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Focus on yourself—advice from a youth leader

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY (PIA)--Teenagers tend to rush into love; even a 10-year-old has a girlfriend, and they engage through social media, said Jarrie Fionna G. Jacutin, 17, a child representative from Manolo Fortich, Bukidnon.

In an interview during the Local Council for the Protection of Children (LCPC) Gumagalaw Caravan in Cagayan de Oro City, Jacutin shared that her role as a child representative in the council is to make sure to act as the voice of the children, especially in the Indigenous Sector.

She shared that in her municipality, Manolo Fortich, the top case is teenage pregnancy, or what they now call "adolescent pregnancy," which is caused by various factors, including family issues and a lack of knowledge about sex education.

Parents must be straightforward when communicating with their children. Jarrie explains that kids nowadays are very advanced in knowledge because of social media. Instead of using words like flowers to refer to the vagina, parents should use the correct term, vagina.

Children are very inquisitive and ask questions every day. That is why parents should give time to their children.

"In this generation, with advancing technology, before parents teach that to their child, they already know because of technology. So, for the parents, they should guide their children and also give rules. It is the responsibility of the parents to give rules like limiting their screen time. Also, know what they are watching, too," she said.

"My message to young adolescents is to first focus on themselves," Jarrie said.

Meanwhile, Danniell Jan C. Maagad, 14, from Gingoog City, Misamis Oriental, representing the academe, shared the importance of mental health, especially in children and adolescents.

"Ayaw sa mo og rush into things, nga aglisod pa mo, take it slowly, and if you are tired, gikapoy naka socially or academically, take a rest. Ayaw og undang. It is important to sometimes mohunong sa ka kadyot para didto nimo i-visualize kung asa ka dapit kulang or asa ka dapit mag-improve para makabalo ka kung asa dapit imong sayop and didto ka mag-improve," he said.

(Do not rush into things that you are still having a hard time with; take it slowly, and if you are tired, whether socially or academically, take a rest. Do not stop. It is important that sometimes you pause, stop a bit, so that you can visualize where you are lacking or where you need to improve so that you will know where you have a mistake and you will improve in that area)

He also advised kids to reach out to family and friends if there are problems. "Do not immediately think of killing yourself," he said.

Parents have a big role in honing their children’s future, and it should start by listening to them.

Kids are usually afraid to reach out to their parents because they are scared to disturb them or they might add more problems, Dannielle said.

According to Athena Michailla B. Cobero, 18, representing the academe from Baroy Lanao del Norte, giving a voice to children is so essential.

"I think we should be given a voice because children don’t really voice out our emotion, or what we feel or the problems we have because mostly we are scared to do it. We don’t know who we should tell or ask for help," she said.

She urged the children and young adolescents to be confident.

"I am challenging you to be confident and to not be afraid to speak out whatever you have in your mind, whatever is bothering you, and please seek out help. We have organizations like LCPC; you can come to us, and we are here ready to help you anytime," she said. (JMOR/PIA-10)

Danniell Jan C. Maagad, 14 years old from Gingoog City Misamis Oriental representing the academe sector, shared the importance of mental health especially in children and adolescents.
Athena Michailla B. Cobero, 18 years old representing the academic sector from Baroy Lanao del Norte, says giving a voice to children is so essential.

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Jasper Marie Rucat

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Region 10

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