This story is brought to you by Dr. Keith Kanner via the USA Herald Platform
I certainly wouldn’t want to be a teenager these days, would you? It’s hard enough for a teen to try to figure out who “they are” within a constant changing body and mind, all of which is part of normal development. But, in the past two decades the amount of personal choices a teen can choose from increases each and everyday. It is possible that too many choices might not be such a good thing?
Well, that’s what science teaches us. Remember the old adage “too many cooks spoil the soup”? Well, that has always been a metaphor for what science has always taught us. Too much or too little of anything leads to some sort of problem or deficiency. Moderation is best.
If we apply this knowledge to the vast choices the children of millennium face, it blows your socks off. And, in a contemporary culture where individualism is the current vibe, no wonder why we have the highest rate of teenage depression and suicide in the past two decades.
Everyone is trying to be something different than everyone else. Being an entrepreneur is the rage these days. Pretty soon, everyone will have their own website. I even have that.
But, once again, too much of anything isn’t a good thing, right? The same goes for the concept of Independence. People who are the most independent, also happen to be the loneliest people in the world. They are too removed from socialization, which is a human inborn need. I can’t imagine that being a Hermit would beat having close and loving friends. Do you?
Once again, science has the answer. The healthiest type of any interpersonal, or even business relationship, is neither dependence, co-dependence , or , independence.
It’s called “interdependence” in relationships which proves over and over again to lead to the healthiest outcomes, hands down. Why? Here is where co-independence blends with the inborn need to connect and work together with one another, not against each towards common goals that prove beneficial to both.
Interdependence however, requires that people can relate to one another. If there are two many roads to choose from, continued diversity will occur and a lack of solidarity will exist. I see this coaching teens everyday, where I help them see that they aren’t so different after all, which is a good thing sometimes and not a bad virtue. After all, what bonds people together, including teens, is joint commonality, not diversity, unless you like to fight. When teens really get honest with one another, they aren’t so different after all, despite the recent social pressures to be something “different” from one another.
So, although choice is a very important part of life, as with all extremes, too much is too much and can cause harm in the extremes. Teenagers have enough on their plates without the additional task of having to be increasingly individualistic. Given the increasing numbers of teenage depression and suicide, maybe, we need to re-consider the idea of too much choice and see if we can help the teenagers relate better with one another as just being teenagers, nothing more. They have plenty to share with one another about all the various physical, psychological, social, educational, and family issues they all deal with everyday. Here, bonding together, the teens in this quest , develop the social and emotional comfort to assist one another through this phase of adolescence if normal development is proceeding accordingly.
So, the best way we might be able to help our teenagers these days is by reducing the amount of “choice” they face. Instead, why not just support their already full plate of normal common challenges they all face together unified. Science shows that when teens have friends they can “relate” to, they seldom become depressed or suicidal. They realize that they are really just alike one another and no need to make any choices here, just manage all of the normal changes going on inside of them with the support of like teens.