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Are You Different Than the Average Teen?

Are you different than the average teen?

No age group is without its struggles. So, as much as we complain that adulting is hard it's certainly not easy to be a teenager either. Teens today have to face a lot of problems that older generations
didn't.  Which only exacerbates the issue of parents struggling to connect with their adolescent children.

If you've ever wondered why teenagers have such a hard time and where teen angst really comes from? Then keep on reading. But before we delve into the daily struggles of the average teenager be sure to subscribe to our blog.

Teenagers aren't as difficult to understand as sitcoms would like you to think. Sure they might get
moody but you would too if your hormones were constantly going haywire and your body was going through confusing changes. And yeah they can do some pretty stupid stuff. But it's not entirely their fault.

You see, part of their rebellious streak comes from the fact that the frontal lobes of the teenage brain that is the part responsible for decision-making and weighing the consequences of one's actions, won't be fully developed until the age of 25.

This makes teens more likely to be impulsive and to engage in risky behaviors compared to adults. But learning from your mistakes is part of growing up. So, really? They're just getting ready for an adult life independent of their parents.

Another way most teenagers prepare themselves for adulthood is by prioritizing their peers over their parents. This helps them build a support network outside their family which is a major part of being an adult. Plus they just want to fit in and make friends. Needing to feel like you belong characterizes most members of society both young and older.

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But how has modern technology affected the 21st-century teen's desire for social acceptance? Many
young people are able to form significant friendships within online communities. Especially if they tend to be more introverted in real life.

Social media helps teams to be more. Well, social and that's always a good thing of course everything has drawbacks. Social media can also create platforms for cyberbullying a form of harassment that teens are particularly vulnerable too.

But on the whole, adolescents use the internet to make friends with those who share similar interests. The bonds that connect them to the people they meet online are just as strong and valid as the friendships they forge at school. Yes, there is the risk of stranger danger in online relationships but today's teens are well aware of it.

In fact, more so than those who are younger when social media was a brand-spanking-new thing. Adolescents today know their way around the internet and don't need to be monitored as much as little kids. The Internet also provides a much-needed escape from societal and family pressures that
weren't put on teens from previous generations.

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It used to be true that young people can get a part-time job if they wanted some spending money but
that's no longer the case. The cost of living has skyrocketed in the last 50 years but wages have stayed the same. With a lot of parents struggling to get by many teenagers have no choice when it comes to getting a job in helping with family expenses.

On top of this, teens have to somehow make room in their busy schedule for hours of homework and any extracurricular commitments they've made to beef up their college applications and resumes.

Many researchers have noticed a spike in mental illness like anxiety and depression and developmental disorders such as autism and ADHD among today's teens.

Yet, many experts and parents alike wrongfully put everything down the cellphones. You know the
scapegoat for whole modern problems. Your grades are slipping and you failed some super important exam.

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Well, you obviously aren't putting enough time into your schoolwork since you're constantly on your phone.

Too distracted at dinner to engage in a conversation that has nothing to do with you. Yep, you're just living in your online world. Freaking out when you don't feel that ridiculously expensive thing that has all your personal information on it is in the pocket you thought you put it in!

You"re r way to attach to your phone! Does any of this sound familiar to you tell us in the comments.

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But if you ask any adolescent what the source of their anxiety or depression is? Most will give
you the same answer "School!" Adults have created a crucible of mental illness or teens in the form of the education system. Government authorities will put an inexperienced person in a position that affects education and teenagers without thinking of the consequences.

They've introduced a slew of standardized tests in which A, B, C, or D decides young people's academic and professional future. With all this in mind, it's no wonder they're developing disorders.

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Remember, the human brain isn't finished growing until your mid-20s. So, putting such immense pressure on adolescents is extremely damaging. We've created a culture that tells kids they won't be successful adults unless they do well in high school to move on to college, where they'll get a piece of paper that determines whether or not they'll get a well enough paying job to feed themselves.

Oh, and good luck getting on your feet as a young adult after college you've got to spend the next
a decade or so paying off your student loans with a measly salary that doesn't change with the times.

The teenagers of previous generations don't have to worry about all of this. They didn't grow up in
the aftermath of a major recession and watch their parents lose their jobs or even homes. They didn't live in a reality where someone with a master's degree could be working retail.

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They didn't go to school with a crippling fear of their personal safety and life. Of course, these bleak
circumstances leads to mental health issues. Yet grown-ups keep telling them that their teen problems are petty and that they should just wait until they enter the real world. Is all that not real enough for you!

Evolutionary biologists have come up with a life history theory. According to it a person's perception of how hostile their environment is directly correlates to their mental, emotional, and psychological growth rate.

A teenager raised in a hostile environment like in a war zone or a poverty-stricken neighborhood is more likely to use what is called a fast life strategy. This means they start a family at a younger age.

Which explains why teen pregnancy rates increase and lower-income communities as opposed to well-off ones. The families they form also tend to be larger as a survival instinct left over from our
hunter-gatherer days.

The other type is a slow life strategy.  People who go this route wait until they're older to settle down. Middle-class Millennials those who are now in their early 20s. Mostly follow the slow life strategy they have the option to live with their parents for a few years after college while they pay off their loans then move into an apartment with some roommates.

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They aren't in a rush to get married buy a house or have kids because they know they can't afford it. It's likely that today's teenagers that is Generation G will follow the same path.

Overall, the average teen of the 21st century has a lot riding on them and it's all too easy to crack under pressure. That's why it's so important to understand their plate and reach out a helping hand.

If you or someone you know is struggling with the demands of school a hectic family life or whatever it may be. Talk to a counselor. Support your friends if they're having trouble and encourage them to reach out as well. It's not a bad thing to struggle and you shouldn't feel ashamed to ask for help.

If you can relate to this article or you've learned something from it, send it to all your friends.

If you agree with the points made or you can add any other examples of problems teens face today? Let us know in the comments. Take care of yourself.

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