Teens: Passionate, Talented, Different, And Impulsive. Adventurous, Innocent and Brave. Another perspective about teenagers and their beautiful brains and big hearts. Teenagers are often misunderstood, not listened to or ignored by adults. Teenagers have a lot of things to teach and here are some traits and examples.
According to Laurence Steinberg, a developmental psychologist specializing in adolescence at Temple University, talks about teenagers’ brains in a special edition published by National Geographic, “Beautiful Brains.” Steinberg points out that “even 14 to 17 year olds–the biggest risk takers–use the same basic cognitive strategies that adults do. Meaning that teenagers think through their problems and options when facing a difficult and risky circumstance. Even though they have less experience in life, their brains work hard to find the best solutions. Furthermore as Steinberg explains, “Teenagers, contrary to the popular beliefs, also fully recognize that they are mortal.” As a society we should encourage and believe more in our kids and our future generation -they sometimes know what they are doing. It is important to teach them and show them values but it is also important to let them make mistakes and fail. Often parents fight with their kids because they see their actions as a way of trying to prove that they are no longer kids anymore and this might hurt because they see their children spreading their wings and most likely become frustrated with life. Life is full of frustrations but let them live, fight and explore. Teenagers need to learn about life by risking and feeling. If they never get into a fight or they never feel lost, they are not growing. We want the best for our kids but they need to find what is best for them by themselves.
Furthermore some attitudes or traits that teens present may seem annoying, or as the article explains, “In scientific terms, teenagers can be a pain in the ass. But they are quite possible the most fully, crucially adaptive human beings around.” Teens may be from another planet, but they are a unique and beautiful species. Teens are amazing, creative and special in their own uniqueness. They know deep down what they want although they might seem lost. They fight for their dreams although in adults’ eyes may seem stupid. They risk and fall in love. They meet new people and are open to other opinions. Furthermore it is healthy and natural for teenagers to question their parents’ beliefs and norms. They need to find what works for them.
However, we need to remember that when parents decide to have a kid they are giving them the most valuable gift, life, so now it is their life to live, not theirs. Some research suggests that teenagers value rewards more than consequences. I could give you an example of that: -I love dancing, and when I was little I used to ballroom dance. I had a competition where I twisted my ankle one dance before the final. I was sad and my ankle hurt really badly, but I wanted to keep dancing and I did not want to leave my dance partner standing. I could not face the loss. I stood up—I looked at my partner and friend and told him “Let’s do this.” My parents were looking from the audience horrified, but I did not leave the stage. I danced with all my passion and strength. We ended up qualifying for the next round. I was proud, I was happy. At first my family did not understand; they thought I was crazy. Now they do. Now they see that I am growing up healthy and happy. Sometimes it is hard to recognize that teenagers are strong and they can take care of themselves.
On the other hand, teenagers love their families. They do, trust me. Family and friends are always there for us, boyfriends or other stuff like money come and go. Remember to encourage them, support them with their crazy dreams, let them fail and be there for them when they open up themselves to ask you for advice and help. Be there for them, by their side, supporting and encouraging them, without trying to protect them by keeping them in in your shadow.
Let them grow, let them shine, let them breathe and let them teach you from time to time.