15-year-old Ellie Wilson says “The problem with being a teenager is that one minute we’re up and then we’re down; one minute I want to shout the house down, the next I feel very happy.”
The turbulent process of becoming an adult is one that for generations has baffled parents and scientists. When almost every other species manages the transition from infancy to adulthood with relative ease, why do we seem to find it so hard?
First we blamed hormones. Then scientists found that the human mind undergoes a massive restructuring during the 12th to 25th years. Between childhood and adulthood, critical physical changes are taking place. These result in behaviours that parents might have thought were designed to cause them pain, but which are in fact vital processes in the brain’s development.
The truth remains that science offers a rational explanation, but it doesn’t make everyday communication with teenagers any easier. Which is where Lovegrove and Bedwell step in. These friends published a book, Teenagers Explained, that was designed to help adults understand adolescence. Because “there are things we talk about that adults just don’t understand.”
“Try to let us make our own mistakes,” pleads Lovegrove. “If we don’t get to make our own mistakes when we’re young then, at some point, as soon as you’re not around, we’re just going to explode. It’s OK to be concerned and to ask questions but please don’t question us on everything.
Do try to talk to us and make an effort to get to know us, but also understand that there are some things we don’t want to talk to you about.”
Charlotte Philby, The Independent, 14 July 2012
I. Answer the following questions using your own words but taking into account the information in the text.
- a. Why do teenagers behave the way they do? PAR. 3
- b. Why was the book Teenagers Explained published? PAR. 4
II. Are the following statements true (T) or false (F)? Identify the part of the text that supports your answer by copying the exact passage on the answer sheet.
a. The mind, not hormones, causes teenage behaviour.
- FALSE: First we blamed hormones. Then scientists found that the human mind undergoes a massive restructuring during the 12th to 25th years.
- TRUE: These result in behaviours that parents might have thought were designed to cause them pain, but which are in fact vital processes in the brain’s development.
III. Find a synonym for each of the four words below from these six options:
baffled transition hard massive vital concerned
IV. Choose a, b, or c, in each question below. Only one choice is correct.
1. Teenagers’ behaviour...
- a. causes an acceleration of a massive restructuring of the mind.
- b. causes a massive restructuring of their minds.
- c. is caused by a massive restructuring of their minds.
- a. has really helped parents communicate with their teenage sons and daughters.
- b. has not really helped parents communicate with their teenage sons and daughters.
- c. has really helped teenagers communicate with their teenage friends.
- a. thinks that parents’ concern and questions are understandable.
- b. thinks that parents’ concern and questions are unnecessary.
- c. thinks that parents’ concern and questions will make teenagers explode.