Adolescents Need Freedom but Not Without Guidelines

Topics: Adolescence, Peer group, Young adult Pages: 3 (1012 words) Published: November 11, 2008
There has always been a battle between adolescents and adults over the amount of freedom teens should be allowed. However, today’s adults seem unable to strike the correct balance between setting strict rules and allowing freedom. They either set too many rules that constrict teens and infantilize them or fail to set enough rules resulting in teens doing whatever they want. The ideal environment for teens is a balance between the two extremes. Adolescents have proven to be just as capable as adults in a number of ways. This is not always evident because teenagers are often over sheltered. Today’s adolescents should be less constrained to develop their potential, as long as guidelines are imposed by parents and society to help direct them. When too many constrictions in the form of laws and regulations are imposed upon adolescents, it limits their ability to learn how to take care of themselves in the adult world. “The reason they don’t act like adults is because we don’t treat them like adults (Epstein).” Since childhood, parents have always planned and co-ordinated their kids’ activities, to ensure the kids are busy while they are at work. By the time they reach adolescence, teens are not accustomed to doing and planning things on their own, resulting in over dependence on their parents. Other adults shelter their children because they are influence by media stories about kidnappings and shootings. They believe the safest place for their children is at home under their supervision.

Adolescents learn to rely on their parents for financial and emotional support. This is why stories of children living in their parents basements into their 30’s are becoming more frequent. Teens are finding it difficult to embrace adult responsibility. “A lot of those 20-something’s…are aimless, frustrated, a little angry and mildly depressed. They’re not in control of their lives (Wente).” Teens are so comfortable relying on their parents for support that they do not settle down,...

Cited: "Rethinking Adolescents: a Shifting Position." Education Week. 15 Sept. 2007 .
Von Hahn, Karen. "I Like to Hang Out with My Teenager. What 's Wrong with That?" Globe and Mail 1 Sept. 2007.
Wente, Margaret. "It 's Our Fault They Can 't Grow Up." Globe and Mail 18 Aug. 2007.
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