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19 Teenagers Lament What Adults Are Always Getting Wrong About Them

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Teenagers can seem like mysterious creatures sometimes, which is strange if you think about it. I mean, we all used to be teenagers, so why can’t we remember what it was like and how we felt back in the stone age?

Though that is true, there is also so much that has changed in the past several decades that it can be hard to also recall that some things never do.

Here are 19 teenagers on what they wish adults would stop getting all wrong out them.

19. That they don’t have anything to be stressed about.

Adults think we don’t have anything to be stressed about, when we really do. For instance: social media, school, extracurriculars, exams, and friends/fake friends.”

“They think we have nothing to worry about because we don’t pay bills, when in actuality, people have been getting on my case since I was 13 about college and other responsibilities.”

18. They’re always on their phones/devices.

“That we are addicted to our cellphones. When I’m with friends, we really don’t use our phones that much, and if we do, we use it for something fun!

“Whenever I even touch my phone, adults always say, ‘There she goes, always on her phone!’ But I’m rarely on my phone. My parents are on their phone more than I am on mine.

17. That they’re lazy.

“Adults think that we have no morals or principles. They think that we have no plan for our lives and we are just lazy.”

16. They don’t know what love is.

“That we can’t have a serious relationship. As teens, we get discredited a lot. Not all of us want to date. But regardless, please respect my relationship. I’m 19 and have been in a relationship with my boyfriend for three years, and my family still doesn’t like that we talk about marriage.”

“I’ve heard my parents (my dad in particular) say that I’m too young to know who I love. I’ve heard that I’m only trying to fit in with the crowd, rather than ‘lesbian’ being my actual sexual identity. They think we’re too young to know this, but we know what we want.”

15. That they speak in abbreviations.

“We don’t use slang all the time. Typically, we only use abbreviations when we text, and even then we don’t do it that often.”

14. That everything is a phase.

“LGBTQ-identifying kids are just ‘trying to be cool.’ I don’t get that thought process!”

“That we have too many labels, particularly for LGBTQ identities. This is an issue I see a lot with older generations thinking we invented all these genders or sexualities. No, these identities have always existed! We just finally gave them a name. Let someone identify as they please even if it sounds weird, Susan; it’s not hurting you.”

13. They don’t care about anything.

“We do care. We have a work ethic. If we’re apathetic, it’s because the world is a terrifying place right now and we’re trying to cope with that.

We’re young and supposed to have our entire lives ahead of us, but thanks to the generations before us, our lives might be cut short. We might not have as full lives as the adults that are alive today.”

12. That hormones are making them moody.

“SO MANY ADULTS I know expect me to behave like an adult but then talk down to me like I’m freaking 3 years old. They get mad at me when I snap or express any emotions.

I get told it’s not very ‘ladylike’ for me to behave that way. Speaking of, can we get rid of that annoying ‘what a young woman needs to do to be a proper young lady’ crap from the 1950s???”

“If we have a negative emotion or if we get annoyed at anything totally rational, it is because of the hormones. ALL THE TIME.”

11. They don’t know about “good” music.

“I think my biggest pet peeve is that adults assume we know nothing about the world prior to the early ’90s. I’m a huge fan of old music and those eras (specifically the Beatles/Queen/Beach Boys/Del Vikings, etc.).”

“Adults need to stop treating us like we know nothing about music before 2012. Yes, Karen, of course I know ‘Fergalicious.’ It makes them boys go loco.”

10. That social media is ruining their generation.

“That we only communicate on Snapchat. I like FaceTiming and calling people and find it fun because I usually don’t have time to go see friends, but I can at least connect with them. Snapchat is convenient, but that’s not our only form of communication.”

“Adults think that whenever we are on our phone, we are on social media. In reality, we can can be doing anything from writing an essay, reading a book, doing math homework, finishing lab work, or even trying to do work for an internship.”

9. They’re not interested in politics.

“We take things seriously because we know just how precious our time is. You all ruined the only planet we have, and we have no choice but to fight everyone until they understand that our planet is dying.

That might not affect you because you might not be here for very long, but we have our whole lives ahead of us. We have to have extreme opinions to fix our broken system and the broken world!”

“Adults think that teenagers don’t care about anything, but the truth is that Gen Z is the most politically active and socially conscious generation ever.

From climate strikes to March for Our Lives to LGBTQ activism, Gen Z does it all. We see problems and we figure out ways to fix them. We’re going to change the world; the world just has to give us a chance.”

8. They don’t understand “real” problems.

“Adults think our lives are so easy and that we have no ‘real’ problems at all. Completely WRONG! Maybe we don’t have the same
problems as you, but that doesn’t mean we don’t have any or that they are any better than yours.”

“Most adults assume that our lives are super easy and we don’t have any problems. Like, we go to school from 8 to 3, then go home and do extracurriculars/homework. We do that five days a week. That’s the same as a 9-to-5 job.

7. Narcissism runs rampant.

“They think our generation is collectively much more narcissistic and less empathic than earlier generations. We are more conscious of other’s experiences thanks to the internet — and we’re more accepting.

Now, I may have just had some bad experiences, but I think we are less narcissistic than the boomer generation.”

6. That they’re the first kids to ever fangirl (or boy).

“I don’t think adults (specifically boomers, I’m sorry) understand just how much music helps us today. I struggle with anxiety, and the only thing that helps me to get through it is one specific band (don’t groan or judge me, but it’s BTS).

BTS’s music is all about mental health, confidence, and boosting your self-esteem, but when my parents and extended family walk into my room, they just see my wall lined with seven Korean boys and their albums stacked on my desk. They call me ‘obsessed.’

I just wish they would understand how much this band’s music means to me. Without it, I don’t know where I’d be today.”

5. They can’t take a joke.

They think we are super sensitive and can’t take a joke! We just don’t like racist jokes.”

“We can take jokes — we just don’t like racist, homophobic, or transphobic ‘jokes.’ Those are rude, and they hurt!”

4. They don’t understand the “real” world.

“They always assume that all teens secretly do drugs or have sex. In reality, most teens are playing on a Nintendo Switch or working at a coffee shop as a job. They also assume that teens don’t care about their future.

I’m a 16-year-old sophomore who wants to become a novelist. Not all teens are immature, and we have a future planned for us!”

“That we’re too young to understand the world. We’ve grown up subjected to racism, homophobia, Islamophobia, and everything in between. We’re watching our earth die and have idiots in office as elected officials.”

3. They’re disrespectful.

“When they say we’re ‘arguing’ or ‘talking back’ to them, when in fact, all we’re doing is trying to prove our point and justify our actions. Conversations work like that. We cannot have adults screaming at us all the time and not get a chance to speak. It’s not fair.”

2. That they treat mental illness as a trend.

“They think that just because we are young, we are completely incapable of having mental health issues. I’ve been through some severely traumatic events in my life, and I now deal with crippling anxiety on a daily basis.

Despite seeing me struggle with this for years and years, my parents and extended family still do not believe I have an anxiety disorder — they have literally said that teenagers are just being overdramatic to fit in and get attention.

News flash: Anybody at any age can deal with any number of mental health issues, and being young doesn’t mean you can’t get depression or anxiety disorders.”

“My mom treated my mental illness as me being a ‘drama queen’ when I was in high school. It was hell. I should have been on medication. When you turn 18, get a good psychiatrist and take care of yourself.

Until then, there are coping methods you can find online. Maybe your parents will let you go to therapy. I’m so sorry your suffering is being ignored.”

1. They’re not really tired.

“They think that we’re ‘not really tired.’ We go to school super early, then we have clubs and extracurricular stuff afterwards. Some of us even have athletics, too.

When we come home, we actually are drained, but parents keep saying, ‘You shouldn’t be complaining; you have it easy. I wake up early every day to go to work to put food on this table.

You don’t know what it really feels like to be tired.’ EVERYONE FEELS TIRED SOMETIMES. IT’S NOT A FEELING EXCLUSIVE TO ADULTS.

I’m definitely going to file these away for when I own a couple of teenagers myself in a few short years!

Are you a teen? Do you have one? Do these ring true for you?

Let’s talk about it in the comments!