Things Teenagers May Excel at,
Despite What Their Parents Say
It’s a brand new, wild world out there. But some things have hardly changed. Parent complaints, for instance, about how their teens are wasting their lives and may wind up in the gutter.
Not so fast, though. Yes, the air is lethal out there, and happy campers will be crushed. But it’s all so new that jobs that weren’t even around in the 1990s, are already minting millionaires.
For millions of baby boomers, who did waste their youths telling their elders that they could outsell The Beatles, or live off the land, or become a yoga master, the end result was not so pretty.
But it’s not fair for them to now bitterly preach platitudes they never believed in the first place, and that may actually wind up breaking the hell out of their kids’ spirit.
Time to stop barking lessons, and focus on what’s at stake here: how to dislodge that gym-trained body holding a dream-soaked mind, from the cocoon of their room out to the real world.
No, we’re not about to dispense advice, but we did do the ‘finger’ work for you, to uncover some of those things that actually occupy their hearts and minds, when you think they’re doing their homework.
It’s a short list, because we too have boring jobs and unfulfilling lives, and no longer get excited about the latest and the shiniest to capture the attention of immature minds. Just something to get you going.
HACKING INTERNET STARDOM
It’s clear what you’re thinking, but no, we’re not about to digress in the wonders of those utterly annoying Web kids, who command audiences of millions, and have hardly anything to say.
But if your teen spends a lot of time on the Web, messaging friends and, well let’s not go there, he or she may be ready to dole out videos about any kind of expertise he may have.
It’s a good gig but let them try on their own; you would never understand any of that anyway. But it may offer him a path, a window? to their destiny. Or not. Just don’t waste money on it.
COOK SOME ACTIVIST BUG
Let’s face it: there’s just one Malala Yousafzai. Or Xiuhtezcatl Martinez. But all over the world, there’s a huge demand for compassion and helping hands. And the causes in need are vast.
Your kid may show a penchant to help out others, if at the end of the stick there’s a possibility of travel a million miles away from you. Your masterful skills will be required to put it all together.
But, heaven forbid, always make it look as if it’s their own idea. (more)
* Dime a Dozen
* Half-Past Child
* Feral Children
Because, at the end of the day, if they do something about it, it’ll be way more than you’ve ever done, your lazy bum. Just kidding.
LEARN TO RAISE FUNDS
At that age, money is always a concern. And so is learning how to make it. Show them a few links of not-for-profit groups, which are always in need of people to man the phones.
They’ll get to be treated as adults, for a change, and learn a thing or two about the art of convincing people to pay for your adventures. Not yet, of course; but it’s almost like riding bicycles.
Besides, these places are magnets to a certain kind of teen you want your kid to get acquainted with, even if they wind up hating them: the kind with cash to take them to the Hamptons in the summer.
BOYS MAY WEAR DRESSES
And your teen may be a fashion designer genius and never know it. Chances are, they already care about the way they look, labels, all that crap, excuse our Creole. But that’s you; they should be free to try.
It’s either innate or not at all, but vanity is a human trait not even the Dalai Lama is free from. Your kid may never follow it up all the way, but the process can be enlightening.
They may meet budding photographers, who may get them into modeling (quick cash), mates with an eye on stardom (baby, you can drive my car), and fartsy types who may get them into modern art.
CREATE SOMETHING NEW
Your kid guitar dexterity is progressing, but you’re not too hot on betting the farm on a music career. But wait, don’t shut up her amp. Enlighten them with music software and studio fundaments.
Producers make more money than musicians these days. Besides, successful hackers and gamers learned their craft without leaving home. Too much? Not if you already have problems getting them back home at 2.
A myriad of occupations can progress from working with computer software, and that’s an understatement. Coders, hackers, DJs, stage producers, filmmakers, and lightening pros all dabbled into it at some point.
THEY’LL SCREW UP SOME TIMES
That’s easier written than even said, but if you haven’t taught by example all you could so far, now it’s too late. They won’t listen, but may think about it later. Show compassion and cut them some slack.
You won’t be there when they need; it’s now up to them to screw up, not too much, and still have another go at it. The only thing they’ll need is a rock to lean on once in a while. That’s you.
Lucky you, you no longer change, even if you wanted. So keep your game fresh. They think they’ve had enough, and know it all. Let them. They’ll only learn if you’re out of the way. Have we wished you good luck?