Teenage Boys Are Bored
Teenage boys are bored . . .
This may surprise you. After all, he probably has all kinds of entertainment devices.
iPods, Game Boys, Play Stations, X-Box, television, computers, not to mention there are probably a few things he could around the house.
However, consider the evidence: have you ever heard a teenage boy say hes bored? Hes telling you the truth. Boys are not designed to be entertained 24/7. No one is. The entertainment industry would like people to be entertained, but we are not biologically designed to be entertained all the time.
Boys are designed to grow, develop, learn, change: to become who they are. Entertainment simply occupies their attention.
So, Im going to explain this further.
First of all, theyre bored with school. This is no indictment of school or criticism of my colleagues in education. I have true respect for teachers, I use to be one, my daughter is one. I love the profession dearly.
I am describing that by the time is 12 - 13 - certainly 14 years old, hes been in school for a number of years and has the physical routine down. Hes got it! Since first grade, hes been coming in, sitting at a desk, doing paperwork, doing assignments out of a book, raising his hand, being called on when hes called on etc. Essentially, nothing has changed in that routine right into middle school. The fact is, hes got it down, there is nothing new for him to develop and hes bored with it.
Even though the academic work is more challenging, the fact is, developmentally his body/mind is ready for something different, but, physically, nothing different happens. So hes bored.
The only time hes not is when he finds the subject and/or the teacher genuinely interesting to him. Otherwise, hes bored.
Next, teenage boys are bored with their families. Why? Basically for the same reason. By time hes 12 -13 -14 hes been around since birth and hes figured out all the wherefores and whys, the personalities, the patterns, the way the family operates. Hes figured out the who, the what, the when, the where, the how of everyones thing: what you do. Since it happens regularly, he goes this is kind of boring and what he does with that is create various forms of chaos. Why? Partially because it is entertaining and mostly because he hates being bored.
I always ask grown ups when Im presenting to them: do you like to be bored? Well, they dont like being bored too. Just like the boys.
Finally, hes bored in the community. No surprise. Hes bored for the same reasons. Hes 12 - 13 - 14 years old, for sure by that time, and he knows the streets, he knows the neighborhoods, he knows the shops, he knows the people, he knows the community. The routine is the same routine draining the interest & pleasure out of him leaving him bored. That is why you may find him not doing activities he always use to do and/or changing friends. You may hear him say, repeatedly, theres nothing to do.
Also, more often than not, communities are not offering him the kinds of challenges and opportunities that fit his growth and development.
Same streets, same locations, same activities, same people all doing the same stuff, which for him . . . is boring.
©2012 Ted Braude
Youth is wholly experimental. - Robert Louis Stevenson