Ask the Teenager!

I keep seeing all these “Ask the _______” threads, but as of yet have not seen an “Ask the teenager” one. I happen to be a fifteen-year-old girl. So what do you want to know about us teens? Maybe I can help give a glipse into the elusive teenage mind…


If you could be a monster, would you be a teenage werewolf, a teenage vampire or a teenage mummy?


What on EARTH do you see in all those boy bands?!?

Back when we were teens we had COOL acts like Leif Garrett, Shaun Cassidy and the Bay City Rollers…

Oh, wait…

Never mind.

I would opt not to be a werewolf because I really don’t think I should let my animal instincts take over, hormones can get me into enough trouble already. A mummy would also be out of the question because I’m not particularly fond of the outfit- it looks like you just stepped out of the burn ward at the hospital. Even worse is the fact that the process of mummification would be quite painful. I don’t want a hook stuck up my nose to pull out my brain, or for my liver, lungs, stomach, and intestines to be removed and placed in jars. I don’t want to be dried up until my once-admired body is all shriveled, and then placed in a dark, locked tomb- although the treasure would be nice. If I had to choose one of the three choices, I would go with vampire- or in my case, vampiress. I would still look relatively the same as I had before death, and still be able to enjoy myself. I have always been a bit of a nightowl myself, so going out only at night wouldn’t be too much of a problem, although tanning could be difficult. And if Buffy and Angel are any indication, there are TONS of hot vampire guys out there. The only problem I could forsee would be the blood drinking, as I’m not too fond of hurting anything. But if they have soy replacing meat for vegetarians now, they must have something to replace blood for vampires.
So say hello to the newest vampiress out there…Monica.

Boy Bands? Hmmmm…I used to be a big fan of *NSYNC, Backstreet Boys, OTOWN, and all the others…then luckily grew out of it. Now I’m more into Irish Punk Rock, Punk Rock, Rock, R&B, and some pop.
But when I was an admirer of the boy bands, I for some reason actually liked their music. Also, most of my friends were huge fans, so that was part of it. And all of the bands had at least one or two guys I considered hot (Justin and JC, Nick and Brian, Ashley-and yes, Ashley WAS a guy). I am SO glad I am over all that now.

Here’s one for you:

Do you like MTV as it is now, or would you rather like to see music videos make more of a comeback?

Why do teenaged girls wear so much makeup? I mean, a little is ok, but after a while its just ridiculous.

As a former teenaged goth and eyeliner hog, I’ll field that last one.

The reason is that they don’t know how to put it on. Generally, their main idea of how makeup should look comes from either MTV-friendly pop singers, who naturally wear tons and tons of often-frightening makeup (i.e. Pink) or models from makeup ads in magazines, who just wear tons and tons of makeup, period.

Of course, you could say they also have their mothers and any other female relatives, but looking mature is just such a faux pas. :wink:

Why do some teenage girls shriek & squeal when they see each other? Is their joy at seeing their friends that irrepressible, or is it an attention-seeking gesture? Is it a contest, where the loudest squealer wins the new N*SYNC CD?

Thanks, monica!

Y’know, now that I think about it…I feel really old. I bet I did the whole squealing act as a teen and knew it’s secret meaning. Darn.

Amish or Mennonite
which do you prefer and why ?
I prefer Amish because Mennonites are just Amish posers

I’ll answer stuff because I can!

I would be a teenage vampire (fangs, no bandages or monthly fur outbreaks. Besides, I’m a night person).

The Very Clever Music Industry has recently realised that they’ve been missing out on the lucrative pre-teen market, and as such today’s boy-bands are promoted to this age group. These are nice clean-cut boys for girls who don’t really want boys yet. The better question to ask is

“What do you/we see in faux-ghetto hip hop and/or dance pop?”

And to that I’d have to say, I really don’t know. Except maybe Nelly is a nice clean cut rapper for teens who don’t really want hip hop yet.

I don’t have MTV since I don’t have cable which, in Australia, has nowhere near the market penetration it has in the US. I can see plenty of music videos on free-to-air TV late at night on the weekend, and those of us with cable tend to watch Channel V, which actually does play videos.

The girls I hung out with didn’t wear too much make up. And they shrieked (shruk?) through pure excitement and joy at being reaquainted with someone who they might never see again, as our teenage existence is fraught with the daily dangers of disappearing into a melodramtic abyss of our own self-imposed traumas.

What’s a Mennonite?

And take my answers with a grain of salt - I’m 19 and being kicked out of the club.

I have some serious questions…

My two biggest fears of raising teenagers are drugs and pregnancy. It seems like anything else can be dealt with and these two can change your life faster than anything else I can think of.

How do you keep teenagers off drugs?

How prevalent are drugs in schools these days? I know they are everywhere, but that doesn’t mean a majority of teens are doing them.

Teenagers seem to be reclusive around their parents. (“How was your day?” “Fine” “what did you do?” “nothing” “where did you go?” “out”) While I’m all for keeping communication lines open, talking to someone that doesn’t want to talk back is going to be really hard. How do you foster that open communication without turning into nagging? Teenagers seem parents as old, boring and clueless, and won’t know better until the teen turns 21. How do you convince a teen that the parents DO have a clue, went through MANY of the same things (at least at the base level)?

How do you keep teens from having sex? How do you make them aware of the dire consequences those actions can have? I’m not against pre-marital sex, but I do have concerns over teen-sex in the sense that if something does happen they are ill-equiped to deal with it. How do you convince THEM of that? Certainly the pressures from other teens and a SO will be enormous.

Do most teens who experiment with marijuana move onto other things? Experimentation once in a while isn’t my concern, moving onto more danerous drugs is. It would be ideal if they never did any drugs, however.

How do you encourage hard work on school? Generate interest scholastically? Once the roadblocks to highly successful career are removed (drugs, pregnancy, anything else?), obviously the next step is getting them to actually take that initiative.

How do you foster a strong bond through the teen years? Is the distancing something which cannot avoided?

I have more. This will do for now.

I’ll chime in, being a teenager sort myself.

How do you keep teenagers off drugs? I don’t know. I don’t recall my parents ever sitting down and saying “hey, drugs are bad”. It was certainly implied that it was not a good idea to go around using, but certainly my parents didn’t set out with a huge goal of Keep The Kids Off Drugs with charts and graphs and a full multimedia event. As for availability of drugs, I know that I could easily go outside after school and buy whatever drug I want, marijuana probably being the easiest to obtain. Everybody knows that. But there is probably relatively little illegal drug use going on compared to the size of the school. (tobacco is a different story entirely) I really don’t know. None of my friends use drugs and most people I know don’t either. Half of that is probably a time factor. Nearly everyone in the school is involved with something after school. There’s not much time to go back for some pot when it means you’ll be late for a French club meeting or soccer practice.

I’m very close with my parents, though much more with my mom than my dad (belief conflicts, mostly…I can’t talk to him when all he does is tell me to pray when an issue comes up). My friends are close to their parents, except for a few who just really don’t get along at all. There is no formula, I think, for parent-teenager bonding. It always depends on the person and certainly some people will not be close to their parents ever.

I really can’t say anything about your other questions, cmosdes. My parents never exactly went off and pushed the school issue (they try to slow me down mostly…“Why do you want to take AP calculus? Are you trying to kill yourself? You won’t want to take that in the spring of your senior year!”) and I have no experience with the sex issue. But I hope I’ve been helpful for you.

I’m a 17 year old, from Southern Ontario, I’ll try to answer these as best I can.

It sounds bad, but don’t try. Educate them about drugs as best you can. Please, PLEASE, forget all that D.A.R.E. crap. Just teach them about drugs’ effects, addictive potential, etc. Don’t exaggerate, don’t embellish.

Nothing compares to alcohol. A lot of the “in-crowd” teens will get hammered about every weekend. Past grade 10, it’s not uncommon for most to get drunk at least once a month.

Marijuana is also quite common. Among my friends, (whom all do quite well academically) we get stoned at least once a week, more during the summer. For the most part, this really shouldn’t be a concern for you. 90% of the people who smoke weed don’t let it interfere with the rest of their lives, it’s contained to weekends.

Aside from pot (and oil and hash), there’s not a whole lot of drug use. Occasionally shrooms. A lot of people I know in school frown fairly heavily on drug use, but think alcohol is fine.

Honestly, I have no answer to this. I have a fairly distanced relationship with my parents. Most of the time I try to sleep in until they’ve gone to work, and stay out until they’re asleep. I like them as far as parents go, they’ve done a good job raising me, and I’m grateful, but it’s just less hassle by avoiding them.

I think peer-pressure is hugely over-estimated by most parents. Maybe I have more tolerant friends than most, but really, its not an issue. If your children try drugs, have sex, etc, I’d bet it’s because they wanted to.
Don’t keep anything back as far as education goes. Teach them the facts about birth control, which works best, and so on. Everything else is up to them.

Aside from going on to use oil and hash, which is really the same drug, most don’t care to try anything, though some do try shrooms, that’s about it. Though my friend and I are planning to try absinthe sometime soon.

My parents read to me as a child, a LOT. I really am quite grateful to them for instilling a love for reading in me. I read ferociously throughout elementary school, acadamia has never been much trouble at all for me. YMMV.

This is a tough question. I think too much parental nagging results in resentment, that may play a part. But yeah, I think it’s pretty much inevitable.

There you go, I tried my best. Disclaimer: I most likely am not the average teen. All figures and percentages have been made up by me through experience.

I forgot to mention, around here, I can get weed far easier than alcohol.

Hey, I’m a long blond-haired teenage female, and I can honestly say that I go against over 90% of the stereotypes of female teens. I went to the fair with three of my (female) friends and one of the booth operators said “How you doin’, ladies, sir?” And at the last bit looked at me. Some people think I lok more like a guy than some guys in my class. I tie my hair back in leather (if at all), wear nothing but insulting phrase or dragon shirts, shorts that go way past my knees and are way to big for me, pants that are just barely allowed according to my school dress code, and I am even hairier than the average female. I wear no makeup (would rather die than touch the stuff), I don’t giggle (when I am amused, I half smile and kinda go heh heh), I hate shopping, I hate boy-bands, want B.S. to be exiled to some other universe, have no piercings(though am considering getting two in my left ear), I never have shrieked or squealed, I’ll ride any thrill ride over and over and over, and I am horribly quiet, intelligent, and love reading and hate most of the ‘popular’ tv shows (except Simpsons, Malcolm, Futurama, and that sort of thing).
Oh, and I hate the color pink. Either dark blue or black is my favorite color. And I hate sports and cheerleading and any guy who expects a female to be his slave or who does nothing but bully people and play sports and has all F’s.

I’d want to be a vampire so I could fly or at least have a really good reason for being out at dark; I want MTV to have the Music videos, but keep IBYW plus TRL, among others; you don’t have ot worry about my having sex or doing drugs, because I like my life as it is, thank you very much, and don’t feel like ruining it because some jackass guy ran away when he realized he got me pregnant and left me to take care of his kid, plus I like my brain and don’t want a few hours of drug-induced high to ruin my chances of persueing my goals.

And parents, for the love of the non-existant god you believe in, don’t just go up to your kids after seeing an anti-drug commercial and tell them not to do drugs or the neighbor boy, tell them something like
“Because I really care about you and love you and only have your best intrests at heart, I’m going to tell you this once, and if you go against my advice, don’t expect to be able to come running to me when you have the police running after you: Don’t have sex until you are out of school and have secured a good job and home; Don’t do drugs unless you want to spend a few years in jail and rot your brain; the same goes for alcohol; and don’t smoke for the sake of your health.” but tell them this when they’re in a really good mood and on good terms with you, when they’re more likely to listen and not roll their eyes and say yeah, right.

Any other questions?

Yeah, I want to know why girls go around with their bare belly’s showing all the time? Like three inches of bare flesh right around the middle. Hmm?

Pick and choose:

  1. Do you feel ready to be an adult? Are you anxious to graduate high school/go to college/get on with your life?

  2. Are you nostalgic for childhood or are you glad it’s over?

  3. How’s your self-image? Do you like yourself? Are you happy with your physical appearance?

  4. Do you think about where you’ll be 10, 20 or 30 years from now?

  5. What’s your number-one goal in life right now?

  6. Do you think depictions of teenagers on TV and in the movies are accurate?

Interesting questions, Jenner. I’ll answer a few of them.

  1. Ready to be an adult? No, no, no. I will be 18 in October and I’ve pretty much decided I’d rather stay 17. I’m not ready to grow up! Too much responsibility for me, thanks.
    Though I was ready to go to college back in the spring, I’ve flip-flopped since then. A few weeks ago when I started my senior year, I didn’t want to leave high school. But now I’ve just decided I’d rather just stay home all the time and sleep.

  2. My self-image is okay, I suppose. I’m an intelligent person, and I’m quite happy with that. I don’t care very much for my looks at the moment, but the problems I have can be fixed with a little work. (weight, mostly…I am quite overweight, but I never seem to have time or the inclination to bother with losing it)

  3. I think very often about where I’ll be. I have no idea how realistic it is because I like to daydream a lot, but I do think about it. Can’t make up my mind though. Everybody keeps asking me about college and a career. I don’t know what I want to do. Can’t I pick later? There’s too much I want to try to pick now.

  4. Having decided that aiming for a perfect score on my SAT or ACT is really not terribly realistic, I’m just settled on getting into a good college right now. I’ll decide what my other goals are later.

  5. Not really. I could just be sheltered, but I don’t think most teenagers act the way we are portrayed. Some do, and it’s rather pathetic then, but most of my classmates don’t. We’re just people…not the most mature people known to exist, but we’re not all bubble-headed twits or walking stereotypes.