As teenagers take on more and more responsibilities, they see that life is very different from what it used to be as a child. They begin to see that the grown ups around whom they had felt secure are flawed.
Most often they are not eased into life’s expectations. It just gets thrown at their face. “It’s not that we disapprove, we just get irritated, when people around us don’t leave us alone. We are not given time to comprehend what’s going on!” say a couple of fifteen year olds who discussed this topic with me.One thing leads to another until they feel like they are spiralling out of control.
They are in a phase where they are afraid to take the whole load upon themselves and wish they had the same security of letting someone take care of them, as they did when they were younger. The moment someone does though, they see the absurdity of it and reject it. Both situations of either full independence or complete subjugation does not work , and so life appears only as one with dark clouds.
The good part is that as they grow up they learn that they have the ability to fix a few things that they hate about their lives. Then they stop being cynical, appreciate life as it presents itself and turn into idealists with a desire for positivity.
However, until then it is not abnormal that they question the norms of society created by imperfect individuals. They appear rebellious, because of their lack of life experiences and imperfect practice of negotiating skills. When left alone they wallow in their cynicism by escaping into their rooms where they don’t have to face mindless authority.
It’s important that they are constantly reassured that although it is true that they can’t but help being a cynic, and their nonchalant persona sticks out like a sore thumb, and they seem to be distrusted by society at large, with patience things will get better.
Sometimes teenagers are cynical because a lot of kids their age are. Sometimes it’s just a cool thing to do. They find that certain role models with a detached attitude get a lot of attention. Teenagers get drawn to this and so even if they have positive goals, they just don’t want anyone to know about it.
No matter how normal cynicism might be during teenage, it’s no reason why they should have to fall into pits of no redemption.
Here are 5 ways to help them thorough the phase:
- Give them space to vent out their feelings
- Contrive opportunities to rationalize their thoughts.
- Allow travel to see and experience new possibilities.
- Talk about new friendships made.
- Engage them in spiritual activities or show them how to start sharing goodness with humanity and the world they live in.
Cynicism at teenage is but a step to maturity and must not be made into something more. It must not be ignored either. If as adults you find yourself running out of patience, it’s best to decide that you are not the best person to singularly guide them. Look for assistance. Engage in discussions or find a counsellor. You will be relieved to know that you are not alone.