Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Let's Respect Teens!

I read an interview with Psychologist Robert Epstein from the newsletter published by hand in hand parenting organization today. Dr. Robert Epstein is the author of the book "The Case Against Adolescence." He argued teens are far more competent than we assume, and most of their problems stem from restrictions placed on them. The interview article is titled "Trashing Teens" and it can be seen at Psychology Today.

It begins with "In every mammalian species, immediately upon reaching puberty, animals function as adults, often having offspring. We call our offspring "children" well past puberty. The trend started a hundred years ago and now extends childhood well into the 20s. The age at which Americans reach adulthood is increasing—30 is the new 20—and most Americans now believe a person isn't an adult until age 26."

The interview summarized the history how this development happened in the recent 100 years, and how more and more restrictions and in-school learning be forced on young people. It offers good reasons on why there are so many conflicts between parents and teens. Having two teens at home myself, I have to say that a lot of unconventional views in this article are actually consistent with my experiences. My boys are responsible human beings and they deserve being treated as they are!