Teenage Boys Love Buttons
Teenage boys love buttons. There are buttons on their computers, telephones, iPods, Gameboys, Playstations, Wiis, X-boxes, remotes . . . on and on . . . teenage boys love buttons.
Now, imagine a roomful of parents (or other grown ups) coming to listen to someone talk about teenage boys. The speaker walks in with a BIG box of buttons and passes a bunch out to each grown up.
Why? Because the buttons teenage boys love more than any others are the ones they push on the grown ups: you know as in he pushes my buttons.
You might imagine it is his favorite activity with grown ups: pushing their buttons.
In his eyes, it is irresistible. Parents and grown ups come with all kinds of sensitivities, reactivenesses, issues, pet peeves, and even important values that they get worked up about. He sees buttons in front of him all lit up in a dazzling array of lights and colors just aching to be pushed.
Its irresistible. And push he does and then: Wow! Watch the incredible display of fireworks and actions all in three dimensional color and sound complete with actions & movements that initially captivates his attention but in time becomes boring.
But, oh . . . oh . . . oh. He cannot resist those buttons. When theyre there staring him straight in the face he feels like theyre almost begging to be pushed. Hes just got to do it . . . lean right in and . . . push those babies.
And POW: there goes the show! It is truly amazing. Hell either sit back and enjoy the performance or just jump right in and join the fun himself. Its kind of like a family version of one of those mystery dinner/theatre things where the audience gets involved with the characters in the story. Only, hes always part of the story in this one. Ask any grown up.
In fact, theyre always asking, why does he do that? Why does he push my buttons? This leads to all kinds of stress and strain. They start wondering if there is something wrong with their parenting (or whatever the grown-up-ing is). Or they form all kinds of nasty and ugly opinions about their boys (to which they usually feel guilty about too). And they talk about it with their friends and family and even with the boy: all to no avail. It happens over . . . and over . . . and over again!
Drives the grown ups absolutely nuts! And try as they might they just cannot seem to get him to quit pushing their buttons.
Oh, he might take a break for a little while. A few days here and there. Maybe even a week or two. Then, he just cannot resist it any longer and POW, he DOES IT AGAIN . . . the little monster.
To fully appreciate this I recommend you read the columns on boredom, seeks change and games. Combined together, theyll help fill out the picture and give you a lot more insight into button pushing.
But, the really simple answer to the question, why does he push my buttons? is . . . because theyre there . . . and teenage boys love pushing buttons.
©2012 Ted Braude
Youth is wholly experimental. - Robert Louis Stevenson