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.

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Try something new and enjoy 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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