Insights Into Teens

Insights Into Teens: Episode 182 "Adolescent Idealism"

November 20, 2023 Madison and Joseph Whalen Season 5 Episode 182
Insights Into Teens
Insights Into Teens: Episode 182 "Adolescent Idealism"
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Have you ever wondered why teenagers seem drawn to challenging authority and eager to transform the world? This episode is an enlightening journey into adolescent idealism, a pivotal phase where young minds begin to form their own values, champion their unique perspectives and discover the power of their voice. We expose the reality behind the fiery debates and passionate expressions of idealism that are often misunderstood by adults, leading to friction and discord. 

The episode takes a deep look at the correlation between adolescent idealism and mental health, an aspect rarely explored in mainstream discussions. We shine a light on the transformative journey of these promising minds as they fervently yearn for a brighter future and how they grapple with a society that may not always prioritize or appreciate their innovative ideas. As adults, we have a pivotal role in understanding, validating and connecting with these spirited young adults. Their energy, if harnessed correctly, can lead to lasting positive changes.

Finally, we impart practical strategies to help navigate the challenges of adolescent idealism. We underscore the importance of empathetic listening, validating their experiences, and sharing our own stories of challenging norms to bridge gaps in understanding. We also discuss how introducing them to diverse perspectives through various media can broaden their world view. Expect some thoughtful insights on finding common ground and leveraging their passion to make meaningful contributions to society. Join us for this enlightening episode and discover the powerful potential of adolescent idealism.

An original podcast by a husband and wife team of self professed pop-culture geeks. It is a discussion about all things entertainment from movies and music to television and pop culture. We examine some of the more obscure aspects of the entertainment industry.

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Speaker 1:

Insightful Podcasts by Informative Hosts. Insights into Things a podcast network. Welcome to Insights into Teens, a podcast series exploring the issues and challenges of today's youth. Your hosts are Joseph and Madison Whalen, a father and daughter team making their way through the challenges of the teenage years. Insights into Teens a podcast network.

Speaker 2:

Welcome to Insights into Teens. This is episode 182, adolescent Idealism. I am your host, joseph Whalen, and my generous and kind co-host, madison Whalen.

Speaker 3:

Hi everyone.

Speaker 2:

How are you doing?

Speaker 3:

today, Maddie.

Speaker 2:

I'm alright. How about you? You're a little uptight here. You want to talk about that real quick before we get into this.

Speaker 3:

Just this game I've been playing and I have to restart the exact same battle over and over. I've had to do it at least six times today, in fact, because it's so difficult.

Speaker 2:

And just for an honorable mention, what game is that?

Speaker 3:

Baldur's Gate 3.

Speaker 2:

Which we probably will be talking about on an upcoming episode of Insights into Entertainment, just as an old teaser there.

Speaker 3:

Well, you will, I'm not.

Speaker 2:

Well, no, yeah, I'll be on the show with Sam for that one. Other than that, how are things going? How's school going? Anything exciting?

Speaker 3:

Not really just starting to ease into the second marking period?

Speaker 2:

so Ease into it, huh. Well, not exactly ease into it, I guess, because it's all relative right.

Speaker 3:

All relative, I suppose.

Speaker 2:

Okay, well, hopefully it goes smoother than the first marking period. Is that safe to say?

Speaker 3:

I don't know, because the first marking period is supposed to be the easier one and then it just progressively gets harder afterwards.

Speaker 2:

so it's like it just goes downhill from there.

Speaker 3:

Don't really have high hopes for it.

Speaker 2:

Okay, well, on that note, what we are talking about today is teen or adolescent idealism. Adolescent idealism is a normal phase of teenage development, characterized by strong views and opinions of society in the world. Adolescent idealism can be developed between the ages of 11 and 16, which you just came out of. Adolescent idealism is one of the stages of cognitive developmental theory. Adolescent idealism can impact mental health when teens discover the issues they care about aren't centered or prioritized. Adolescent idealism can help strengthen family connections and address mental health concerns associated with adolescent idealism, including grief, depression, anxiety, anger and hopelessness, and that doesn't sound like fun to talk about. I don't know what does, yeah, but before we get into that, I do want to take a moment to implore our listening and viewing audience to subscribe to the podcast, if you don't already do so. You can find audio versions of this podcast listed as insights into teens, where you can find audio and video versions of all the networks, podcasts listed as insights into things, and we can be found anywhere. You get a podcast. These days, though, we do tend to direct people Apple podcast, but that's just kind of a default thing. I would also invite you to write in or contact us. Give us your feedback, tell us how we're doing, give us topics you'd like us to discuss. You can reach us via email at comments and insights into thingscom. We're available on Twitter or X at insights underscore things, where you can get links to all those and more on our website at wwwinsightsthingscom. Are we ready? Sure, here we go. So we once again tap our friends at the Newport Academy for inspiration on this topic. They tell us that navigating the teenage years can be an extraordinary journey for both teens and their parents. Boy, isn't that the truth? It's a time marked by a series of developmental milestones that shape young people into the adults they will become. Among these, adolescent idealism stands out as a particularly influential phase. During this stage, teens began to see beyond their immediate surroundings and look at the world with fresh eyes. They start to form their own values, shape their understanding of the world and discover the power of their own voices. This idealism is a vibrant force that drives them to have strong opinions on global and social issues, enabling them to think abstractly about problems and potential solutions. It's a time when their thoughts and conversations may turn to activism and advocacy, as they express their views more openly.

Speaker 3:

However, this expression of newfound perspectives can sometimes lead to friction. As teens articulate their opinions with growing confidence, they may find themselves in disagreement with parents, peers and other authorities who have long established views. These classes are a natural part of the journey, as each side learns to understand and respect the other's perspective. It's essential to recognize the importance of this developmental phase. It provides teens with a crucial opportunity to voice their concerns, debate important matters and begin to understand the complexities of the world they are about to inherit For those around them. It offers a chance to guide, support and engage in meaningful dialogue.

Speaker 2:

As families navigate these years, patience, open communication and empathy are key. By acknowledging and supporting this stage of idealism, we pave the way for a generation of thoughtful, engaged young adults, ready to contribute to society. Do you think you've gone through your idealism stage, your activism stage? Do you think you're in the middle of it? Do you think it's coming up? How active do you think it is?

Speaker 3:

Honestly, I do think I'm still kind of in the midst of it. I know it kind of had like a generic age range and that I'm technically past that. However, I still feel like I'm still, you know, forming my own opinions and I'm still like working through that part of my life right now. You know, I still have thoughts about it. I still have to kind of form my own opinion and view of everything. So I feel like I'm still kind of in it right now.

Speaker 2:

So the study does talk about kind of a prescribed age and you're kind of at an age where many are just discovering the snooze button, but it sounds like you're already pressing the buzzer on global issues. Can you share any aha moments when you realize your voice could be more of a force for change and maybe a time that voice led to a mom you just don't understand or, in this case, probably a dad you don't understand conversation.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, I have actually had a few of them. One interesting thing I do want to share was when I ended up doing a hobby. That was a point where basically sophomores of our schools would well, the summer of our sophomore year we would go to this like place up in North Jersey. It was due university and we basically go there and we would basically meet with all other kids and sophomores from all different schools from around New Jersey and we basically saw the republic speakers there. That basically gave us more influential stuff and it was basically like a whole leadership program. And one distinct thing that I remember was that this one speaker, who I think was one of the first speakers that ended up coming up, basically talked about the importance of youth and their intelligence and even commented that the youth are probably smarter than most of the adults today, and basically he said that don't listen to anybody who says that, oh, you're too young to be thinking this sort of stuff or oh, you can't be saying that because you're just a kid. He basically said that no, I think that you guys are smarter than I am. So you know, you guys have the power to actually change the world and you know, I think that was one of the most like big aha moment, for me at least, or at least it was something that was like oh, yeah, and I agree with that 100%.

Speaker 2:

I mean, the article goes on to say that this is the world you're going to inherit. So really, you need to start making decisions now. You need to play an active role. And you know, with the passion of youth comes great debates over the dinner table, and you're no different. We're no different than that. What was the most memorable debate club session you've had with mommy and daddy or friends, and how did it keep you? How did it help you see the world through the vintage eyes? How did it help you see the world through the eyes of somebody who is, I'll say, more experienced?

Speaker 3:

Hmm, I guess maybe it was. We've had various talks to the point that I don't even know if I can really pinpoint any specific conversation that we have. However, there are certain topics that we ended up discussing that well, obviously we share very similar opinions when it comes to certain matters. There are other things where you certainly have a different opinion than I do, or you see something a certain way as opposed to how I see it.

Speaker 2:

Okay, I think that's fair and I think I think that's important. I think, if we agreed on everything, we'd never learn to have that discussion with someone who has an opposing point of view.

Speaker 3:

Yeah.

Speaker 2:

Tell us a little bit more about adolescent idealism.

Speaker 3:

So what exactly is adolescent idealism? In the unique tapestry of teenage development, a pattern of idealism often emerges, vivid and compelling. It's a belief that teenagers not only have the ability, but also the right to express their opinions on various societal structures, be it in the realm of politics, religion or any other institution. This is a time when thinking shifts from the tangible and immediate to the abstract and the far-reaching. As this abstract thinking takes root, teenagers start to notice global issues with sharper clarity. They begin to question the actions and decisions of adult leaders, developing a keen sense of moral judgment. This is not just a face. It's a powerful awakening that shapes their understanding of justice and fairness.

Speaker 2:

However, the journey of adolescent idealism isn't without its hurdles. In environments where such views are not encouraged or prioritized, teens may find themselves at odds with the status quo. This can strain relationships and impact their mental health as they navigate spaces that may seem indifferent to their burgeoning ideals. Consider the teenager who organizes a school protest, or the one who joins a march to amplify their voice on issues they care about. Or think of the young person who decides to become vegan, not just as a dietary choice but as a stand against environmental degradation. Some may take a bold stance against systemic issues like challenging school curricula that they believe perpetuate racism, and vow to drive change through organized protests.

Speaker 3:

These are more than actions. They are statements, a declaration of the world as they believe it should be. The fire of adolescent idealism is fueled by a desire for change and a better future. It's essential for adults to understand, respect and constructively engage with these passionate young minds. By doing so, they can help guide their idealism into lasting positive impact.

Speaker 2:

So imagine you just staged a protest at school. I don't think it's C you doing. You probably can't because you're not that outgoing, but you're passionate enough to do it, I think, and probably not a big one, maybe a small one. But you've just staged a protest at school and suddenly you're handed a megaphone with a whole world listening. What's the first issue you'd address and how would you convince the adult world to take you and your fellow teen idealists seriously?

Speaker 3:

Yeah, that's a big one because there's a lot of issues I would stand for completely and I'd want to address first, however, relating to the idea of having the adult world listen to the teens. I'd probably want to address the issue of people or at least the government control over what school should be teaching. And while personally I'm not experiencing it all that much in New Jersey, I know in a lot of other states that's a huge issue with the idea that like, oh, kids can't handle certain topics and I feel like a lot of adults are of the belief that, oh, they're just teens, they're just kids, they don't know any better, they can't really debate with us. Well, and I know a lot of people are kind of trying to tell us that there's a lot of people just discouraging us from voting, from speaking our beliefs and from really just trying for us to try and change the world. They want to stop any effort we have for that. So I'd want to address the issue that like, no, we know all the stuff that's happening and we want to bring change about it. We, like can understand these topics where emotionally mature enough for that kind of stuff, and we're not just kids.

Speaker 2:

Okay, well, you made into that. I would certainly listen to an argument when you put it in terms like that. Now imagine for a moment your idealism is a superhero. What would superpower be? And what's the kryptonite? The weakness that really tested strength in the everyday world.

Speaker 3:

Superpower, that's interesting.

Speaker 2:

My superpower is I can shout louder than other people.

Speaker 3:

That's understandable. I can see how that would be useful If my idealism were a superhero and had a superpower and also kryptonite, let's see. Well, I would think that my superpower could kind of materialize almost any object by thinking about it, because I feel like, in terms of changing the world, there are certain things that might be needed for certain instances and I feel like that would be a useful enough superpower to be like oh, you need something in order to protest or you need something in order to change the world. Here you go.

Speaker 2:

Okay, so you're a provider.

Speaker 3:

when it comes to your activism, then, yeah, I feel like that would be the most practical use for it and I don't necessarily want things like mind manipulation, because that kind of is an unwilling sort of thing.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, that's a segment of the population that's probably already using that too much already.

Speaker 3:

The kryptonite for my idealism would probably be those louder voices. I feel like they could in a way be weakened by it, and I understand the idea of action. Speak louder than words, or sticks and stones might break my bones, but words can never hurt me. Words can hurt, though.

Speaker 2:

Well, you write a word on a 2x4 and hit you when it is going to hurt.

Speaker 3:

Well, that's true, that is true. But yeah, I can see that kind of being a weakness, but I can also see them eventually overcoming it in a way.

Speaker 2:

Okay, that makes a lot of sense. So we're going to take our first break and when we come back, you're going to tell us about adolescent idealism and the connection to mental health. We'll be right back. For over seven years, the Second Sith Empire has been the premier community guild in the online game Star Wars the Old Republic, with hundreds of friendly and helpful active members, a weekly schedule of nightly events, annual guild meet and greets and an active community both on the web and on discord. The Second Sith Empire is more than your typical gaming group. We're family. Join us on the StarFord server for nightly events such as operations, flashpoints, world boss hunts, star Wars trivia, guild lottery and much more. Visit us on the web today at wwwthesecantsithempirecom.

Speaker 3:

Welcome back to Insights and Intens. Today we're talking about adolescent idealism, and now we're going to talk about the connection between adolescent idealism and mental health. Adolescent idealism is like a powerful lens through which teenagers view the world. It's a natural and common phase of growth that can influence their choices and spark a desire to question and challenge the norms around them. This idealism is a vibrant force that drives many teens to stand up for what they believe to be just and virtuous. However, as teens grapple with the complexities of the world, they may also discover that creating positive change is often a tangled and difficult process. This realization can be heavy, sometimes leading to feelings of sadness, anxiety or even a sense of helplessness when the world doesn't change as quickly as they'd like. During this intense time of development, it's not uncommon for teens to experience inner conflict. They might find themselves wrestling with their choices, trying to ensure they align with their newfound values. When there's a gap between what they value and what they see or do, it can cause discomfort, known as cognitive dissidents.

Speaker 2:

This internal struggle often doesn't stay internal. It can spill over into their relationships, leading to disagreements with friends, family members, teachers or other authority figures who may have differing views. Creating adolescent idealism requires a delicate balance. It's important for teens to explore and express their values, but also to learn how to cope with the emotional turbulence that can come with this phase. For parents and adults, offering a listening ear, understanding and guidance can make a significant difference. It's about supporting teens as they learn to harmonize their idealism with the realities of the world and helping them channel their passion into actions that are both meaningful and manageable, and, I'd also add, they're constructive. You want to make sure that that passion itself goes into something constructive, not destructive, moving forward. So if you could give your idealism a status update on social media, what would it say and which emoji would best capture the roller coaster of taking on the world's heavyweight issues at your age?

Speaker 3:

So status update is just updating your info on like a social media.

Speaker 2:

Just a one word or a couple of word phrase of gone shopping.

Speaker 3:

Alright, if I could give them a status update. Okay, that's kind of our focus. Um, I guess I would say say, I'm still standing.

Speaker 2:

That's good. I like that. A Billy Joel reference, no Elton John reference.

Speaker 3:

I'm going to say that's an Elton John reference.

Speaker 2:

I heard it in the Billy Joel concert, though it must have been when the two of them were playing together.

Speaker 3:

Maybe Um. And which emoji would best capture the roller coaster of it of taking on the world at my age? Um, I guess a roller coaster.

Speaker 2:

Okay, I can't argue with that. So, as you navigate the high seas of teenage values, have you ever found yourself in hot water for your beliefs?

Speaker 3:

Like with other people or with myself, anybody.

Speaker 2:

It has. Have have your values or your beliefs ever gotten you into trouble or gotten someone mad at you?

Speaker 3:

Um, I don't think it was ever something that extreme. I do know that, like I've had instances where people have probably disagreed with me.

Speaker 2:

Okay.

Speaker 3:

Um, I mean like I can. Certainly, if I was interacting with, like certain people, I could certainly see myself getting in hot water, although I don't really think I've gotten into hot water with anybody or gotten on anyone's like radar, I suppose.

Speaker 2:

Now let me. Let me ask you a follow up question. Do you deliberately avoid people that are of a differing opinion or differing mindset actively to prevent any type of conflict or anything from happening?

Speaker 3:

Um, kind of not really, but sort of yeah, so you're somewhat anti-confrontational then? I'm not the most confrontational person. I will admit. I've never really. Whenever I've had a debate with somebody, it's usually been someone who was of a similar belief or had like slightly differing opinions from me. It's never been. I never really. I've never really interacted with someone on the extreme end of what I was against.

Speaker 2:

Okay. Have you ever actually deliberately taken a side in a conversation or a debate that is diametrically opposed to what your fundamental beliefs are?

Speaker 3:

Not really. Um, like I'm kind of a sympathizer. I'll be completely honest. We actually had this interesting thing happen in history where we were basically given statements and we were supposed to stand on one side of the room if we agreed with it or disagreed with it.

Speaker 2:

And you stood in the middle.

Speaker 3:

Yes, I stood in the middle. On all three of the ones we did, I stood in the middle.

Speaker 2:

Okay.

Speaker 3:

Cause I really thought, cause you know, whatever the statement was, I'm like it depends on the circumstance.

Speaker 2:

Well, and you know what there's. The world is filled with people like me who relish in the idea of poking a stick in the opposing side's point of view and trying to rile people up, because one of the things that I tried to do is I have my own beliefs and I don't preach my beliefs. I don't get out there and pontificate and only ask is other people don't do that to me. And when you do, that's when I get confrontational. That's when I'm going to focus sticking your cage and you're going to come to me and regardless of what it's about you know it could be politics, religion or you know anything. If you're going to come out and make a statement to me and try to get me to see your point of view, I'm going to challenge you and nine times out of 10, I'm probably going to destroy your point of view because you can't stand up against. You know the logic, and I'll throw the controversial word science out there, right? So so when I ask people to provide facts and cite the sources of their facts, that's usually when their argument falls apart, and if I can do it in return, they don't really have a comeback, and that's when they usually the conversation tends to degrade into insults and arguing at that point.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, and it's like I like to kind of be in the middle of most things. I certainly have my own strong beliefs, but I've gotten to a point where it's like I want to try and see both sides and I don't necessarily want to have to go to one side over the other. And the thing is, if you have a reasonable argument for something that I don't necessarily agree with, I will listen to you and you know, I will debate with you in a, you know, a civilized manner. But if you don't provide enough evidence for it or you, you know, go to things like insults in order to just say like, oh, I'm right, because you suck or something it's like, at that point I can't, there's no point in trying to reasonably argue with you, because I don't think. I think we kind of passed the point of an actual civilized debate.

Speaker 2:

Right and I'm with you. Like I want to be convinced, I may have my point of view and I have my reasons for it. And if you've got a different point of view, I'm open and willing to listen and have you convince me and bringing me over to your side. And I've done this. I used to. I don't do it all that much anymore, but I would do it on Twitter or X or whatever it's called now. I would go out there and I would. It sounds kind of childish, but I'd pick a fight with extremists of one ilk or another. And there are plenty of times where I've had these discussions with people and I don't want to call them arguments or discussions where they've brought me to their side to actually understand their point of view. Which is why I asked you if you'd ever argue the opposite of of what your principles are. And I find that to be very educational and lightning to do that, to kind of put yourself in somebody else's shoes.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, that's the thing. I don't really use social media, so I can't really yeah.

Speaker 2:

No, I understand, I understand, it's not, certainly not forever doing it.

Speaker 3:

I don't really like to do it in person either, because I feel like that would just it's not my thing.

Speaker 2:

Nobody gets together in social media in person. I can tell you that right now.

Speaker 3:

I know it's like. I feel like it would be easier for me on social media because I'm not a confrontational person in real life. I could maybe be confrontational on social media if I actually use that Right.

Speaker 2:

That makes sense. That makes sense. Tell us how Adolescent Idealism impacts relationships.

Speaker 3:

Adolescent Idealism is a bit like a new pair of glasses for teens. It changes how they see everything, from their closest relationships to the world at large. With these new lenses, teens often develop strong opinions and a keen sense of justice. They may adopt a firm stances on issues convinced of their views, which can lead to disagreements with friends and heated debates with adults.

Speaker 2:

This stage of life can be tricky. Teens outspokenness and willingness to challenge authority can sometimes result in them being dismissed or labeled as troublemakers when they question life's various aspects, including adults' perspectives. It can cause frustration on both sides Teachers might struggle with students who critique the curriculum or parents who critique it, like I do, while parents might be concerned about what they see as a rebellious behavior. The world doesn't always respond to idealism with open arms, and this disconnect can spark frequent arguments between teens and adults. Teens driven by idealism may often feel that nobody really gets them, which can lead to feelings of anger or a sense of righteousness. Their convictions are strong, but they may not always align with the complexities of how society addresses certain issues, leading the tensions in their interactions with others.

Speaker 3:

Understanding adolescent idealism means recognizing that this is a natural part of growing up. It's a phase where support and open communication are vital For parents and educators. It's about providing the space for teens to express themselves, while guiding them to navigate their relationships and the world's realities with empathy and resilience.

Speaker 2:

So if adolescent idealism is like a new pair of glasses, what's something you've seen through them that made you go? Wow, I never noticed that before.

Speaker 3:

I guess a lot of the injustices in the world, I suppose, and stuff that feels like at this point we shouldn't be happening, but stuff that still is happening. I certainly I never really knew about a lot of topics until I became, until my idealism phase, and that was kind of when I learned more about how I learned about different things that people fought for and different reasons for why they fought for them, the various injustices that still happened in our world, despite the fact that we really should be past that point.

Speaker 2:

So it sounds like, and then based on the discussions that we've had, certainly over the dinner table, that you're kind of in the debate team phase of teenhood where every topic could spark a lively discussion. Can you share a funny story when a debate with adults turned into a wait? Are you really arguing about this like moment?

Speaker 3:

Yeah, none of them are really serious, but I do remember there was this one time we were at Buffalo Wild Wings and there was some sort of commercial with a vacuum cleaner and it was going on for a really long time and I remember you and I debated about it for a while and for some reason I was questioning it so much and then you even encouraged it and we were still going back and forth for a while and by the time the food got there we were like wait a minute, why were we arguing about this?

Speaker 2:

Nice, nice.

Speaker 3:

That's always a fun one.

Speaker 2:

So, with your idealism glasses on excuse me a frog in my throat there have you ever caught a glimpse of something that made you think this is not what the brochure promised?

Speaker 3:

With my idealism glasses on. What have I caught a glimpse of? I guess?

Speaker 2:

Oh geez, if they were easy questions I wouldn't ask them.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, that's true, that's understandable.

Speaker 2:

Let me ask it this way Is there anything that you've seen in this idealism phase of your life that has completely changed the way you used to look at something previous to that point in?

Speaker 3:

your life. Yeah.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I just can't tell you what it is. I'm sorry.

Speaker 3:

There's a lot. All right, there's a lot, and some of it's kind of harder to put in broad words, but I think one that kind of made me change my entire perspective on the world was probably learning about the queer community. I'm not going to lie, I never really had that knowledge before you and Mommy never hid it from me. And I'd seen some stuff when I was younger kind of not entirely, but you never hid it from me, but you never explicitly explained it.

Speaker 2:

Well, in all honesty, I never brought it up because I was completely In the unknown section there. It was always something that was kind of a distant thing to me. So I was certainly not the subject matter expert to broach a subject with you that I did not have an understanding of myself.

Speaker 3:

That's true, but when I actually found out about it, and would even find out that there was even more than I had originally thought there were, it's like wow. I think my entire point of view has just completely changed.

Speaker 2:

Wow, mind blown.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, because here's the thing when I was younger, I initially had the idea of being the princess that would eventually meet a prince.

Speaker 2:

I don't know where you would have ever gotten that notion from.

Speaker 3:

Disney, yeah, so for a while I kind of had that belief that I'd eventually find my prince charming or whatever. And then I found out about this and learned more about how romantic relationships are actually a lot more complicated than you would have thought and I'm like, okay, reality check.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, yeah, it's one of those things where you go through life with a black and white TV and then all of a sudden, you've got color.

Speaker 3:

Pretty much.

Speaker 2:

And it's almost like how did I ever see the world in black and white?

Speaker 3:

Yeah, and that's one of the things I'm going through. It's like I look back at my younger self and how I initially thought this sort of thing and I'm like how did I ever think that that was going to work?

Speaker 2:

Yeah, well, and you know what? Kudos to you for not only recognizing that but embracing it, because there are some people who go through life with a black and white TV. They're given a brand new full color TV and they just can't handle the colors and they go back to watching their black and white TV.

Speaker 3:

Yeah.

Speaker 2:

Kudos to you for having the presence of mind to embrace what you did get enlightened with. I think that's a good spot. We can take a quick break and come back and we're going to talk about how to address adolescent idealism and hopefully help our parents out there deal with it not deal with it, but certainly help their kids get through it and nurture that sense with them. But we'll be right back.

Speaker 1:

Insights into Entertainment, a podcast series taking a deeper look into entertainment and media. Our husband and wife team of pop culture fanatics are exploring all things, from music and movies to television and fandom. We'll look at the interesting and obscure entertainment news of the week. We'll talk about Theme Park and pop culture news. We'll give you the latest and greatest on pop culture conventions. We'll give you a deep dive into Disney, Star Wars and much more. Check out our video episodes at youtubecom backslash insights into things, our audio episodes at podcastinsightsintoentertainmentcom, or check us out on the web at insightsintothingscom.

Speaker 3:

Welcome back to Insights in the Teen. Today we're talking about adolescent idealism and now we're going to talk about how to address adolescent idealism. We're saying that a lot today.

Speaker 2:

We got a commission. Every time we say it.

Speaker 3:

Yep. When young people hit their teen years, they often start to see the world through a new lens of idealism and opinionated perspectives. This can be quite a shift for parents and caregivers to handle, but there are effective ways to support teens during this critical stage of cognitive development. Firstly, it's key to really listen to what they're saying. When teens talk about issues that matter to them, like vegetarianism, taking the time to understand and show genuine interest can strengthen your bond. If it's something you can do, adding a vegetarian option at meal times shows support for their choices.

Speaker 2:

Validation goes a long way. Acknowledging their feelings and views makes them feel seen and respected. Recounting your own youthful experiences of challenging the status quo can bridge gaps, helping your teen feel a sense of shared experience and less isolation. Nuance is also an important concept to introduce. Encouraging teens to see the good in people they may disagree with helps them grasp that the world isn't black and white. Introducing them to books or podcasts can expand their perspectives, fostering empathy and understanding.

Speaker 3:

The foundation of your relationship with your teen could be…. Sorry, I'm going to try that again. The foundation of your relationship with your teen should be unconditional love and support. They need to know that you're in their corner, ready to listen and take them seriously Instead of discounting their idealistic views. Nurture their enthusiasm and guide them towards expressing their ideas with tact and respect. Lastly, educating yourself about adolescent development and the issues your teen is passionate about can be incredibly beneficial. This not only shows that you're… Snotty, I need to relax. This not only shows your teen that you care, but also equips you to help them find constructive ways to channel their activism. Demonstrating that their voice is powerful and can contribute positively to the community can empower them to make a meaningful impact.

Speaker 2:

So, as you navigate through your teen years with this new lens of idealism, how do you reconcile the passion of your convictions with the complexities of the world that sometimes doesn't align with your perspectives?

Speaker 3:

Um, alright, so….

Speaker 2:

It's a good thing I've read their questions down, huh.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, this is another one that. Could you say it differently please? It's a bit much for me to read and I don't entirely understand it.

Speaker 2:

So how do you reconcile your feelings and your passions with reality when they don't necessarily meet Like you may see things one way and the world may see it differently, or a large segment of the population may see it differently. How do you reconcile that? Is that a conflict for you? Is that an avoidance for you? Is that somebody out there who has a difference of opinion that you might be able to make see reason from your perspective?

Speaker 3:

That's the thing. A lot of the times I'm kind of more of the avoided person, although I do think that I could if I, you know, tried more and was a little, you know, braver with everything, I do feel like I could at least debate with people who don't exactly see my perspective and, you know, we could maybe find some sort of compromise or maybe at least get to a point to agree to disagree.

Speaker 2:

Do you see that there's a value in that? Is there a value in taking somebody who may think differently about a subject and pick a subject? You know it doesn't matter Abortion, okay. So let's you have one view and we're not even going to discuss what the view is. There's two sides to the abortion debate. Is there value? Do you perceive value in discussing your point of view with someone else if there's a chance that maybe you can bring them around to your line of thinking? Or does that not even matter to you?

Speaker 3:

The thing is, I don't want to like force people to change. However, convincing people is not forcing. Fair enough, yeah. So yeah, if I could convince somebody to see reason, I feel like you know that is beneficial, and I don't want to like assume that my own view is, you know, the best view on a certain topic, especially, you know, more controversial topics. However, you know, I do think that if I could, you know, convince someone, I could maybe possibly see that I am, you know, gaining. I don't know, I feel like it could be beneficial in a couple of different ways.

Speaker 2:

Well, and that's why it's important to look at these discussions as discussions or debates, not as arguments. Yeah, arguments, you're trying to force somebody's hand or force somebody's thought.

Speaker 3:

Yeah.

Speaker 2:

So in a discussion or in a debate, you present your case, you present your supporting evidence, whatever facts that you have. The other person has to weigh that. Now they may come back with counterpoints that try to poke a hole in your idea, but you have a chance to overcome those as well. So when you have these types of discussion, you have to be as open-minded to and receptive of their thoughts and opinions as you want them to be to yours.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, and I feel like that would be the most beneficial way of going about it, because not only would they hopefully be open-minded to whatever I'm saying, I'll be open-minded to whatever that they're, whatever they're saying, and I feel like that would be beneficial for both sides.

Speaker 2:

And the thing they keep in mind is there's two sides to the abortion debate. There's two very clear sides to it. It's like there are two gun control and whatever else but there's a lot of different levels on each of those sides. Yep, so if, for instance, you have someone who's just diametrically opposed to your point of view and you can sit down and have a logical discussion with them, present your case and not plant the seed of doubt, but at least make them see it from your perspective. Maybe, just maybe, you might be able to make them be a little bit more sympathetic and a little less unrealistic in their point of view. If they're fanatical about their point of view, yeah, and that's where compromise starts, that's where you can start working on compromise and meet somewhere in the middle and that's really what makes the world a better place. It's not my way or your way, it's somewhere in the middle. And if your ability to have those discussions to people can start moving them down to that middle ground, that ground of rationalism, then that's how we make the world a better place. It's not about convincing them of our perspective because, like you said, we aren't saying that our perspective or our opinion is the way of the world. But if I can soften up the other guy's point of view to at least be receptive, then he can be more receptive on other things or she can be more receptive on other things too. And if we come back in from that left and that right extreme side, we come back into that middle ground, there we can cooperate on things and we can make things a little bit more better for the rest of the world.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, the idea of at least just getting away from extremism, I think, is at least the best way we should be going about things.

Speaker 2:

So in discussions with parents and caregivers, how do you find common ground when viewpoints do clash, especially on topics you feel strongly about, like politics or social justice?

Speaker 3:

Well, if we've ever had to, you know class with certain issues, usually I will present my case and why I believe certain things, and then whatever other family member that disagreed with me would you know present their case, and I feel like through that sort of thing we can still find some sort of compromise, probably something that we can agree upon. We'll basically like try to go back and forth between us in the discussion until we reach a point that we can both at least kind of agree on.

Speaker 2:

Okay, and that's how the process is supposed to work. It's common ground. One last question, and then we'll take a quick break and come back with your closing thoughts. So, looking forward, how do you envision channeling your current ideals and passions into actions that will positively shape your community in the wider world?

Speaker 3:

Well, I think I want to take a larger stance when it comes to activism or at least, in a way, try to do more. I have all these ideas and passions, but I don't always utilize them. I understand I'm not really the most social person out there and it might be a little more difficult for someone like me to go out there and make a stance. But I do want to try and take more action because, even if we do the podcast and I talk about wanting to do all the good stuff, I want to actually do things that will be beneficial, will help, will show my activism rather than just saying I support these topics.

Speaker 2:

Well, and you never know, the passion that you have for your activism might be the thing that unlocks that in a hesitation to go out there and speak with people more directly. You never know. Yeah, we're going to take a quick break. Come back. We'll get your closing thoughts and finish up with the business of the podcast. We'll be right back.

Speaker 3:

All right. So to everybody out there, I just want to say that adolescent idealism is a pivotal point in teens' lives, as it pretty much will eventually shape them into the person that they're going to be when they become adults and how they view the world and what they're going to do with it. And I feel that, to the parents out there, the best way to cope with a teen that is very expressive in their ideas is to at least support them, even if you don't support their arguments or you don't really have the same beliefs as them. The idea of at least supporting this stage in their life, instead of just saying, oh, you're just a kid, you can't be thinking those kind of things, or oh, you're just a kid, you shouldn't be worrying about that sort of thing. I feel like we should at least be encouraging that sort of thing, because teens are very smart and teens do have these ideas, and I think we kind of need to stop treating it as like oh, it's just a kid being rebellious, or it's just the point where it's like, oh, the kid just doesn't understand, or something.

Speaker 2:

You know I couldn't agree with that more. I think it's important that people in my age need to understand that, to borrow in your hands. It may sound overwhelming at times when people say stuff like that. But if they don't start getting you ready for it now, it's going to be dropping your lap and you're not going to know what to do with it.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, and that's kind of what I've had to deal with at this point. It's like I'm literally one year away from being considered a legal adult in my country and it's like I'm terrified, like I'm. Certainly I feel like I might be more prepared than other people, but I'm still terrified and I can't imagine the idea of parents still wanting to restrict their kids at my age from seeing certain things about the world. And it's like when I actually become an adult and you can't do that, what am I going to do?

Speaker 2:

It's our job as parents to to prepare our kids to inherit the world, like the article saying. I couldn't agree more. So that's all we had today. Before we do go, I want to once again implore our listening and viewing audience to subscribe to the podcast. Audio versions of this podcast can be found, listed as insights into things, and audio and video versions of all the networks podcast can be found, as insights into things were available on Apple podcast, spotify, google, I heart radio, buzzsprout, et cetera. I would also invite you to write in, give us your thoughts, give us your feedback, email us at comments and insights into thingscom. Check us out on Twitter. We stream five days a week at Twitter. Now, we don't stream on Twitter five days a week, but we are on Twitter or X at insights underscore things. On Twitch, we stream five days a week at Twitchcom Slash insights into things. We're also on Instagram, at Instagramcom slash insights into things. We can get links to that and much more on our official website at insights into thingscom and you.

Speaker 3:

And don't forget to check out our other two podcasts. Incense and Entertainment, hosted by you and mommy for now, and insights into tomorrow, are monthly podcasts not really anymore, though Normally hosted by you and my brother, sam, although that's probably changing soon.

Speaker 2:

Anyway, Boy, that's not a confusing plug. I don't know what is.

Speaker 3:

Hey, I'm not the best at advertising again.

Speaker 2:

Clearly, whatever that's it folks. Another one in the books.

Speaker 3:

Bye, everyone Bye.

Speaker 1:

Bye.

Teen Idealism
Adolescent Idealism and Mental Health
Adolescent Idealism and Avoiding Conflicts
Addressing Adolescent Idealism
Reconciling Views and Finding Common Ground