Essay:Teenagers and parenting

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By Alex Koroknay-Palicz

Many people aged 13-17, termed teenagers, are characterized as going through a period of rebellion and revolt against those elder (parents, teachers, bosses). Those who accept this have diagnosed the symptoms but not the disease. I feel the term "rebellion" is not as appropriate as "revolution" much like our own American Revolution. If you have ever taken an American History class the thing drilled into your head over and over again is "no taxation without representation"; this has profound meaning when describing adolescence. The fact that authorities pass judgment and hand down sentencing without any explanation or outside input is enough to make any country, colony, or adolescent revolt. Our forefathers understood that one could not live in a state where you had no say in how your lives were run. That is why they ended English rule of America, and that is also why as soon as teenagers are legally allowed (sometimes sooner) they leave the house, often never to return.

Many may ask "then why does the revolution approximately occur between the ages of 13-17 if it isn't a 'hormone imbalance.'" The answer is simple: they now become aware of the injustices dealt toward them. To look at it in a historical perspective, in the Middle Ages the common man had no say in his own life and that was accepted. The common man also had no access to education and more or less had no way to think of why things are the way they are. In the 18th & 19th centuries common man was much better educated and stopped to think of why they must always do as they're told. This too occurs in the lifespan of an average modern human. As a person reaches the age of twelve or thirteen he has simply gained enough intelligence and education to decide that he no longer wants to live under an authoritarian dictatorship.

So I propose that the most effective way of parenting is that from an early age allow your child to participate in how his life is run. When the child does something wrong sit him down, explain what he did and why it is wrong, and when he truly understands, work together to formulate a proper punishment. And if you can truly teach him why he did wrong and why he should be punished then I guarantee he will not do that again. Also, in the future he will be less likely to get into trouble, because he will think things out and will recognize very early whether something is proper conduct or not.