Do Adults Misunderstand Teens?

Do Adults Misunderstand Teens?

Has there ever been a time in your life where you feel misunderstood not just by your peers, but by the men and women who taught and raised you? Many times being a teenager can seem easy to adults, but it’s also a known fact that times have changed tremendously, and there are so many new problems that teens face nowadays that in a teen’s mind can seem almost impossible to navigate through. The majority of problems teens face occur at school, at home, and online. 

When you spend 18 years in a classroom for 8 hours a day,  you get to know some of the people you are in school with. Some of those people can become your best friends, and some of them can become your enemy. Bullying, that is verbal or nonverbal, whether it goes noticed or unnoticed, is a big issue and can cause a lot of mental stress on the adolescent teen brain.

According to an article written by the Chicago Tribune, “Teens who are often bullied may be left with shrinkage in key parts of their brain, increasing their risk for mental illness, European researchers report – they said such shrinkage eventually appears to create a growing sense of anxiety, even after taking into account the possible onset of other mental health concerns, such as stress and/or depression.”

Being a teen, I’ve seen bullying and I’ve experienced what it’s like. It’s something that never leaves and has drastically affected my life up until this point. These problems also occur at home. As fortunate as I am to have a loving family, not everyone is as lucky. When problems occur at home this can transition into school affecting your work, friendships, and your ability to focus. For teachers it’s hard to teach, grade, get to know your students, and try to encourage them to get good grades. All teachers are different, and some are more aware of their students outside lives than others. When a student is struggling in class and may be having family problems making it harder for them to focus and concentrate on the material given, it can be seen as a sign of laziness or disrespectfulness. Trying to juggle relationships, mental health, and school work is a lot on a brain that is just beginning to slowly develop. 

Lastly, the addition of technology, something that many of the adults today did not have to endure their adolescent years. So, it’s up to the teens today to learn to figure out how to use social media in a good and productive way. Of course it would be easier if everyone used social media in a positive way, but that couldn’t be farther from the truth. It’s hard for parents to understand a teen’s social life with technology being added into this equation. It becomes even harder for a parent or adult to find the root of the problem when they don’t even know how to use technology properly. This creates a clear disconnect from the parent and their child which makes it hard for the parent to completely understand how crucial a teen’s social media life is to them.