So I work with teenagers. Mostly teenage boys, this is really rewarding to me. Not because I aid in their development or anything, but because it’s a real ego boost being around people I know I’m smarter than. I’m not kidding if you’ve been to college you are officially smarter than every high school teenager. Maybe you don’t even have to go to college you just have to be over the age of 22. I don’t care if they get straight A’s and are in some kind of advanced science and technology program or International Baccalaureate. Whatever. Teenagers are stupid, they do downright dumb things because their brains aren’t finished developing.
Here is an example. When I was in high school I hung out with some kids who lived in a certain zip code. I didn’t live in that zip code which is why my parents sent me to private school. I met them through my extracurricular activities. To simplify they were rich kids. Anyway the kids who went to this certain high school in this special zip code had a special game they liked to play called “Tennis Ball”. “Tennis Ball” is played in an empty to mostly empty parking lot. The object of the game is to drive your car towards the other player’s car and bounce the tennis ball off the ground and the other person driving their own car towards your car catches the ball. For an added challenge speed-up, for another added challenge add another car into the mix. The biggest challenge of all is not to knock the side-view mirror off the brand new Audi A6 which your parents bought you because it made the top 10 safest cars list.
So maybe you didn’t play “Tennis Ball” as a teenager. Maybe like me you could even see the idiocy of such a game as a teenager. Probably because I had already crashed a car and the consequences made an impact on me. But every teenager does these sorts of things. It’s just part of their nature.
So take solace as I do in the fact that you’re smarter than every teenager alive. Don’t let them try to convince you that they’re smarter than you. They will think they’re smarter than you. But they’re not. If you’re not convinced then let this British lady spell it out for you.
The other day I almost gave a kid the finger. He totally deserved it. But I didn’t because I’m supposed to be an adult. Well technically he was a teenager, which automatically makes him a jerk through no fault of his own, it’s just a teenager’s natural state of being. I coach water polo and was standing behind the goal talking to the goalie about positioning. He threw a skip-shot that splashed the crap out of me and then smiled smugly. He did it on purpose. I know he did. I started to put my hand up in the gesture to give him the finger but then my pre-frontal cortex caught up with my impulsiveness. It would have been really satisfying but I knew I couldn’t do it because I’m supposed to be the adult in that situation. I’m sure some other people have similar stories to this, I’d love to hear them.