05 July 2007

Honouring Teenagers

I was in a meeting with someone the other day who said talked about how their 17 year old child was so annoying to live with. Apparently this child is rude, messy, bossy, selfish, knows everything, has no consideration for others... is annoying. Then they went on to say, "She's a typical teenager. The're so disrespectful these days."

It struck me how simple it is for people to write off a whole segment of the population to justify the behaviour of their one child and avoid responsibility for how that child operates in the world. The message is, 'it's not anything to do with my child... all teenagers are like that".

I couldn't agree less. It's been my experience that teenagers are wonderful amazing people and I value the relationships that I have with so many of them (including the teenager in question above). In fact, I don't know a single teenager that fits the above description, and yet sometimes we adults paint this segment of the population with this brush. Unfortunately, this sort of lore, like the slams against racial segments tends to stick and be used by people looking for a way to be right.

I am tired of hearing how bad teenagers are. I say let's stop talking about "the way teenagers are" and just treat them like people... like we would want to be treated.

My friend Dar wrote about this very thing over a year ago. I missed it since I didn't know she had a blog at that time. I do now.

Thanks for tweaking my memory Dar.

No comments: