"Common sense is in spite of, not as the result of education." - Victor Hugo

The "rebellious stage"

Rebellion isn't just some meaningless "teenage phase". That's just an excuse to ignore it.
by SoulRiser

I guess we call it "The Rebellious Stage" because we don't know how else to explain it. We'd rather call it "just a phase" than accept any responsibility, right?

At the time of writing (just FYI), I'm 20 - not too long ago I went through the so-called "phase", experienced the whole "generation gap", heard all its theories, and tried to understand both sides of most arguments. Most. Some of them were just plain absurd :)

So, here are my findings:

It's not a "Just a Phase"
So what if most teens go through it? That doesn't mean its some sort of instinctive thing thats inbred into human nature.

Things that happen around people influence them in some way or another. Younger kids (0-10 give or take a few years) who still believe fairy tales and that stuff, tend to believe just about anything you tell them. Then after a while they start to realise that fairy tales aren't true. The question "WHY?" starts to bug them.

If they're smart, they can do some other research on the stuff they're fed at school and find out a lot of it is one-sided or untrue as well.

Because it happens to just about everyone, is it human nature? Or is it because just about everyone gets brought up in the same way?

Rather than go and study all sorts of deep psychology books, I'm just going to speak from my own experience. Personally, my "rebellious stage" started when my school started to change from its free and open atmosphere into the usual rigid style like your average school (long story). Now most people have never been to a nice school like mine used to be, but...

I think it's really bad to just shrug this off as nothing more than a meaningless phase.

The connection
The rebellious phase and the generation gap are closely connected. To put it simply:
Most adults shrug off the rebellious phase as something that will automatically go away, so they don't really talk with their kids about it. If their kids try to ask questions, make a point, or say anything "rebellious", the parents seem to avoid getting into an intelligent conversation about such matters (hey, it's gonna fade away anyway - why bother?). So the kids get the impression they can't talk to their parents about it (or maybe they never even tried, cause their friends told them about THEIR unsuccessful attempts with THEIR parents)... so they talk less and less, and snap back with things like "You wouldn't understand!" more often.

I believe most parents are perfectly capable of understanding all that rebellious stuff, they're just too "parentish" about it - they'd rather give their kids advice than LISTEN to what they have to say. The parents might start to listen to something their son/daughter says, then it'll remind them of what happened in THEIR childhood, and what they learned from it way back then, so they interrupt and pour out all the advice. Now the kid feels misunderstood because he/she didn't get to finish explaining when all he/she wanted was someone to LISTEN.

Don't get me wrong - advice is good... but only when you actually WANT it.

Written by: SoulRiser
17 December 2002

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