I have read that when a child has reached their early teens, not sure what age, they are left pretty much on their own. The Amish have a name for this period in a person's life, maybe you can help fill it in?
I have heard that this is a time that they look for a wife, or, the Amish know that "control" becomes almost impossible, so, they let the teens develop for a period of time(???) on their own. They also make the choice as to staying with the family, or, going out on their own.
Is this true?? The article was very unclear if the teens engage in sex, or, if they are given any sex education, birth control, and other information during the time of their lives. Literature I have read on this states that almost all the teens stay with the family group and Amish life.
Can you please add anything to this, have the Amish found a way to get through the "teen" years with the least amount of pain? They seem feel it is a way of life, so, let the children have more freedom instead of fighting it?
"English" parents struggle with this everyday, I am sure the Amish parents are no different, but seem to have a much different approach. Does it work?
What you are referring to is known in the Amish community as Rumspringa, also spelt Rumschpringe or Rumshpringa.
This is a period of testing the faith. It is a time where teenagers who have some doubt about their faith, or the Amish religion are given the opportunity to try out English life and see if they are missing anything.
They will ditch their conservative clothes, they girls will try make-up and the boys will indulge in a little hanky-panky, but because of their strict upbringing, very few of them will stray too far or indulge in per-marital sex.
They are given this choice at the ages between 14-16 and afterwards, if they accept the Amish faith, they will then be baptized. If not, they will then leave the faith.
Because they have not yet been baptized their behavior away is tolerated, and not subjected to any shunning, including getting drunk, having sex, or even dabbling in recreational drugs.
For those that decide not to be baptized, this is not as easy as it seems, as not only will they leave the faith, but they will also be leaving the community. Often being shunned by their friends, their neighbors, their community at large, as well as their immediate families. So this step is never taken lightly.
Almost all of these teenagers will return to their families, a little wiser of the outside world, but happy to remain Amish. Only very occasionally to you have one that will decide to join the world of the outsiders.