What Can We Learn From Our Teenagers?

I wrote recently about how, as adults, we sometimes lose the ability to see the wonder in things and we should look to how young children view the world to really see how amazing it is. Well, this got me thinking about how teenagers see the world!
Teenagers and young people also see the world in a very different way to adults don’t they? They engage in their world in their own way and I think we misjudge teenagers sometimes. We often hear phrases such as ‘misguided’, ‘carefree’ or ‘out of control’ to describe teens and this is unfair. I wonder how many adults could learn a thing or two from our young people? Adults often describe their life as ‘boring’,  ‘in a rut”, ‘being on a treadmill’ or ‘mundane’. Well, perhaps we need to look towards our teenagers and young people and see how they live their lives, remember those things and engage in our world through their eyes?

Show our real emotions
As adults, we often will not share our real feelings with others around us. I am certainly guilty of this at times. When asked if we are ok, we will reply that we are, when really we may not be! I rarely cry in front of anyone; not even my husband, and I do feel like crying sometimes. I actually think this makes me feel worse. If I had a little cry when I was feeling sad, then perhaps I would feel happier? Parenting is the most exhausting, exhilarating, rewarding and hardest thing I have ever done and sometimes it makes me want to cry, laugh, shout or rage but I don’t always show these emotions. Perhaps for my own mental well-being I should. Teenagers would.
Engage and party!
On a Friday night after a long week at work or parenting children, hands up who would prefer to flop on the sofa with a bottle of wine and take away food? I know, right! Many of us adults are so exhausted by life that this is the only realistic Friday night option! However, hands up again (it’s the teacher in me!) who has forced themselves to get dressed up, gone out and had the best time in ages? I have begun to see, as my children are now teenagers, that they go out if they are tired or not. I remember this stage in my own life; I would go out on a Friday night, get up to go to work on a Saturday, come home to eat and then go out again on a Saturday night. There was never any question about if I was tired particularly. Now, I know that I was younger then and had no children but perhaps, once in a while, if we forced ourselves to get out there and socialise we would stay connected with our friends and not feel so isolated. Many adults feel lonely and making ourselves go out when we are invited to social events, may make us feel better about ourselves.

Teenagers sliding down a water slide.
Try something new! You might find you love it!

Trying something new
Teenagers and young people are naturally drawn to excitement and the thrills of new experiences and rightly so. They need to experience these new things to feel a positive reward and connect different parts of their developing brain. As parents, we worry that this risk taking may go too far as we remember the negative experiences we had at this time in our lives or we imagine them anyway! I love the passion and sense of fun young people get from these new experiences and as adults we could learn from this. Trying something new stimulates our sense of fun and joy; it may push us out if our comfort zone but that is when life gets interesting! If you are stuck in a rut, try a new sport or take up gardening. Anything that might make life exciting again for you; you never know you may find your new passion!

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  • What a strengths based way of thinking about teenagers. I work with them and usually it’s to address their difficult behavior. I’ve never thought to take a page from their book and use it in my life. Very interesting…

  • I love how you look at teenagers! Having a teenager myself I love to see the world through his eyes but I will admit that Most days, I just plop down on the couch after a long day and forget about it. This is a great reminder to let my kids keep me on my toes with fresh new perspectives:) #mg

    • Thanks! I confess I’m with you with the flopping….😊

  • Good ideas and so true, we forget a level of carefree-ness as we become adults, I do miss that sense of having few responsibilities and a greater sense of adventure. Impressive that you are able to keep your tears in, I have the opposite problem at times! For something new I’m taking my daughter and some friends to a concert later this year – I hope I don’t embarrass her too much! #tweensteensbeyond

  • Lot’s to ponder on here and lots of gems. Of course, we did the going out late and up early and on consecutive nights too! I guess we still could to an extent if we wanted to? It’s hard to take a step back and transport yourself to teenage years isn’t it. I guess if we are honest, we do get a little less ‘carefree’, I wonder why that is? Do we get set in our ways? Gosh, we can’t be having that can we??!! In terms of the holding things in, I don’t anymore. Not sure if that’s the jolly menopause but I’ve always been such a ‘stoical’ parent taking it all on and never showing my feelings but that’s changed and to an extent I’m glad. Keeps things real and shows that the dear mums have feelings too. Having a good old cry can be very therapeutic when you haven’t done it in ages. I loved this post. Thanks for sharing at #tweensteensbeyond

  • I love the point about showing real emotions. As adults I think we bottle up our feelings far too much #fortheloveofblog

  • I have to say I’ve learned a lot about trying new things, and getting out there and partying from my teen-as-was (she’s now 20). To a certain extent she made my life look dull and stuck in a rut, so I’ve adopted her attitude to life 🙂 #tweensteensbeyond

  • I love how you took a positive few of teens, so often the only thing we see is how badly the teens are doing! #fortheloveofBLOG

  • What a fantastic post! Filled with positivity and it is so refreshing to read something putting teenagers in a good light. #MG

    • Why thank you Catie! I’m quite proud of this post actually so it’s so lovely to see that others love it too. X

    • Oh thank you Lisa! I must pop over to yours later…I haven’t read any of your posts for a while, sorry about that!

  • Lovely post. It’s easy to unlearn that free-thinking mindset we had in our teens isn’t it. This post serves as a good reminder of how we could adjust our perspectives to make the most of life #thesatsesh

  • Definitely think us adults need to get better at talking about how we are really feeling and not being scared to show our emotions. And trying new things! You’re right, it’s so easy to get stuck in a rut and maybe being more teenager is the way to go xx #thesatsesh

    • Thank you for your comment Wendy. Have a great day and love the new hashtag btw! What a great idea. X

  • I love this post and totally agree with you! I have learned so much from my three girls and love hearing about their view of things. We have marvellous conversations about politics and sociology and I have changed my views on a lot of things because of them. It’s so refreshing having teens in the house and it keeps you young! Thanks so much for sharing with us at #TweensTeensBeyond

    • Thank you Sharon! Glad you enjoyed it. I enjoyed writing this one. X

  • I love this positive post. People are so quick to be ‘down’ on teens but working with this age group is the bit I LOVE about my job – they certainly live life to the full and we can definitely learn from that. The section on ‘engage and party’ really made me think….. I am quick to ‘dodge’ night’s out these days…. too tired, too cold to go out, too skint… but these things would NEVER have stopped me a few years ago – Friday and Saturday nights were sacred for partying…. I don’t want to become a total hermit. Fab post. #thesatsesh xx

  • Hi Sophie I think I have the first two items on your list covered – I do show my emotions and no matter how tired I am I never say no to going out and especially on a Friday. Even though I am not bound by the working hours of a contract anymore I still love nothing more than starting off the weekend with a trip out but the important thing is clearly not to take it too far. Re doing something new….I do have a few things lined up that have been bubbling away for a while and which may now make an appearance. I need to stop thinking and do. Thanks for linking. #TweensTeensBeyond

  • This is so very true, we really could benefit from taking a leaf out of a teen’s book. Getting out and socialising is a really good one, I think as adults we do isolate ourselves as life is so busy. Thanks for sharing with #fortheloveofBLOG

  • […] every one of them. Our favourite from last week was from Old House in the Shires and was called What can we learn from our teenagers. Sophie is a valued supporter of our linky and has come up with a top post here. I think we all […]

  • Apart from the ‘showing emotions’ point which, being Sicilian, I do only too well 😉 I admit to being lacking in the other two areas. Great post!

  • Well, I still feel a teenager, maybe because I’m just 20 years old. But I feel that your tips are true..

  • Your completely right, as adults we squash those feelings and emotions and really we should let them all out and feel much better for it! I like the idea of socialising more though, we would certainly #GetMooreFromLife then! Thanks for linking up with me

  • I love the way teenagers have such a zest for life, having fun, and enjoying each other’s company. I often wish i could be back in those days again 🙂

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