Monday, June 28, 2010

Teenagers vs. Adults

Throughout my life, I've heard adults make the comment, "Just wait until they're teenagers." And to this day, so many adults make negative comments about kids being in those teenage years. Why is it such a dreaded time period?

Yeah, yeah, I know... teenagers are going through hormonal changes, body changes, social changes, and trying to figure out who they are... So? This still doesn't explain to me why so many adults fear this time period and why so many teenagers resent adults at the same time.

I have three teenagers and I think they're great. I work with teenagers at church... and I think they're great.

But maybe the real problem rests with the communication skills between the two groups. Maybe.

Last week at Girls' Camp I heard one young lady tell a friend, "I hate all adults. They can't be trusted. They say one thing to us and then turn around and lie about it to someone else."  I've been thinking about that comment and wondering how can I influence her to know that not all adults behave this way? Is it possible to even convince her of this? Are her own thoughts clouding her judgement or does she have factual experience that has led her to this belief?

Then my sixteen-year-old son came home to visit for a few hours yesterday (he's spending seven weeks in the local college dorms participating in a summer work program). He was frustrated because despite his attempts to communicate intelligently with the adult in charge of the program, the adult keeps shutting him down saying things like, "This is not open for discussion." and/or "The door is closed on this topic, don't bring it up again."

So, based on these two examples, I think adults are to blame. Yup. At least with these two instances. With the young woman, clearly her trust in adults has been violated. Whether only in her perception or in reality, her trust has been violated. With my son, the adult in charge is treating him like a small child. He is not. He is intelligent and will be moving out of the house in less than two years.

As adults, we need to impower these teenagers to be able to function and live responsibly on their own.

I think adults need to take more responsibility here and stop blaming it on the teenagers.

" a painful, continual and difficult work to be done in kindness, by watching, by warning,... by praise, but above all -- by example." — John Ruskin


  1. I agree that adults don't give teens enough credit. Being a teenager is the awkward phase where you still posess the vulnerabilities of childhood while learning the first responsibilities of adulthood.

    You may be a rare exception to the rule.