“… before 150 years ago, no human social group—town, village, tribe, community—thought the best way to help young people grow into responsible adults was to isolate them (by law) from responsible adults for 13 years.
Separating the young from the old is one of the great mistakes of modern education…”
To the Editor:
Re “Why Teenagers Act Crazy,” by Richard A. Friedman (Sunday Review, June 29):
Studies have shown that about half of American teenagers meet the criteria for some form of mental illness, including anxiety disorders, but I disagree with Dr. Friedman that this is largely because of the properties of a teenage brain. That is a myth perpetuated by a handful of researchers, some of whom are funded by the pharmaceutical industry, which has successfully created a huge new market for psychoactive drugs by promoting the faulty “teenage brain” idea.
In more than 100 cultures around the world, teenage turmoil is absent; such cultures don’t even have a word for “adolescence.” If the teenage brain were responsible for the turmoil of our teenagers, we would see it everywhere. We don’t.
The turmoil of our teenagers is due entirely to societal practices that infantilize young people and isolate them from responsible adults, trapping them in the frivolous, media-controlled world of “teen culture.” Anthropological research also demonstrates that when Western schooling and media enter cultures where teenagers are highly functional, they typically take on all the pathological characteristics of American teenagers within a decade. The problem is our society, not the brain.
Vista, Calif., June 30, 2014
The writer is a senior research psychologist at the American Institute for Behavioral Research and Technology and the author of “Teen 2.0.”
ORIGINAL AT: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/07/06/opinion/sunday/anxiety-in-teenagers.html?_r=0/p>
“A simple maxim: don’t expose and don’t look for passions; just listen and make good suggestions”
“I have found over the years that things that make me angry give me a passion to fix them.”
“… They should be passionate about getting a job someday.”
– Roger Schank
See also: “Forget Following Your Heart – Follow Your Heartbreak”
See also: http://sethgodin.typepad.com/seths_blog/2014/08/turning-passion-on-its-head.html
“At present there are differences of opinion….for all peoples do not agree as to the things that the young ought to learn, either with a view to virtue or with a view to the best life, nor is it clear whether their studies should be regulated with regard to intellect or with regard to character.”
— Aristotle (384-322 B.C.)
Two quotes about people reconnecting with what they like to do by thinking about what they liked to do when they were kids and PLAYED!
“Try to remember the way you saw the world when you were a little kid, and practice it. This will help with the guilt, since kids never feel guilty about playing, and it will also keep you from getting too spiritually stagnant.”
— Ran Prieur
“So one of the things I wanted to do [after stopping work at google] was think about what I liked to do when I was little and to do more of that. I had heard somewhere from someone that that’s a good way to figure out what you like and what you are good at. So, I spent more time doing things that I liked to do a long time ago.”
— Ellen Huerta Interview: Why I Left Google
Go Ahead, Let Your Kids Fail
and an interesting quote from a book mentioned in the article: “First of all, as I see it, no one has any ability whatsoever to figure out what is going to be important to people….” http://www.bloombergview.com/articles/2014-02-20/go-ahead-let-your-kids-fail
His vexed look was saying, “How dare she question the depths of my knowledge. She doesn’t know me.”
— SVS student, age 5
This is such a great blog post. I just re-read it today. This pretty much sums up why we wanted our kids to go to SVS as little kids. (Our 9-year-old is in his 6th year already… he started when he was 4.) Some people might think that SVS is more useful as kids get older. But I think that is quite mistaken and this blog post captures this very well.