My name is Charley from A Writer Named Charley. I normally write reviews, poetry, and prose. But one of my blogger friends emailed me and talked about this amazing opportunity on this blog for teenagers to tell their story. Or at least, the story from their perspective. This is a great idea/movement I can be wholly, and unconditionally, behind.
Question of the day: What makes teenagers today different from those 20 years ago? (AKA our parents)
Well, I am not sure there is all that much of a difference, to be honest. I’ve been pondering this question all day. Tossing it back and forth from either perspective of the parent or of myself, the teenager. Obviously culture changed. There is more technology available at the new teenager’s fingertips to impulsively make decisions with social media and their friends. All these culture differences make it hard to compare the two generations. In reality, we live entirely different lives.
Growing up I heard a lot of my parent’s stories of their childhood and teenage years. They could get away with a lot more than they would ever let me get away with. They would destroy the house with fights with their siblings. They would sneak out of their windows to go party with friends. They drank underage. They smoked underage. They did drugs. I could never imagine doing any of those things. I think they learned from their mistakes. I would never be able to get away with any of those things because they know all the ways of doing it. (Sidenote: I tried sneaking downstairs once to find out where the Easter bunny hid my basket, and I had only made it to the top step when my mother called out from behind her closed door for me to go back to bed. Foiled all my plans from then on for sneaking out.)
I have all these examples of the differences but going back to my initial statement: There is not much of a difference. The generations are just changing as they become parents. Teenagers, at their core, are trying to figure out where they belong in the world. No matter which culture you grow up in, you will go through a mini-crisis type situation with trying to figure this out. Sometimes it might be more than a few times of mini-crisis situations to figure it out. My theory is, however, that the adults, the past teenagers, don’t allow for this discovery and revelation to occur. I know many adults who encourage their children at a young age to discover their passions. They will pay ridiculous amounts of money to get their children whatever toy it is that will help with the discovery process. Many times, however, adults won’t buy a $50 toy for their children. “It’s just a waste of a toy they will surely outgrow.” How do you know that, though? By allowing your child to discover things for him/herself, you enabled them to have curiosity in life. To have creativity. Without this creativity and curiosity, what is the purpose of life? I know I wish my parents had invested more in my creativity and curiosity as a child.
I began writing as a young child. My parents have only read one of my poems I’ve written out of hundreds. They do not know I have a blog. They do not know I have a lot of things. I feel like they are scared of the technology and curiosity I have at my fingertips to discover. Perhaps this is because they didn’t let me explore as a child. Perhaps it is totally unrelated. As a note to the parents reading this: let your child explore. Invest in your child’s life. Make it a happy one. As a note to the teenagers reading this: Explore. Be curious. Be creative. Be yourself.
Have a great day, and thanks for reading this.
~A Writer Named Charley~