Teenagers Need the Attention
Everyone has heard a saying along the lines of, “Oh they’re nothing but stupid teenagers.” Teenagers are portrayed negatively throughout our country. Opinions about teenagers are becoming a problem because many individuals are starting to see these ideas as truth. Since opinions can be false, everyone needs to take a step back and find the truth. The attention teenagers get is necessary, but they need it for more reasons than simply being spoiled brats.
High school students are often looked down upon for the simple reason that they are teenagers. When they walk into a store, they are often treated unfairly because stereotypes say they are going to cause trouble. Some teens will even tell you they receive bad service at restaurants because of their age. People will say that teenagers are given enough attention and that the attention given to them by their parents will simply turn them into spoiled brats. On Blog Spot, there is blog written by a lady named Tracy. The blog is called, “Beyond My Picket Fence,” and this blog entry was called, “Rules for Spoiled Teenagers.” On this date she posted eleven different rules for teenagers. It wouldn’t be hard for a teenager to read these rules and feel demeaned. Here are just a few of the rules. Rule 5: Flipping burgers is not beneath your dignity. Your grandparents had a different word for burger flipping- they called it opportunity. Rule 7: Before you were born, your parents weren’t as boring as they are now. They got that way from paying your bills, cleaning your clothes, and listening to you talk about how cool you think you are. So before you save the rain forest from the parasites of your parent’s generation, try devouring the closet in your own room. Rule 9: Life is not divided into semesters. You don’t get summers off and very few employers are interested in helping you FIND YOURSELF. Do that on your own time. Rule 11: Be nice to nerds. Chances are you’ll end up working for one. The blog also states at the beginning, “Of course, if I were to do my list of rules, I’d probably add some that address things like basic etiquette and that being young doesn’t excuse bad behavior. Or, that you’re not more special than any other person around you.” This statement makes it apparent that the author of this blog looks at teenagers in a very negative way. Opinions like Tracy’s are the reason teenagers are being viewed the way they are.
The blog, “Beyond My Picket Fence,” was surprising to read. Tracy used harsh generalizations that were directed to teenagers as a whole. According to the 2000 census there are about 28 million teenagers in America. It is ridiculous to assume that everyone in such a large group is exactly the same. Not all teenagers have the same thoughts, actions, and dreams. The other thing Tracy’s blog overlooked is the fact that no matter what group of people you look at, you will always find persons who are rude or hard to work with. It is unfair to say that teenagers are brats and don’t need any more attention, when there are plenty of adults who are rude and impolite. The blog discriminates against teenagers who earn attention in a positive way. Rule 9 completely disregards everyone who has ever gone out of their way to be nice to the “nerd” or to make a new friend. This blog is a specific example of how others have given labels and stereotypes to teenagers.
It is healthy for any human being to receive attention. People need to know that they matter. If you were to ask an athlete if he performed better during a game when he had people there watching him, he would most likely say yes. Without fans, the player loses passion and satisfaction. Teenagers like to receive attention – just like everyone else, and it is healthy for them to receive it. Teenagers may cause some harm in the world, but adults do as well. Everyone deserves a chance to shine when it involves positive results.
Teenagers really just want to be loved. According to Richelle Braun, president of Eagle U Youth Success Seminars, there are five things they really want. They are perfect for explaining teenagers needs for attention and why they make the choices they do. For the purpose of this paper it will only be necessary to go over a few. First, teenagers want to be loved. Braun explains that when you are a teen, you are struggling between the transitions from being a kid to an adult. Part of the transition includes hormonal and developmental changes which makes everything really hard. Because of all the changes teenagers experience, they search for a place where they can feel loved. Teenagers need attention so they can feel love while going through such a difficult time.
The second thing that I found very applicable to the issue of Teens and the attention they need is, “Teenagers model their parents.” Most teenagers have spent years living with and watching their parents. Whether they think they have or not, they have caught on to their parent’s habits and behaviors. Because of this, teenagers act the way they see their parents act, and it becomes the parents fault instead of the teens. If the teen has been taught bad behavior, they need positive attention and influences around them so their bad behavior can be changed.
Teenagers are people too. They are going through extreme changes and the more positive reinforcement they get the better. Society can either choose to look down on them or to praise them. The world will get back whatever they give. If they see only the bad stereotypes, they will only see bad. If they reflect all the good, in turn they will receive good!