· Teens Do Think Differently: Research revealed at a recent meeting on adolescent self destructive behavior sponsored by Cambridge Hospital in Massachusetts indicates that teen brains actually function differently from adult brains. Comparing MRI's of teen brain function and adult brain function during facial recognition and word production tasks, researchers found that teen brains showed less activity in the frontal cortex, which organizes and modulates behavior, and more activity than adults in the amygdala, which associates sensory stimuli with emotions. Teens were more likely to misread facial expressions and to react strongly in certain situations. The study provides a biological explanation for what every parent of teenagers already knew, they don't think the same way as their parents. (Youth Today July/August 2000 p. 15)permalink source: Ivy Jungle
Hurried Discipleship I disagree with the popular practice of involving young people in an intense regimen of Bible study, prayer, worship, leadership, evangelism and accountability where young people are challenged to “take the campus for Christ,”“be radical for Jesus,” and “give 110%.” I know; I know.How could any Bible-believing Christian not believe in a youth ministry that encourages young people to be “on fire for Jesus”? Well, of course I’m in favor of young people knowing Jesus.What I’m not in favor of is young people doing Jesus because what most youth-oriented discipleship programs are about is doing—reading the Bible, praying, worshipping, attending, leading, and evangelizing with no mention of intimacy, waiting, listening, noticing, and paying attention. Youth-oriented discipleship programs have reduced disciples to cheerleaders and political organizers. Discipleship has been turned into a measurable, external activity instead of an immeasurable, internal lack of activity. Spending time evangelizing has replaced spending time with Jesus, and sharing our faith with others has replaced growing in our faith with Jesus. But there is another, more serious problem. Young people are…well…young, which means they are immature, confused by their hormones, inexperienced, naïve and idealistic. None of these qualities are “bad”; in fact, they are wonderful gifts of youth that are needed in the church, but they are not neutral. Simply put, discipleship is a lifelong process, not a youth activity. Remember when you were a little child and you dressed up in your parents’ clothes? Such antics were cute, but clearly the clothes didn’t fit. Young people are being asked to dress up like disciples, but the clothes don’t fit. How could they? The Bible was written by adults, men who’d lived long lives, men who’d suffered greatly for their faith and the conclusions they reached had been squeezed out of pain and heartbreak and failure. We impose our adult views of discipleship on young people who couldn’t possibly understand what it all means. They haven’t lived long enough. But in a culture where youth is worshipped and idolized by adults, where young people are called young adults, where young people are portrayed in the media as wise, untainted gurus of insight, it’s no wonder we convince young people that they’re the hope of the world. Funny…I thought Jesus was the hope of the world.permalink source: Mike Yaconelli, a "Dangerous Wonder" column from Youthworker Journal
There’s no sadder sight than a young pessimist. -- Mark Twainpermalink source: Anonymous
You know your children are growing up when they stop asking you where they came from and refuse to tell you where they are going. By: Mrs. E. O'Brien Source: Mrs. E. O'Brien in Catholic Digest, 1991permalink source: Anonymous
<img src="http://glenandpaula.com/quotes/uploads/1107021021adolescent_romance" width="640" height="524" /> story at http://researchnews.osu.edu/archive/chains.htmpermalink source: Figure courtesy of the University of Chicago Press. From the American Journal of Sociology, Vol. 100, No. 1. "Chains of affection: The structure of adolescent romantic and sexual networks," Bearman PS, Moody J, Stovel K.
Statistically speaking, my bout with Evangelicalism was probably unremarkable. For white Americans with my socioeconomic background (middle to upper-middle class), it's an experience commonly linked to one's teens and moved beyond before one reaches 20. These kids around me at Creation—a lot of them were like that. How many even knew who Darwin was? They'd learn. At least once a year since college, I'll be getting to know someone, and it comes out that we have in common a high school "Jesus phase." That's always an excellent laugh. Except a phase is supposed to end—or at least give way to other phases—not simply expand into a long preoccupation. Bless those who've been brainwashed by cults and sent off for deprogramming. That makes it simple: You put it behind you. But this group was no cult. They persuaded; they never pressured, much less threatened. Nor did they punish. A guy I brought into the group—we called him Goog—is still a close friend. He leads meetings now and spends part of each year doing pro bono dental work in Cambodia. He's never asked me when I'm coming back. My problem is not that I dream I'm in hell or that Mole is at the window. It isn't that I feel psychologically harmed. It isn't even that I feel like a sucker for having bought it all. It's that I love Jesus Christ. "The latchet of whose shoes I am not worthy to unloose." I can barely write that. He was the most beautiful dude. Forget the Epistles, forget all the bullying stuff that came later. Look at what He said. Read The Jefferson Bible. Or better yet, read The Logia of Yeshua, by Guy Davenport and Benjamin Urrutia, an unadorned translation of all the sayings ascribed to Jesus that modern scholars deem authentic. There's your man. His breakthrough was the aestheticization of weakness. Not in what conquers, not in glory, but in what's fragile and what suffers—there lies sanity. And salvation. "Let anyone who has power renounce it," he said. "Your father is compassionate to all, as you should be." That's how He talked, to those who knew Him. Why should He vex me? Why is His ghost not friendlier? Why can't I just be a good Enlightenment child and see in His life a sustaining example of what we can be, as a species? Because once you've known Him as God, it's hard to find comfort in the man. The sheer sensation of life that comes with a total, all-pervading notion of being—the pulse of consequence one projects onto even the humblest things—the pull of that won't slacken. And one has doubts about one's doubts. http://men.style.com/gq/features/full?id=content_301&pageNum=17permalink source: Upon This Rock, John Jeremiah Sullivan
Sometimes childhood rejection is transformed into strength. If a child or adolescent can survive feelings of exclusion, either through effective rationalizations or the winning of compensatory prizes, the later anticipation of criticism provokes minimal uncertainty. Many years ago, two psychologists at the University of California in Berkeley compared mathematicians and architects who had been nominated by their peers as extremely creative with members of the same profession who were judged successful but judged less creative. A major difference between the two groups was that the creative professionals had experienced peer rejection during adolescence because of physical stigmata, less talent at peer-valued skills, or membership in a minority group. The chronic rejection permitted these creative professionals to develop an indifference to peer opinion that made it easier to entertain ideas they knew would be unpopular.permalink source: Jerome Kagan, An Argument for Mind, 109