Bhayt ||

Bhayt Chayt Har Kisae Na Mil-io Jaa Jam Pakarh Chalaa-i-aa ||

Jhoothaa Rudan Ho-aa Do-aalae Khin Meh Bha-i-aa Paraa-i-aa ||

Saa-ee Vast Paraapat Ho-ee Jis Si-u Laa-i-aa Hayt ||

Kah-u Naanak Praanee Cha-uthae Pahrae Laavee Lun-iaa Khayt || 4 || 1 ||

Siree Raag, Fifth Mehl: In the first phase of the life in this world equated as 1st, 3 hours of night, O my merchant friend, the Lord placed your soul in the womb. In the tenth month, you were made into a human being,

O my merchant friend and you were given your allotted time to perform good deeds. You were given this time to perform good deeds, according to your preordained destiny (of being born as a human being). God placed you with your mother, father, brothers, sons and wife. God Himself is the Cause of causes, good and bad; no one has control over these things.

Says Nanak, O mortal, in the first phase of the life in this world equated as 1st – 3 hours of night, the soul is placed in the womb.

In the second phase of the life in this world equated as 2nd, 3 hours of night, O my merchant friend, the fullness of youth rises in you like waves. You do not distinguish between good and evil, O my merchant friend-your mind is intoxicated with ego.

Mortal beings do not distinguish between good and evil, and the road ahead is treacherous. They never serve the Perfect True Guru, and the cruel tyrant Death stands over their heads. When the Righteous Judge seizes you and interrogates you,

O madman, what answer will you give him then ?

Says Nanak, in the second phase of the life in this world equated as 2nd – 3 hours of night, O mortal, the fullness of youth tosses you about like waves in the storm.

In the third phase of the life in this world equated as 3rd, 3 hours of night, O my merchant friend, the blind and ignorant person gathers poison. He is entangled in emotional attachment to his wife and sons, O my merchant friend and deep within him, the waves of greed are rising up. The waves of greed are rising up within him, and he does not remember God. He does not join the Saadh Sangat, the Company of the Holy, and he suffers in terrible pain through countless incarnations. He has forgotten the Creator, his Lord and Master, and he does not contemplate on HIM, even for an instant.

Says Nanak, in third phase of the life in this world equated as 3rd- 3 hours of night, the blind and ignorant person gathers poison.

In the fourth phase of the life in this world equated as 4th, 3 hours of night, O my merchant friend, that day is drawing near.

As Gurmukh, remember the Naam, O my merchant friend. It shall be your Friend in the Court of the Lord. As Gurmukh, remember the Naam, O mortal; in the end, it shall be your only companion. This emotional attachment to Maya shall not go with you; it is false to fall in love with it. The entire night of your life has passed away in darkness; but by serving the True Guru, the Divine Light shall dawn within.

Says Nanak, O mortal, in the fourth phase of the life in this world equated as 4th – 3 hours of night, that day is drawing near !

Receiving the summons from the Lord of the Universe, O my merchant friend, you must arise and depart with the actions you have committed.

Good Touch and Bad Touch

Child abuse often begins with touches like patting, pinching, touching, or hugging. The child accepts it as non-threatening. But gradually abuser may increase the methods of abuse. Often adolescents can make out “what a good touch is and what a bad touch is”. Once an adolescent senses a “bad touch” by another person, it is better to keep a distance from those persons. “Abuse refers to harmful or injurious treatment of another human. This may include physical, verbal, psychological/emotional, intellectual, or spiritual maltreatment. Abuse is a form of long-term torture usually inflicted by ones nearest and dearest. It is a grievous violation of trust and it leads to disorientation, fear, depression, and suicidal tendency.”

It is intimidation or manipulation of another person or an intrusion into another’s psyche; the purpose is to control another person. It is generally a long-term pattern of behavior although specific short-term interactions can be labeled abusive. Abuse may co-exist with neglect, which is defined as failure to meet a dependent person’s basic physical and medical needs, emotional deprivation, and/or desertion. Neglect is sometimes described as passive abuse.

Physical harassment can be defined as any unwanted physical attention/behavior which a girl or boy experiences in various situations. The behavior may be intentional or unintentional with implicit or explicit lusty connotations. It can be verbal, non-verbal or physical harassment.

Eve teasing is a form of harassment that usually takes place at public places, i.e. parks, public transport, roads, crowded places, cinema halls, colleges, etc. Most of the times, females are at the receiving end. The subtle difference is that in such type of harassment, there is no physical contact and the harassment is often done anonymously in public places. However, the known person can be involved in physical harassment.

Behaviors-Gender-Related Harassment

  • Brushing against a person’s body
  • Unwelcome touching, patting or pinching
  • Obscene phone calls or writing obscene letters
  • Exposure of private parts (Indecent exposure)
  • Showing pornographic material
  • Eve teasing
  • Making lewd remarks
  • Making remarks about a person’s clothing, body

Tips To Handle Eve Teasing

You can prevent or lessen the chance of such type of abuse by remembering some of these useful tips:

  • If someone tries to invade your personal space or tries to touch your body and do things that make you uncomfortable, say a firm No.
  • Respect your elders but that does not mean blind obedience to adults and to authority. Remember that most often the abuser is someone you know well and respect. Avoid being in a situation when you are alone with a person who is not your immediate family (parents, brothers, sisters, grandparents etc.)
  • Never allow strangers to enter your home without showing some sort of identification.
  • Do not let strangers or other people know that you are alone at home. Do not be out alone particularly if you know that it is unsafe or it is a new place.
  • If you are in a situation where you recognize that you have been abused or likely to be abused, share this information with someone older, whom you trust. Do not be threatened by the situation, even if you are afraid or feel embarrassed/ humiliated. The abuser will only feel more confident of their act if they can prevent you from sharing this with others.
  • Be aware of your circumstances at all times. If you feel you are being followed, go to a public building and call Police Help line Number or someone who lives close by for help. Do not take a chance.
  • In case, someone tries to take advantage of your situation in public places, resist then and there if possible. Try to shout/scream for help or attract the attention of those around you.
  • Be assertive – don’t let anyone violate your space.
  • Indicating that one is aware of harassment & practices ways to deal with them.
  • Predicting and avoiding the harasser.
  • Watching out for unwanted visitors.
  • Informing to a supportive sibling, friend, parents or teacher if the harassment is repetitive.
  • Avoid walking alone especially at night and unknown places.

(ਚਲਦਾ—— Continued in next month’s issue)