“It has become a cultural cliché that raising adolescents is the most difficult part of parenting. It’s common to joke that when kids are in their teens they are sullen, uncommunicative, more interested in their phones than in their parents and generally hard to take. But this negative trope about adolescents misses the incredible opportunity to positively shape a kid’s brain and future life course during this period of development.”
As a former teenager myself and now a parent of one, I found this article to be a mixture of redemption and hope; a nice wake up call to parents and educators everywhere to change the conversations we are having about our teens. Teenagers are a lovely, energetic, adventurous lot, full of ideas and potential. Ideas and potential that are sadly wasted when we force structures that are counter to their developmental needs. If we collectively work to harness their potential I believe we will see a stark reduction in learning challenges that plague kids in schools and a reduction in emotional issues like anxiety and depression.
We have short changed our teens far too long and filled their time with busy work and mundane tasks. If they are bored or lack a feeling of investment in their future adults should not be surprised when they buck the system. Katrina Schwartz’s article is a must read for anyone living with or working with teenagers.