Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Teenager's reality - Would you like to ge a teenager again?

Would you like to be a teenager again? People today see teenager’s lives as being carefree and with out any real responsibilities. That is not reality. Today’s teenager does not live in the same world we their parents grew up in. Teenagers have huge demands on them, placed on them by others, for their time, energy and attention. Teenagers have as much if not more stress in their lives then adults. When we were in high school we would receive 2 to 3 hrs worth of homework. Today on average each teacher gives one hour of homework, which works out to be between 6 to 8 hrs of homework every night. That is like having two full time jobs. So not only do you have tons of work to do and not so much time, you have to do it well. You need to do well in school to be able to pass, apply for college or university, get scholarships.

Then you add employment into the mix. Most teenagers have jobs these days. It may be part-time or full-time but it is still a job, with every thing that goes along with it. Teenagers are not being treated as kids at work, they are employees and have the same expectations and responsibilities placed on them as any other employee. Just because it is in a fast food restaurant, or in a retail store does not mean that they are working any less then we do. They have the same stress and frustrations at their work as any one else. Being a teenager does not make it any easer to do the job, or make your self go to work. To be blunt, teenagers get some of the crummiest jobs because no one else will do them for the pay they get. Oh, and its not all fun and games with the paycheque either. Teenagers for the most part are not working so they can buy the $400.00 pair of shoes or go party with friends. They are working to pay for college, or university because they know that their parents cannot pay for it and it is not easy to get a scholarship. Or they have bills like car payments, insurance and some times rent, food and clothing. In some cases they are working to help out the family.

Now some kids are blessed with talent and can try to get scholarships. To do so they have to participate in extra curricular activities so they are well rounded. There is more demands on their time and energy, remember they have to compete for scholarships. If you are going for a sports, music, science, or any type of scholarship then you need to be putting the time into that area or activity. You have to be the best at what ever you do. How many hours a day do you have to put into being the best, be it as an individual or as part of a team. That is a lot of stress to put on some one.

Sound life a carefree life with out responsibilities yet? So we understand that teenagers are already under a lot of stress meeting the demands of school and work. Lets look at the expectations of parents and family responsibilities. We expect the teens to do well at school and get a job to pay for the things they want. What other expectations are we putting on our teens. They are expected be home at specific times, like meal and bed time. They are expected to get their homework done, and help around the home, baby sit their brothers and sisters. To take on some responsibilities at home like making dinner or cleaning up. They need to spend time with family, be it just Friday night movie night, or Grandmothers Birthday. They have to fit their schedule around the expectations of their parents and family. It is not like they do any thing but talk on the phone, play video games or hang out with their friends, right, that is what teens do. Why can’t they do what I want them to do when I want them to do it? The teen is just being a teen and is rebelling or just does not appreciate every thing I have done for them right. It could not be that they are tired or any thing like that. Right.

We think that all teens do is socializing with their friends. They always seem to be on the phone, talking or texting, or on the computer chatting, or out with their friends. The truth is that socializing and dating is a very important part of being a teenager. It is an important part of their development. They need to find some time to socialize. It is very hard to find the time with every thing else going on in their lives. So yes talking at school, the bus, on the phone, emails are ways to socialize that fit their high demand life style. You socialize wherever you can. Teens today have more demands on them then the average adult. They have teachers, employers, parents and their friends all demanding their time and attention. So your teen wants to relax with a few friends over, watch some TV, play a video game, let them. They need to distress even more then we do.

Still think it would be fun to be a teenager again? When you take a real look at the demands and expectations being placed on teens it is easy to see why they feel overwhelmed, burn out, give up or turn to drugs and alcohol to deal with it. As parents it is our job to make it easer on our kids. We need to understand the whole picture of what our teens are going through. Think about what you can do to help relieve some of the stress and demands on your kids now that you have an idea of what they are going through.

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