The Rebel Essay

The Rebel Essay-44
By Jeanie Lerche Davis Driving fast, breaking curfew, arguing, shoplifting.Teenagers can push your patience, but unfortunately, some kids go as far as blatantly flouting rules or breaking the law, often with tragic results. How can parents funnel it into less risky business?It's your thinking cap and judgment center, Elkind explains, which means kids can now develop their own ideals and ideas.

And yet, with an eye toward the French Revolution and its regicides and deicides, he shows how inevitably the course of revolution leads to tyranny.

As old regimes throughout the world collapse, The Rebel resonates as an ardent, eloquent, and supremely rational voice of conscience for our tumultuous times. The sons of Cain ; Absolute negation ; The rejection of salvation ; Absolute affirmation ; The poets' rebellion ; Nihilism and history -- Historical rebellion.

All teens go through similar phases -- the need for independence, a separate identity, testing authority.

It's part of growing up; it's also linked to developmental changes in the brain that will eventually help them become analytical adults.

That may have contributed." Also, teen crime statistics have stabilized, although they have taken a different twist.

"We're finding that girls are involved in the same crimes as boys are, like armed robbery," says Elkind.

"They construct an ideal of what parents should be, based on their friends' parents, on media parents.

When they compare their own parents to the ideal, they find them wanting.

David Elkind, Ph D, is the author of All Grown Up and No Place to Go, and is a professor of child development at Tufts University School of Medicine in Boston.

Amy Bobrow, Ph D, is a clinical psychologist and professor in the Child Study Center at New York University School of Medicine in Manhattan.


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