Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Trashing Teens

Here is the link to a very interesting Psychology Today article. It challenges the way i think on many issues. Loads of things to think about here!


I have so much to do (and I'm not doing it right now) that I will refrain from commenting on the article yet, but I hope you will!


my15minutes said...

I pretty much agree with her. But then that's probably not too surprising to you! The article reminded me of how our then-17 year old daughter rose to the adulthood of living her senior year in an apartment (with our support and blessing)....that one thing really cemented our relationship and gave her wings. I think the culture thing is so big that it's really impossible totally to fight it. But we've done as much as we can to give our teens adult responsibilities and rights. DS (19) has spent through his settlement $ (his choice), gone to Australia and lived on his own, bought his own car on his return, now has a fulltime job and is talking about moving out into an apartment. We're not financing any of it (although we'll help with college if/when he goes). I'm so glad we didn't channel him directly into college... more infantilization potential there. He's living as a man in a man's world now, and I think if he decides to go into college, it will be undertaken as an adult decision, rather than as a lemming.
Thanks for the link.

carrie said...

Of course I thought of you when I read this article. Without the introduction you and others ahve given me to new ways to look at my children, I wouldn't be open to the ideas presented here.

I don't "agree" with every suggesting the author made. Even so, I know we haven't done enarly as well as we could have to help our children mature and take responsibility. I am very intrigued by the idea of competency tesing for more areas of life than just driver's licenses. I tink this idea has real merit, and could provide some much needed incentive for young people to grow up and take responsibility.

Luke has decided to go for a two year tech degree (not college transfer) in computer networking. This is one of the first decisions about his life he's owned, and we're very pleased. I know he ahs the "potential" for a four year computer degree, but that's not the point. A two year degree seems doable to him and gets him into a job sooner. The fact that he's thought through this on his own is a big step forward. I'm thinking like you about college. If he decides in the future to go, he will be making the decision as an adult with a plan. And if he does we will try to help him with college expenses.

Ampersand said...

I completely agree with her and have noted her observations with my own kids. They are ready for so much more than they have the opportunity for. Dd has been given so much responsibility at the barn and she thrives on it -- her job, her place, her sense of self. I don't think she would be thrivind so much now without it.

I think the cultural adaptations that keep them in school longer and keep them from owning their lives more are a detriment to teens.

I also think homeschooling goes a long way towards mitigating some of the "hurry up and wait" limbo that teenagers face.

I really appreciate the link to the article. She articulates what I was thinking and feeling even before I had teenagers. And now I see the principle in action with my two.

my15minutes said...

It's a bit of a dance. Teens need adult responsibilities and privileges, much more than they have in current American culture. We noticed that with our German exchange student....at barely 16, she operated much more like a 21 year old. But there is also the balance of their developing brains not really coming into the full measure of their cerebral cortex until early 20s. Judgment is slow to catch up sometimes. Yet still, I'd rather err on the side that allows them to develop the judgment they need AS THEY NEED IT, than to coddle (infantisize) them while waiting for some magic age.