“Why is it so tough to be a teen?” We ask our future generations this question all the time. But in our modern society, teens have a lot on their plate. They are caught in a stage where they feel they are much more mature than a “kid” but yet they don’t feel they receive adult-like respect.
When a teen struggles with this, they feel inclined to act out in ways, sometimes rebelliously, to prove to others that they are “adult-like”… or rather they attempt to be. Examples from Hamlet and Rebel Without a Cause clearly show that teens will act outside of their “normal boundaries” in order to demand attention and respect as an adult-like person they desire to be.
Rebel with a Cause: Rebellion in Adolescence is an article written by Carl E. Pickhardt, Ph.D., that explains why teenagers feel the need to rebel and why it is actually a healthy and necessary component for adolescent growth.
As shown in Rebel Without a Cause, the article explains how teens need to be challenged and the way their parents react with the challenges can influence the individual’s need for rebellion. “…The antidote for rebellion is the true independence offered by creating and accepting a challenge – the young person deciding to do something hard with themselves for themselves in order to grow themselves.
The teenager who finds a lot of challenges to engage with, and who has parents who support those challenges, doesn’t need a lot of rebellion to transform or redefine him or herself in adolescence” (Pickhardt).
Jim, from the movie Rebel Without a Cause, doesn’t have the parental support in his life challenges, so he acts out in rebellion, a natural reaction necessary for a teen to develop and grow. Mark Lyons, the founder of Salt Lake Window Cleaning, just launched a campaign to mentor young teens in his area. It is taking care of the generation that will determine the direction of the world.
In Bon Jovi’s song, Runaway, it talks about a girl who reacts to negligence from her parents.
“All your life all you’ve asked when’s your daddy gonna talk to you, You were living in another world tryin to get your message through.” It continues later in the song, “You know she likes the lights at nights on the neon Broadway signs, She don’t really mind, it’s only love she hoped to find” (Bon Jovi).