Education, socialization and teen rebellion
Since the 1904 publication of Psychologist Stanley Hall's work, Adolescence, American society has also increasingly believed that the teenage rebellion it saw breaking out in the wake of increased immigration was a natural expression of an undeveloped brain.

Teenage rebellion. The two words fit together so well, they are almost synonymous. But should they be? Must they be? How old were Joseph and Mary? By all accounts, they were young teenagers. Jesus' disciples were likely teenagers. But of course, the word did not exist at the time.

And if this is an inevitable part of growing up, why is it such a uniquely western phenomenon, that we seem to export so freely to other cultures? We know from other research that the brain is shaped by experience. That is why educated parents spend so much money on infant development toys. It also a question which lies at the heart of the article, The Myth of the Teen Brain by Robert Epstein:
We blame teen turmoil on immature brains. But did the brains cause the turmoil, or did the turmoil shape the brain?
I have always thought the latter. The entire article is well worth reading, but think about the socialization issue as you read this excerpt:
My own recent research, viewed in combination with many other studies from anthropology, psychology, sociology, history and other disciplines, suggest the turmoil we see among teens in the U.S. is the result of what I call "artificial extension of childhood" past puberty. Over the past century, we have increasingly infantilized our young, treating older and older people as children while also isolating them from adults. Laws have restricted their behavior. Surveys I have conducted show that teens in the US are subjected to more than 10 times as many restrictions as are mainstream adults, twice as many restrictions as active-duty US Marines, and even twice as many restrictions as incarcerated felons. And research I conducted with Diane Dumas as part of her dissertation research at the California School of Professional Psychology shows a positive correlation between the extent to which teens are infantilized and the extent to which they display signs of psychopathology.
As Epstein points out, through most of history, teens were not trying to break away from adults; rather they were learning to become adults. At their father's side. At their mother's side. As an apprentice. Modern education seems to have had the opposite effect on our young people. Yet society is increasingly concerned about those of us who opt out of the system and choose another path with our children, teaching them to be adults rather than forcing them to remain children.

Just out of curiosity, how do you help your teens learn to become adults rather than rebel? I'm still several years away, but am curious how others have handled these years.

Also commenting:
The Care and Feeding of Teenagers
Serious Learning (I believe on the essay, Let's Abolish High School)
Tangentially related: an entry from Susan Wise Bauer

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