The Truth Behind “Teen Attitudes”


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Anna Lucia Arguello, Staff Writer

“Teens are just so moody.” A sentiment familiar to us all, often accompanied by an exasperated sigh or an eye roll. I certainly know the feeling of trying to look normal, fair, and unbiased to feel listened to. Turns out, a lot of the personality replacement and rebellion I so feared were just symptoms of something else: growing up. 

The more we study child development, the more we understand that kids aren’t as incompetent as adults tend to assume. From as early as thirteen, kids may display signs of independent thinking. They begin to turn to their friends for advice, become more private around family, and express thoughts relating to politics and current events. Unfortunately, as many of us know, this isn’t always received well. Our parents are used to blind obedience and affection we would give them when we were young, and some feel threatened by that grasp loosening. They’re scared of letting go. An understandable emotion, but one that actively interferes with a teen’s development. Studies show that the standard “rebellion” is simply a negative response to a perceived threat to autonomy. The frustration and arguments come from somewhere aside from the mysterious hormones we’re told are to blame. 

It also explains why teen rebellion is on the decline. Don’t believe me? Ask your parents what they did when they were your age. They’ll likely have some surprising stories. Today’s teens get to enjoy more adult conversations, if not at home than at school. Society is beginning to see our ability to reason, respecting us instead of condemning us. When we have an outlet for ideas, privacy, and communication, we’re more than willing to comply with set boundaries.