Volume 6, Number 3
Teenagers - 10 Facts to Help
Teresa L. Mareschal, M.A.T.
Human Development Specialist
University of Missouri Extension
are teenagers so turned off by rules, authority and discipline?
Why do Generation Y kids expect things without wanting to “pay their
To answer these questions you have to look at the world from their
vantage point. Think of all the instant communication
resources they have always at their disposal. Generation Y has spent
years perfecting their instant
Here are some facts about the
Instant Everything generation that parents, teachers and managers
should know about these bright, inquisitive and challenging young
Ten Facts About the Instant
|| I like the Internet, cell
phones, personal Web pages, etc.,
because they are attractive, exciting, action-oriented,
multi-dimensional and FAST.
||I will use instant communications, speed, flexibility and rapid
decision making to make the most of each day.
||On the Internet I can research anything and challenge the status quo
|| I can develop my new ideas and
have them validated
|| I get bored easily.
||I'm in control. On the Internet I can
decide what I want to look at, who I will communicate with
and at what time of day or night the activity will take
||I can instantly explore
exciting new places, things and ideas without ever leaving
||On the Internet I can learn from the brightest minds in the world
without lectures, training sessions and classrooms.
||I can share my ideas with
||I like change and flexibility.
In essence adults are competing with the Internet and instant
communications for teenager's attention, and it’s not a fair
competition. Simply put, their world moves faster and in more
directions than most adults’ world.
Our challenge is to mentor them without lectures; inspire them and
show them how to turn their goals into action; and help them learn
“the ropes” but know they will use those ropes differently than we
did. Teenagers want a two-way mentoring situation. They want to
learn from you and they want to show you how to look at some things
from a different vantage point.
This Instant Everything generation will change our world in some
exciting ways. Rapid and revolutionary change will become the
standard as more and more of these young people take their rightful
place in the world. Hold on! This is going to be exciting!