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Stories you can use to start conversation or to add interest to speeches or presentations


Resources for Speakers - Anecdotes About Teenagers Adolescents

Teenagers In Court

Judge in Maryland ruled that no law against mooning - ruled that "if exposure of half your buttocks constituted indecent exposure, any woman wearing a thong on the beach would be guilty". However, he indicated that trial might have ended differently if the defendant had been charged with "being a jerk"

Parents and Teenagers

Parents who try to befriend their children online are likely to suffer a humiliating knock-back, Gabriel Byrne suggested yesterday at the Cannes Film Festival. Byrne said that fathers and mothers were likely to have a similar experience to his character in Louder than Bombs, a drama about a grieving widower and his two sons that is competing for the festival’s Palme d’Or prize. In the film, his character joins an online role-playing game in an attempt to interact with his son, who has stopped talking to his father in the real world. “Trying to be a teenager when you’re not a teenager is seen as a kind of condescension,” the Irish actor, who has two grown-up children, said. “Teenagers resist that.” He added that the job of a teenager is “to remove himself from the influence of the father”.

Talking Teenagers

Teens in America are in touch with their peers on average 65 hours a week, compared to about four hours a week in preindustrial cultures. In this country, teens learn virtually everything they know from other teens, who are in turn highly influenced by certain aggressive industries. This makes no sense. Teens should be learning from the people they are about to become. When young people exit the education system and are dumped into the real world, which is not the world of Britney Spears, they have no idea what's going on and have to spend considerable time figuring it out

Teenagers and Sex

"As the mother of a teenaged girl, and inspired by my Slate colleague Hanna Rosin’s deeply researched work on why modern males are crapping out, I offer my own pet theory on the failure of high-school-aged boys to perform as well academically as girls. Next time you drop your high-schooler off, take a look around at the other kids. In warm weather, standard girls’ attire is Daisy Dukes and some minimalist chest covering. When it gets cold, they switch to leggings so sheer they make me think of that nightmare in which you show up in class having forgotten to put on your skirt. Sure, I’ve tried to make the case to my own child that more clothing would be better, but she responds that all the girls are dressed this way. And she’s right! But I am not under the misconception that these girls aren’t fully aware that their male classmates, suffering reduced blood flow to the brain, are walking into walls."(from a Slate review of Not My Kid: What Parents Believe About the Sex Lives of Their Teenagers.)

Reclusive Teenagers

As many as ten percent of Japanese youths may be living in "epic sulks" as hermits ("hikikomori"), according to a March 2005 Taipei Times dispatch from Tokyo, thus representing no improvement in the already alarming problem that was described in a News of the Weird report in 2000, which estimated that one million young professionals were then afflicted. Many of the hikikomori still live in their parents' homes and simply never leave their bedrooms except briefly to gather food. Among the speculation as to cause: school bullying, academic pressure, poor social skills, excessive video-gaming, unaccessible father figures, and an education system that suppresses youths' sense of adventure.

Hikikomori Teenagers

the prolonged, even "epic" sulk (a state of funk called "hikikomori")that afflicts a million young professionals, who simply withdraw from their careers and hole up nearly 24 hours a day in their apartments (or rooms in their parents' homes) for months at a time,emerging only to gather food before retreating inside for TV or video games. Many psychiatrists call it merely an extreme reaction to parents who have pressured their sons to succeed. (In July 2008,the Japanese software company Avex produced a video to help those men, simply featuring a series of young women staring into the lens, occasionally saying "Good morning," so that Hikikomori sufferers can practice feeling the gazes of strangers.)

Teenagers Getting Dumber

Study in Britain suggesting that kids actually getting dumber - they can't answer the same questions they could in 1976 e.g. the easiest question involved watching a teacher pour a glass of water into a bigger jug then refill the glass Q: which container holds the most water? Only 20% of 11 year olds got answer right. There's been a continuous decline in ability to answer (exactly the same ) questions over the last 30 years. Possible explanations for decline: kids don't go outside to play any more - they no longer play with sand and water and mud and plasticine - no concrete experience of real measurements.

Respect

The psychologist Michael G. Thompson, the author of Raising Cain: Protecting the Emotional Life of Boys (Ballantine, 2000), says it isn't a question of girls and boys, just a question of well-behaved kids and not-well-behaved kids; everyone should learn the same lessons about care and consideration and even about giving up a seat on the subway."I think manners get you very far in a rather uncivil world," Dr. Thompson said. "A simple respect for adults goes a long way in this day and age." I think politeness is the surest way that a boy can reassure the adult world that he is O.K. and trustworthy.

Overprotective Parents

I am 16 and have very overprotective parents. My GCSEs are soon to be over and I have been invited to lots of “après GCSE” parties with my friends. They don’t like me going to these parties and I understand why, but I am offended that they don’t trust me to make the right decisions. I feel I am old enough to have earned their trust and to be more independent. I have worked hard and never done anything to offend them before. How can I make them understand?

Some teenagers argue that parents forget they were also once 16; au contraire, it is precisely because they remember what they were like at 16 that makes them so terrified about what their own children might get up to. Basically, you are in for two years of the frustrating hell of being a late teenager, when your social desires are far in excess of what either your parents or, indeed, the law are prepared to allow. The only way round it is to ask one of your parents to come along with you. You won’t enjoy it, but neither will they. With any luck, they will get so fed up with the embarrassing banalities of teenage social interaction that they will give up and leave you to your own devices — once they realise the parties do not involve copious amounts of hard drugs and group sex (not in public anyway).

Teenagers Unrealistic Beliefs

Generation Y (born 1978 - 94) truly believe that one day they'll have lifestyle of the rich and famous - not worried about credit card debt because convinced that at some stage in future they'll have so much money that the debt will be irrelevant. Great disappointment looming when finally realize that their destiny is a middle management job, a Toyota Camry and a semi-detached in a fringe suburb

Teenagers and Sex

In the beginning, the public-health community was open to the (Abstinence) programs. The United States did, after all, have the highest teen pregnancy rate in the developed world. "There was open-mindedness then, that it might work" says John Santelli, of Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health. "Everyone is willing to give new ideas a trial period." By 1999, one study estimated a third of American students were receiving an abstinence-only education.

Teenagers and Sex

But as funding grew, so did a body of research showing that abstinence didn't change the sexual behaviors of students; pregnancy and STD rates did not go down, the age of initial sexual activity did not go up. "Each evaluation came along ... and each showed it didn't work," says Santelli. The articles appeared in peer-reviewed journals, many in the Journal of Adolescent Health, and in government-commissioned reviews.

Teenagers and Sex

In 2007, a federally funded study of four abstinence programs found its students no more likely to abstain than those in a comprehensive program. At the same time, comprehensive programs that discuss contraceptives and their use received better, although by no means perfect, marks. Researcher Doug Kirby's 2008 review of 48 studies of comprehensive curriculums found that two-thirds either reduced frequency of sex or number of sexual partners.

Teenagers and Sex

"The bottom line for me is, if kids have sex, bad things can and often do happen," says Patricia Sulak director of Scott & White's Worth the Wait, an "abstinence-centered" program in Texas. "It's better if you delay the onset of sexual activity. But if you're not going to wait, you must do things to decrease your risk."

Lighter Conversation Starters

Remember the Battle of the Generations of 30 years ago over haircuts and jobs? Well, our parents won - we've got the haircuts and the jobs - they're out on the golf course!

He's going through that awkward stage - between hooligan and layabout

A boy becomes an adult 3 years before his parents think he does, and about 2 years after he thinks he does

Teenage Boys

"Teenage boys, goaded by their surging hormones, run in packs like primal horde. They have only a brief season of exhilarating liberty, between control by their mothers and control by their wives."

Teenagers Brains

Evidence that the teenage brain goes through a reconstruction just as it did in early childhood. Social judgement, self-control areas not fully developed (makes evolutionary sense, because gives kids time to experiment - 4 - 5 years to practice as adults without being seen as competitors)

Lighter Conversation Starters

Adolescence is when kids stop asking questions and start questioning the answers

No good at listening to you but very good at imitating you

By the time you realize your parents were right you have kids who think you're wrong

Small children don't let you sleep; big children don't let you rest

Teenagers

The young always have the same problem: how to rebel and conform at the same time. They solve the problem by defying their parents and copying their peers.



Book Extracts on Teenagers

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