“Lazy”, “cheeky”, “asocial”, “conflictive” , “whimsical”, “rebellious”… the labels and prejudices that weigh on adolescents and young people are extensive, and no one deserves to be labeled that way.
Labels are harmful , they lower the person’s self-esteem, they generate insecurity and even lead to acting based on that imposed qualification.
For this reason, when we talk about adolescence, it is important not to generalize or think that “all adolescents are the same” , because as in any stage of life, each person is unique and deserves to be treated with respect and trust.
Today we review the main labels imposed on adolescents and turn those unfair stereotypes on their head. Because if we look at adolescence with different eyes we can discover a potentially wonderful stage .
Teenagers are often said to be “going their own way” , that nothing interests them and that they have a complete lack of commitment to society. But this statement is completely false, and a good example of this are the numerous inspiring stories of teenagers that we have shared with you in Babies and More.
And it is that more and more young people are changing the world !
Adolescents committed to peace, to poverty and to improving the society in which we live . Adolescents aware of gender equality, whose protests have gone viral on networks . And above all, adolescents and young people especially committed to our planet , who do not hesitate to complain to the UN or carry out global strikes for climate change .
“They are always partying”
Another unfair topic is the one that links adolescence to continually partying and clubbing . But judging by the latest study, “Young people, leisure and ICT. A look at the vital structure of youth from the referents of free time and technology” , carried out by the Reina Sofía Center on Adolescence and Youth of Fad , leisure of adolescents goes much further.
Not in vain, among the preferences of young people is chatting with friends, spending time with them without having to do anything else, playing video games, eating out, playing sports or reading .
In short, the current panorama seems to show adolescent leisure that is increasingly relational and mediated by technology , as well as more home-made, to the detriment of nights out, alcohol and nightclubs.
“They are lazy”
It is normal that at a certain age adolescents are still not clear about what they want to study , which leads many people to believe that they are lazy, without motivation or interests.
But again it is a totally unfair topic, because this does not mean that adolescents are not committed to their studies, their future and their extracurricular training . There are even teenagers who work while studying to pay for their hobbies or their expenses, giving us a great example of entrepreneurship, sacrifice and struggle.
“They are independent and conflictive”
It is believed that puberty and adolescence are very complicated moments of life, where the physical and emotional changes that boys and girls go through lead them to develop a difficult, distant, independent and sometimes even conflictive character .
But what is really happening is that teenagers are developing their own personality; that is, they are finding out who they are, which leads them to set their own limits and make decisions independently, without this meaning that they do not need us .
“They are asocial”
It is also often thought that adolescents are asocial, that is, they do not like to interact with other people or enjoy the company of others. Nothing could be further from the truth.
In fact, adolescence is the stage of life in which friendship and relationships with peers take on more importance and meaning than ever, coming to suffer especially when their social plot is compromised .
In the same way, and although we may believe that there is an abyss between us and our adolescent children, the truth is that enjoying each other’s company is not only possible, but very enriching and rewarding.
“There is no one who understands them”
Evidently! Teenagers use jargon, wear fashion or listen to music that can be far from what we adults know.
But in no case should this be seen as a criticism, but as a manifestation of their personality, as well as a wonderful opportunity to connect with them if we are able to forget our prejudices and enter their world.
“Intense emotional instability”
Teenagers are transitioning from childhood to adulthood , and that means building and discovering who they really are . In this process , doubts, fears and uncertainty will appear , they will turn to their peers in search of acceptance and support, they will feel vulnerable and, on many occasions, they will be exposed to external opinions and pressures.
So it is not surprising that insecurities and overwhelmed emotions appear on this journey to adult life that, far from stigmatizing or labeling, deserve all our respect and accompaniment.