Nowadays in school it is more common to hear how hard it is to understand teenage boys. As it happens in every situation, there are two sides to every question, and in this case it should be interesting to analyze if the teenage years are a critical stage in life, or is it a wonderful phase full of new and unknown things, confusions, and dreams?
Do teenagers want to stop feeling like teenagers, stop being teenagers or would they like to remain always there? Do teachers and educators have to “teenage” themselves in order to be able to get closer? But if it is difficult to understand teenage boys in school, how do we get closer to finding solutions?
There are some alternatives that can be analyzed and approached to try to have a better communication and optimize the educational relationship between teachers and teenage boys in school. These methods vary from place to place, from region to region but they have one thing in common: effective communication and understanding.
According to different sources, the teenage years encompass a process of many critical transformations in many different phases. These manifest themselves mainly biologically, psychologically and socially. The school becomes a very tough micro-society where future roles begin to be played: the leader, the follower, the strong, the weak, the sports man, the popular guy or the nerd, to name some. It is a place where they try to establish their first true identity among their peers, while having to deal with the multiple changes already mentioned.
Because of these changes, teenage boys in school are subject to many unstable periods, uncontrollable tantrums and extreme situations. During this phase, the boy begins to look for an identity and for a place in “his” world. Biologically, his organs and his body begin to change radically leaving him with more questions than answers. His hormones are creating havoc inside their bodies and the new feelings, the new sexuality and the new power they begin to feel become uncontrollable forces hard to deal with.
But actually it is not completely the teenager’s fault that they feel so lost. In our modern society there is a lack of values, of ideals, of true models to be followed and emulated, there is a lack of interest from the teenage boys in school outside their world, a lack of interest in looking for a solution and mainly a lack of education at home. They often feel like outsiders in everyone’s life and the fear becomes rebellion.
Pressures that Affect Boys
Modern society doesn’t help with their problems and their own values scale and education. Teenage boys in school receive big pressure from many significant sources:
Pressure from the media: they target this important audience. Since teenage boys are often a confused group, it is easy to mold their minds, ideals and principles. Unfortunately, TV shows today are intended to sell or promote a product, to generate income for the producers who pay little or no attention to the real problems their young audiences have. They tend to create a fantasized perfect world, increasing the frustration of the teenager for not being able to resemble those models being shown on TV, movies or magazines.
Pressures from private concerns: teenage boys in school tend to be naturally impulsive, a fact well known by companies. They tend to follow trends and modes and the big companies try to direct and guide this impulsive behavior towards buying their goods. One way to achieve this is to use marketing tools, to saturate their minds with a false sensation of wellness, of success (“if you buy this, you will feel better, you will be better than anyone else”) or simply, by targeting the fear of remaining an outsider (“if you don’t buy this, you will not belong”).
Pressure from society for the usefulness of the individual: society in general and more particularly, at home, tends to show an interest in the teenager’s future and they encourage the teenage boy to find a useful place in society, to set goals and objectives according to the principles granted as “valid”. Although the parents and teachers have a lot of experience surviving and being “useful”, playing a role in society, this is something that teenage boys have a hard time to understand, how the transition from being a dependent child to a mature provider has to be dealt with.
The Role of the School
The school is the place where teenage boys spend most of the day. It is a place where they begin to learn how to become adults and a useful part of the society. As the years go by and teenage boys in school begin to accept this role many of the early traumas from those teenage years tend to fade away. But it is during those years that only with patience, counseling, understanding and guidance, will the teenage boy learn how to become a person useful to his society, to his family and most important, to himself.