The Letter Your Teen Cannot Write You

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by Scent of Cedar *, Nov 25, 2015.

  1. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

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  2. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    So very true! Near years as I read this.
  3. nlj

    nlj Well-Known Member

    That behaviour's not acceptable though is it.

    The letter's all "me,me,me,me".

    Part of growing up needs to be about considering other people, their needs and feelings and the effect that your behaviour has on them.

    I wonder if in all cultures this stereotypical 'teenage' behaviour even exists. It certainly isn't tolerated. Did teenagers exist in previous generations? Has our society created teenagers?
  4. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Well, maybe my family is unique but...
    The stories about things my uncles did (back in the 40s and 50s and 60s) are certainly "typical teen"... beyond most stories I hear about teens. Like... racing stallions, two at a time per person, bareback, one foot on each of the two horses... at a dead gallop. (it was NOT ALLOWED. It WAS done) Risk? Wild? Attitude? Oh Ya! Sneaking smokes and making bootleg. The stories are almost endless.

    My Grandpa was as bad or worse - and his stories about some before that are... ditto.

    So, I do not believe our society "created" teenagers.

    There's more to the picture of course. Can't even remotely compare growing up back then, with growing up now. And I'm NOT saying now is better... it is definitely different.
  5. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    Those are good questions. I never thought of it like that. I just kept hanging onto to the part where she needed the mother to love her through it.


    I see what you are saying, nlj. That if we never tolerated these behaviors in the beginning, they would never evolve into what they become. There is a school of thought like that too, now that I think about it. The theory there is that without strict guidelines, our teens feel they are driving across a bridge with no guardrails and no highway markings.

  6. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    But even WITH strict guidelines... my uncles were good at finding bridges with no guardrails, on dark and rainy (or frozen) nights. To some extent, this push-back stuff really IS part of being a teenager.

    The advantage these previous generations had was that they knew exactly what they were pushing back against. There were some things that were not allowed and yet were winked at (and the teens knew it), and other things that were not allowed PERIOD (plunder and pillage among them). Kids today... have a harder time defining themselves because there is less to compare against, less to push against. Just my opinion.
  7. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member


    Even adults have difficulty finding and maintaining an acceptable moral stand point in today's culture. I still think the prevalence and availability of high quality addictive drugs played the biggest part in what is hurting all of us.

  8. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    I think the behaviors that occur in this culture do not occur in all but an adolescent phase of maturation specific to that culture, does exist.
    This is a psychoanalytic perspective on adolescence. I know this because this is the exact thing that the psychiatrist who treated my son and I for many years, told me as recently as a couple of months ago, and many times before.
    If you think about it in traditional society there are rituals that explain and help the child define him or herself as changed and enter adult society. In this society, what is there? Drugs, sex, gangs, defiance towards parents and society? In other societies, there is work, an apprenticeship system, an extended family. There are religious rituals. People may marry early and take on actual responsibilities whereby they see objectively their own changing. While I am favor of the so-called welfare state, there is no government subsidy or help from parents to live and to pay ones way without work.

    So these societies by definition are detachment oriented.

    In more traditionally oriented modern countries, Greece, Spain and Argentina come to mind, that did not have problems during the teen phase as countries, when work disappears and economic crisis arrives...problems associated with growing up come to approach more our own. At least I think this is so.

    In our country adolescence and therefore dependency is prolonged extraordinarily. This is what causes the problems. The parents hold on. And so do the kids. ...All of this takes puts a lot of heat on the nuclear family. And the kids.

    Now the expectation of parents is that "to do good" the kids go to college and gradate school. The emotional investment of parents is extra-loaded. The guilt is enormous.
    This is very, very strange to me.

    I am looking at M's family. Weirdness has gone on and still does. There is the expectation by all that the family stays united. When unity is threatened seriously, it causes enormous pain. There is huge pressure on the errant sibling to right himself and to make it right.

    I agree with NIJ. What seems to be absent in our children is their expectation of themselves to take responsibility for anything.

    My son sometimes appears to take responsibility a bit. But it is always, when I look back at it, when he wants something. It is outer-directed, it seems, not a sense of obligation on his part.

    Perhaps that will come later. I hope so.

    Thank you Cedar. I will come back and respond again. This thread is very interesting.

    Have a good day tomorrow, everybody.

    Last edited: Nov 25, 2015
  9. New Leaf

    New Leaf Well-Known Member

    Shucks working off my phone to comment. My fingers are too chubby and I always hit the wrong letters and I have much to learn about my phone, please bare with me.(
    I like this article, thanks Cedar. I think teenagers go through a lot, shucks, I am practically an old teen now, with the whole fun menopausal thing. Why we need to go through puberty twice, I don't know. This time around with silver hair and wrinkles to boot.
    There are interesting articles on brain development in the teen years that describes why some teens go off the rails.
    Teens are like toddlers with bigger bodies, more vocabulary and miles under their belts. Dependent/Independent, crossing the line and testing.
    Good article Cedar. Thanks for the share!
  10. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    And alcohol, and consumer goods, mass marketing and mass media.

    All of these thinks create the illusion that there is more, can be more...easily acquired that will fill the void. Something external to us.

    Not created by us, internally.

    All of these influences, contribute in us to a sense of disquiet. The sense that there is more, that we are not enough, that there exists a state of mind and things, that feels good. And if we do not feel good, we need something to remedy this. Outside of us. When it is in us. Everything we need is.

    The sense that "good" is something we create in ourselves through our efforts, our commitment, our good acts and work, is what we in time learn.

    Last edited: Nov 25, 2015
  11. SuZir

    SuZir Well-Known Member

    One of Joy's best friends is currently attending US college to play sport and study. Very selective school giving lots of importance for 'character.' So mostly 'good kids.' Joy's friend is same age he is, 19 and many kids in the team are older. After hearing about the life there Joy's first questions were if they also had to stay half an hour quietly in bed at naptime even if they were not sleepy and taste a spoonful of every food and only can have candy at Saturdays.

    Some restrictions for these high driven adults are from state: they are not allowed to use same establishments and drink and eat same stuff as other adults. Some are from college: some dorms have curfews and their teachers check their homework like in elementary school around here. Message both from their teachers and coach is that they are not expected to be motivated, self starters or do things like learning or training hard for their own benefit but need hand holding and someone breathing down to their necks.

    It is basic psychology. You get what you ask. If you treat people like irresponsible five year olds needing constant monitoring, you get people who behave like five year olds. If people are not given adult liberties it is very unlikely they would bother with adults responsibilities either.
  12. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    I agree, Suzir.

    I think in this society we have infantilized our children. In some ways our kids, those of us with D C's might be better off.

    Because some young people accept the infantilization. They go on like robots not questioning anything, complying, going along with the crowd. They achieve like their parents want...and go on and live unconsciously like their society wants.
    At the end of the day, they do not know who they are and why they are living.

    For better or worse, our children by their circumstances and choices, and our own responses to let them live autonomously, will need to choose and consequently to define themselves, as the adults they are or live accordingly.

    Suzir, how is Ache doing? How are you?

  13. SuZir

    SuZir Well-Known Member

    Copa, if little off topic is permitted: unfortunately Ache is not doing well. He is currently hospitalised because of suicidal thoughts and depression. I'm too weary to write about any of it in detail right now. Everything is a mess right now, and I can't afford to think of it and writing would require that. Maybe later this week or next week.

    One day at the time. Breath in, breath out and so on.
  14. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    Oh Suzir. I am sorry. My son has been hospitalized for this a number of times.

    I will watch for you to post.

    Thank you for letting me know. I have been thinking of you in these past weeks, hoping you were not posting because things had stabilized. Now there is the possibility that more stability will come.

    My heart is heavy for you and for Ache. I will hope for better. And be grateful that he is being treated and hopefully the situation contained, with more stability in the near future.

  15. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    I personally don't think that having high expectations for a child always works. It is certainly better than low expectations and can motivate a teen who is your average joe to do better. But there are plenty of good,positive parents who have kids who don't do well for various reasons. And there are also plenty who have one child who can't seem to do life and others who do it quite well.
    Not all teens are a problem. Most aren't. We hear about the ones who are because, like everything, the news that leaks out focuses on the bad and horrible, not the good.
    To sorry. Not much else to say except I hope your son feels better very, very soon.
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2015
  16. AppleCori

    AppleCori Well-Known Member

    So sorry, Suzir.

    Our thoughts are with you and your family.

  17. New Leaf

    New Leaf Well-Known Member

    So sorry for your troubles. Prayers and heart thoughts for you and family.
  18. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    I believe we have the right to high expectations when it comes to behavior.

    NOT when it comes to achievement, unless it is directly tied to individual ability.
  19. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    Hi, Insane

    What do you mean, "unless it is tied to individual ability?"

    That if a child has gifts, we as parents have a right to demand more?

    I wonder if I agree. Is this not a recipe for disaster? In terms of the autonomy of the child.

    My son had gifts. My expectation was that he be average. Because he also had extreme challenges. I wonder if I made a mistake.

    Insane, do you in Canada celebrate Thanksgiving? It was always strange to me when I lived abroad to have Thanksgiving go by and not realize it. Of course that makes sense, but it is so ingrained here to make a big deal. A lot of pressure.

    Last edited: Nov 25, 2015
  20. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Of course we celebrate Thanksgiving.

    ;) Up here in Canada, we are smart. We had Thanksgiving a month ago - so we could get the best choice in turkeys.


    It's true, though - In Canada, Thanksgiving is in October.