Tuesday, March 1, 2011

How Much Do Teen Lie? And Why?

Recently I read a very interesting chapter in Po Bronson and Ashley Merryman's book Nurture Shock: New Thinking about Children. I had heard about this from a library school class I was guest speaking at and knew I had to read it. The chapter on specifically on rethinking teen behavior is entitled The Science of Teen Rebellion and explores the struggle parents have with trying to give teens the correct amount of discipline so that they can have an honest open relationship. Apparently this is a nearly impossible feat, and the authors argue that to some degree it can't be helped.

Things I found particularly interesting:

  • Parents who are extremely strict risk having kids that are obedient, but depressed.
  • Parents who accept anything their kids do are seen as not actually caring.
  • Teens aren't likely to seek out their parents for help on difficult matters, as that means admitting they aren't mature enough to handle it themselves...something no teen wants.
  • Arguing, while stressful for parents, is actually very healthy for teens, particularly if they are able to negotiate some control of their lives, while still receiving healthy boundaries.
  • Overbooked teens are often just doing stuff because their parents want them to, and because they have very little free time, they don't know how to occupy themselves constructively when they do have the opportunity.
How can these lessons apply to libraries? This is what I hope to discuss at our next Teen Contacts Meeting. I have some ideas, but would love to hear more.

Have you read this passage? What are your thoughts?

How does this apply to libraries?

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