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Bridging the gap between parents and teenagers

By Ariana Patey
I.J. Samson Junior High
St. John's, Newfoundland

"Teenagers! Who can figure them out? They're impossible to live with!"

Sound familiar? Are you a perplexed parent who would like some insight into the teenage psyche? I'm no Freud but I am a teenager. Let me help you get inside the head of your own kid.

Let's start in the bedroom. Some kids spend so much time in their rooms that it's easy to forget that they are even in the house. Most have their rooms are such a mess that they should be condemned by the Board of Health. To us though, its just a comfortable place to chill out, lie back, and relax. Life is getting pretty stressful with our responsibilities and tons of schoolwork. We just want a place that we don't have to worry about keeping clean. Although, when I asked some kids why there rooms were so dirty the gave me a simpler answer. They said "We're too lazy to clean them up!"

Most teens have at least thought about dyeing their hair. It might escape you why anyone would want to look like Joseph's Technicolor Dream Coat. Many do it to be original. We like to look weird. We like walking down the street and seeing heads turn. In other words, we thrive on the attention you give us. We like to shock you. We do it to wow you. But although we like the attention, we also like it because we think it's cool.

If we want to look original, then why do we buy these brand name clothes? Well, no matter how original we want to be, we also want to be accepted by our peers. Anyway, we wouldn't buy the clothes if we didn't really like them. We aren't just buying a logo -- we are buying something that we like, feel good in, and is of good quality. And we don't buy all brand name clothes anyway. If we really followed the trends, we'd be wearing something really strange.

No one likes to be controlled, especially teens. If you want to help us, control the bigger things. In other words, pick your battles carefully. Is it really worth a big fight to keep our rooms clean? We only want you to respect the choices that we make. It will make our growing up easier for the both of us.


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