Tuesday, April 8, 2008

The Invention of the "Teenager"

http://www.therebelution.com/ **A Teenage Rebellion against Low Expectations**

..."Coined by G. Stanley Hall, who is often considered the father of American psychology, ‘adolescence’ identified the artificial zone between childhood and adulthood when young people ceased to be children, but were no longer permitted by law to assume the normal responsibilities of adulthood, such as entering into a trade or finding gainful employment. Consequently, marriage and family had to be delayed as well, and so we invented ‘the teenager’, an unfortunate creature who had all the yearnings and capabilities of an adult, but none of the freedoms or responsibilities."

I have been reading for 30 minutes now and the more I read, the more excited I become. I'm hoping that my first born son will soon be just as excited. If I can only distract him from football for a second!!
I've been learning about two 19 year old kids who have created a blog, written a book and who are now touring and speaking throughout the country. Their names are Alex and Brett Harris. They were home schooled kids who, somewhere along the way, became fed up with the myth of "teenage rebellion", "adolescence" and overall low expectations of America's youth. I have been entranced by their excellent writing and communication skills and their yearning to reach the kids of this generation. This is a quote from their blog...it cannot be said any better:
American society, with its media-saturated youth culture, not only follows trends and fads, but it creates them. Classrooms, TV shows, magazines, and websites, are not only addressing us at the level of social expectations, but they are in fact dictating those expectations. They tell us how to act, think, and talk; they tell us what to wear, what to buy, and where to buy it; they tell us what to dream, what to value, and what to hate. We are being squeezed into a mold where there is no room for Christian character or competence. And as the famous proverb goes, “As the twig is bent, so grows the tree.”

I heard an interview with these guys on Moody radio this morning and since I'm such a late-comer to the blog, I have started reading from their posts that date back to 2005, when they first began. This is what I first read that got me hooked...

I'm even thinking about adding it to Daniel's required reading.

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