Stewart Ross, writer of Revenge associated with Zeds, explores some especially crass misunderstandings
Ever since I have became one myself, IвЂ™ve been uneasy concerning the clichГ©d way teens (aka young grownups) are portrayed. I did so a little bit of research prior to starting my latest YA novels and discovered a minefield of misunderstanding. ThereвЂ™s more myth about teens, we realised, than in regards to the whole galaxy of ancient Greek gods and goddesses!
The duty for my brand new show (therefore far The Soterion Mission and Revenge for the Zeds) had been easy: challenge the teenage label and set the record right.
To work on this, we put the written books about a hundred years Mini Flu epidemic. The apparently safe condition modified peoples DNA so nobody lives beyond their eighteenth 12 months. After the Great Death, the globe is run by teens. The difference between teenager and adult went вЂ“ teens will be the grownups.
And whatвЂ™s this globe like? Though their life are technologically ancient, their behavior is uncannily just like our very own. Amazed? Maybe Not it says on the tin: adults if one remembers that вЂyoung adultsвЂ™ are just what.
MYTH: There will always be teens.
Needless to say there have been people aged between 13 and 19. Nevertheless the term вЂteenвЂ™ didnвЂ™t appear, and making use of вЂteenagerвЂ™ had been very nearly unheard. But we love placing individuals into pigeon holes. When вЂteenagerвЂ™ was devised, it absolutely was seized on by a myriad of 20+ professionals вЂ“ and weвЂ™ve been stuck along with it from the time.
MYTH: Teenage behaviour is similar the global world over.
Real, young adults are more available, simple and impetuous than older people. Does this suggest every one of them вЂ“ as well as the majority вЂ“ behave the way that is same? Needless to say perhaps not.
Just just Take two extreme examples: a middle-class US student, with little to no severe obligation apart from for his or her highschool and university grades, and a Saudi Arabian Bedouin married at 14 and parent of three young ones by the chronilogical age of 18. The lifestyles and attitudes of those two teens couldnвЂ™t apart be further. (Incidentally, in the event youвЂ™re wondering, Saudi Arabia doesn’t have legal minimum age of consent / wedding.)
MYTH: Teens are reckless.
Oh yes? Like everybody, teens work as culture expects them to act.
Research study: we left college at 18 and worked as an instructor. We dressed like an instructor, behaved like an instructor and, in so far as I can keep in mind, also thought like an instructor. a 12 months later on (and older) i became an undergraduate. I dressed such as an undergraduate and вЂ“ confession time! вЂ“ (mis)behaved like an undergraduate. My age had nothing in connection with my feeling of obligation.
And, by the method, the chronilogical age of unlawful obligation in England is вЂ¦ 10!
MYTH: Being a teen is вЂjust a phaseвЂ™.
WeвЂ™re straight right right back at that pigeon-holing company once again. From the time Shakespeare made one of is own figures divide individual life into seven many years, so-called professionals have now been dreaming up categories to slot us into. The stark reality is that lifeвЂ™s a roller coaster вЂ“ down and up, forward and backward, with everyone else moving at different speeds. Never ever heard a child known as a вЂlittle old manвЂ™ or seen an adult behaving childishly?
вЂTeenagerвЂ™ can be a convenient label вЂ“ but choosing something by its label is not any guarantee so it fits.
MYTH: Teens are selfish.
Teens are no more selfish than someone else. If some do act selfishly, it is most likely because theyвЂ™re spoilt. And just why does that happen? Because within our culture all things are judged by its money value. Young ones are their moms and dadsвЂ™ biggest investment: the expense of a kid from delivery to graduation has become reckoned become ВЈ227,000 (Centre for Economic and Business Research). That produces two young ones higher priced compared to the home and vehicle combined.
Since they cost a great deal, children are padded, protected, mollycoddled and guarded like Tudor princes. In the exceptional book The innovation of Childhood (BBC), Professor Hugh Cunningham agrees. Spoiling does no body a site.
MYTH: Teens are promiscuous.
Three points right right right here. One, surveys recommend young adults are far more critical of вЂcheatingвЂ™ (ie ethical) than older ones. Two, people who criticise teenage behaviour that is sexual achieve this away from envy! Three, teens work as culture allows вЂ“ eg the personal life of teens in Manchester donвЂ™t have actually much in keeping with those who work in Malaysia or Manchuria.
The Soterion Mission by Stewart Ross Photograph: Guardian Bookshop
MYTH: teens really are a demonstrably defined team.
Rubbish. a 16-year-old victories a silver medal when you look at the pool вЂ“ sheвЂ™s a вЂwomanвЂ™. Equivalent individual is bullied in school вЂ“ and calls вЂchildвЂ™ line. Then they take down a lady that is old and so are now a вЂyoofвЂ™! At college or school theyвЂ™re often a вЂpupilвЂ™ and quite often a вЂstudentвЂ™. In a negative mood theyвЂ™re branded вЂadolescentвЂ™. And reading The Soterion Mission? a вЂyoung adultвЂ™, needless to say!
MYTH: Teenagers canвЂ™t be good moms and dads.
Parenting abilities be determined by character and upbringing. Older moms and dads, having invested years thinking just of one’s own wellbeing, find it hard to welcome a fresh and demanding person into their everyday lives. Within the western we frown on teenage parenthood today. This sort of thinking would have been seen as perverse for most of human history.
Are we really much better than our ancestors?
MYTH: teens donвЂ™t read books.
Incorrect. Like grownups, some do, some donвЂ™t. Okay, teens donвЂ™t like being told exactly just what to read вЂ“ but would you? And yes, theyвЂ™re tech-savvy adequate to manage a wide array of news. But i am aware they still read books simply because they compose if you ask me (mostly kindly!) about mine!
MYTH: it’s possible to generalise meaningfully about teens.
This would be pretty apparent chances are. Age from which folks are thought вЂyoungвЂ™ changes as time passes and between countries. While the real means more youthful adults behave has additionally changed through history and in accordance with community values.
But we do as weвЂ™re stuck with the word вЂteenagerвЂ™, what do? We’re able to utilize it in a non-judgemental means just to suggest those aged 13-19. Or, better yet, we’re able to altogether ditch it and just simply simply simply take individuals for just what they’ve been, maybe perhaps perhaps maybe not just just how theyвЂ™re labelled.
Therefore, thatвЂ™s where my research took me personally. To see just what then i did along with it, read the fascinating realm of The Soterion Mission while the Revenge for the Zeds, where youвЂ™re adult at 11 вЂ“ and dead by 19!
Are you experiencing every other urban myths about teens youвЂ™d love to debunk, or types of teenagers changing the entire world or challenging stereotypes? IвЂ™d want to hear away from you on Twitter: booksmyth