Why Adults Have Trouble Getting Inside Your Head


So many different stories in the life of a teen girl – where to begin? Read about what is happening with other girls lives here.

Why Adults Have Trouble Getting Inside Your Head

girl with fish on her head - Girl Zone

By Cinse Bonino

If adults could actually see into your head - they'd probably run away screaming in confusion. Maybe even in terror!

Why? Because being a teen in today's world is a lot like being in the middle of a video game.

  • You've been dropped into a world that is unknown to you.
  • There's so much going on all the time that it's difficult to know what to do next.
  • You've been given an identity you seem to have very little control over.
  • You've been given powers - some you're aware of, some not, and you're not sure when and how they'll work.
  • You have to get through obstacles to get where you're going.
  • There are bosses - people in control - along the way you have to outsmart or go around.
  • Did I mention that there's so much going on all the time that it's difficult to know what to do next?
  • There are gems hidden here and there that you may, or may not, see or acquire.
  • It's difficult at times to tell if someone or something is for you, or against you.
  • When you screw up, you eventually get another chance, but it often feels like there's way too much to handle, all-at-the-same-time, to ever win.
  • Oh yeah, did I mention that there's so much going on all the time that it's difficult to know what to do next?

Adults don't seem to get the world most teens live in. Why DO most adults have trouble seeing your life the way it really is? Why ARE they always saying things like, Slow down. Calm down. Focus! Do one thing at a time. Clean up this clutter!? Partly because the world they grew up in was way different than yours, and, yes, it definitely affected their minds! Here's how.

Most of your parents grew up on old-fashioned TV - some of it even black and white. Unlike TV today, it was all very linear. Most shows followed predictable structures. If you watched a comedy, you knew what to expect - same for a game show or a variety show. And there were only so many formats. Shows that are for the younger generation are, shall we say, wackier? - with way more happening. Many adults are still looking for formats to follow in their lives. They feel safer when they know what to expect. They feel that you're safer when they know what to expect from and for you, too.

Music Videos
Look at a music video from today and one from ten or more years ago (check out a VH1 classic). The older videos are either mostly straight band performance footage or a video narrative (story) that more or less goes along with the lyrics of the song. Today's videos have way more happening. And they move MUCH more quickly. The scenes change rapidly from the performers to sensory images that both demonstrate and enhance the lyrics of the song. Adults get a little edgy when things start to change too quickly. They also want to know how things relate. Not seeing or understanding a connection often makes them think that there's a sinister connection that they're missing. They worry. A lot.

The Web
Some adults feel it's a web of confusion. They may approach it with fear and distrust, unsure of their ability to handle and understand technology. Even after they master the web, many adults are still uncomfortable with the look of sites that you frequent. Again, look at sites geared for your generation - there are way more visuals, way more paths to choose, way more happening on the same page. Adults were raised on more white space (the area that's empty) and one central focus or focal point on a page. Teens like a stream of focus. They don't feel overloaded by choices. They want them! Having lots of choices can feel overwhelming to adults raised on the old fork-in-the-road approach to life. They think that choosing to go left or right is a huge deal. It's huge for them. This makes them feel that it's even huger for you. (You are, after all, younger!) If they see you presented with a whole array of choices, then they really freak. They worry that you'll be overwhelmed; they worry that you'll freak; and they worry that you don't have enough experience and knowledge to choose wisely. Secretly they worry that they don't know enough to help you in today's crazy world either.

I won't even get into how music has changed over the years, but I'm sure many of you have parents who don't get how you could possible listen to your favorite tunes, especially on a headset, while you do your homework. They want you to focus and tell you to TURN IT DOWN! They listen to music too. They even use it as background, but many of them can't think while it's on. At least, not while your music is on. To many adults, being "on task" is a way of being committed and dedicated. This is what their whole world has always been about. They often don't understand that you can be dedicated to and even passionate about more than one thing.

War & Threats Of War
Russia may have been the big bad enemy when a lot of adults were younger, but there weren't any terrorists blowing things up in this country! Your parents and other adults probably worried about a maybe-someday big war scenario, but there weren't so many extremist groups with such little regard for human life splayed across the media. How does all this craziness make kids different than their parents? Some kids worry more than their parents did because of all the media hoopla and some less because it has become same-old-same-old with every day just another day filled with violence and threats of violence. Either way, adults don't get what it's like to be a teen in the middle of it all. Adults come from a time when things stayed the same longer. People kept the same job, spouse, and sometimes, even home for their whole lives. Your parents might feel like failures if they've been unable to do this. Truth is, our world is changing faster than ever. Teens want to keep up; parents want to slow it all down.

So what can you and your parents (and other adults) learn from each other?

1. THEY can learn to be more creative - to go with the flow - to open up to thinking and interrelating more than one thing at a time. They might even end up with a promotion at work!

YOU can learn to focus more - to not be distracted from things you've promised to do, or to get done by a certain time. No more getting grounded for forgetting your homework.

2. THEY can learn to realize that there ARE more choices than they think. To do a little out-of-the-usual thinking and come up with new views and new ideas.

YOU can learn to relax a little more - to sometimes choose nothing from those ka-zillion-ba-zillion choices that life has to offer you. OR at least to kick back and choose just one thing, one quiet self-nurturing thing like reading an amazing book, alone.

3. THEY can learn to not worry so much about what's going to happen to them next. They can learn to trust themselves more. Not because they know what to expect from the world, but because they remember that they DO have the option to change their minds and move onto another choice.

YOU can learn the very same thing. Remember even when life gives you a game over, you can still start the game again, OR pick a new one!



You said "You've been given powers - some you're aware of, some not, and you're not sure when and how they'll work.". What do you mean by that?