Worse yet, how did we come to accept some dodgy doctor’s treament of adolescence as some kind of diagnosable mental illness?
and one that is best dealt with by administering life-long medication with expensive, colourful little pills about which we know very little ? Really?
We know a lot more about how we learn and how we’ve evolved and how our brain works than we did even ten years ago.
Evolutionary and developmental science suggests adolesence is not an abberation or a problem of lost cuteness- but actuially an adaption that enabled us to both survive as a species and to make progress as a society.
The rebelliousness of adolescence is a desire to find and express new ways of living and being.
So, how come our society seems so intent on diagnosig it as any number of disorders and to medicate adolescence into oblivion?
Perhaps that’s one reason why so many young people grow up feeling like they don’t belong.
The text and images below are from the short [5min] animation born to learn. The viseo is at the end of the post.
Born to learn
Remember being a teenager at school being less about a passion to learn and more about getting good grades?
How many times did you sit in class bored and just desperate to just get away!
Every teen’s felt that.
And just wanting to play around with stuff, pull things apart, and knock things together.
Because the fact is our capacity to create and learn knows no bounds.
And the latest research proves it.
We now know infinitely more than we did about how we learn and what makes up human intelligence
…and it’s extraordinary
So, want to know what you’re really capable of?
Let’s start at the beginning: a baby’s brain is amazing.
It doesn’t take nine months to create –
it’s taken 7million years and around 350,000 generations.
All the skills, knowledge and talents cultivated by our ancestors are stored inside it.
If not activated at the appropriate time, they simply disappear.
So, you can see just how important our interactions are – they ignite our dormant intelligence and reinforce it too.
There’s something else:
So wouldn’t it be amazing if we bore all this in mind when raising kids?
Letting them play when they’re little and when they’re older too?
So let children play – because it’s never just play.
..but when you’re deciding where to focus resources for kids learning you couldn’t do better than focusing on pre-puberty.
That’s when we learn by copying the people around us.
Say goodbye to pliable easy child and hello to rebellious, challenging teenager
euurgh! Where did that cute baby go?
Ah well, let’s have another look at that brain.
See what’s happening?
Loads of the connections made through childhood are breaking up and reforming.
No more going along with what the grown-ups say. The adolescent brain needs to go its own way.
Oh no! Say parents
Oh yes! Say evolutionary scientists.
Up until about sixty or seventy thousand years ago it was fine for children to grow up like their parents.
Thank goodness for the handful of our ancestors who chose to break away from their doomed parents freezing to death in the ancestral caves?
Critically this made risk-taking the essential feature of adolescence
We shouldn’t belittle adolescence; we should be honoring it for what it really is…
Rather than force them to sit passively in class, how about trusting that their earlier clone-like learning now enables adolescents to spread their wings and work things out for themselves.
That’s not scary, that’s exhilarating!
This is the way we’ve evolved to be.
It’s what make us fulfilled, well-adjusted human beings.
Let’s allow ourselves and the next generation to reclaim the incredible gift of our ancestors.
Adolescence is not a problem it’s an opportunity.
born to learn
- Adolescent Stress Linked to Severe Adult Mental Illness (whitenewsnow.com)