Today I started thinking seriously about teenagers around us, or ‘teens’ as they are informally called.
The teen years as you know fall in the age-group of 13-19 years. Whenever I have got a chance, I have tried to observe them carefully. I find them an interesting lot.
Their behaviour, body-language, thinking, dressing, style and attitude is something that’s never boring. When I was a teen, I guess my teen years were comparatively boring. But the connected teens of today are aware of so much at such a young age, that often, if you pay attention, you can learn quite a few things from them.
As far as handling technology is concerned, you can definitely learn much from them. In the tech field at least, the teens are our gurus. They know more about computers, smartphones and social media platforms like WhatsApp, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat or Vine more than their uncles, aunties and parents combined.
Teenagers today seem more confident about themselves than when I was a teen so many years back. What gives them this kind of confidence?
Probably, its the information age that they live in that makes them so much better as a teenager than their counterparts 20 years back.
If it is possible, select any seven teenagers today from 2016 and put them in a time machine. Now take them 20 years back to 1996. Next, introduce them to the same age-group teenagers of 1996 who are in the 13-19 age group. Within 30 minutes of leaving them together you will know, which group has sway over the other.
Here are some things I notice about you from a distance, if you are a teenager:
–> 1. You look strong and confident and have an air of strength about you.
–> 2. You are sensitive to criticism. You would prefer that if you are at fault in some way then you can be told quietly about it. You just don’t like to be ticked away in front of anyone.
–> 3. You have this air of knowing more about things than other older guys know or understand.
–> 4. You are quite particular about appearances and how you look.
–> 5. You are willing to listen to your elders if they make sense and if they can pay attention to what you have to say.
–> 6. You are particular about bonding with your community of friends and they mean a lot to you.
–> 7. You have a better idea of where you are headed in life and the life choices that would be good for you. You are open to advice and suggestions, provided they make sense and even more important, the person giving advice hears you out too. If they don’t, well, you are a good actor, you can pretend to listen quite well.
These are just some observations of mine. Now, you may feel that I am wrong in all my observations about teens, or maybe some of them are right. That’s ok.
But point is, teens today are intelligent, much more intelligent than what their parents were at their age.
Question is: How do you handle this kind of intelligence in a young person and get them/encourage them to do what you as a more experienced elder want them to do?
That’s a test of your intelligence. 🙂