Why Do Teenagers Rebel Against Parental Expectations

Teenagers go through a phase in life where they tend to rebel and act out. It is considered relatively normal due to the fact that many parents experience this course of behavior with one or more of their children. When it comes to a child rebelling, they can do so in many forms.

Childhood rebellion is a poster characteristic of the adolescent years. Common types of rebellion are from society or fitting in and from adult authority. A young adult will proudly change how they act or feel and it happens often. Teens go through a hormonal change to help their maturity in the future. Yet, before this happens, they act out, fight, involve themselves in drugs, or simply seclude themselves from others. A very common form of rebellion is seclusion. A child will seclude themselves on the basis that they “don’t fit societal norms.” Yet, even though this may be true, there is a place for everyone in society. These children just act this way for attention. They want to be unique and they want to be their own individual. This common rebellion technique often leads to other forms of rebellion.

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When a child rebels, they want everyone to observe how they are acting. Though it seems they want to be independent, they actually form a dependency on self-definition and focus solely on that instead of being themselves. The more authoritative rebellion comes in later years. Many teens want to feel like they have control of their lives and no one can decide for them. This form of rebellion allows teens to act out and deceive others all while seeking individuality and attention. That is the entirety to rebellion. These young adults are seeking ways to find themselves, but use destructive mannerisms and the pull of peer pressures to prove themselves. Many cases of rebellion can be derived from the stress of rejecting peer pressure. As one wants to fit into the adolescent norm, they are pressured to perform like all other young adults; they participate in not just the commending acts, but the inappropriate as well. This is what leads to drug use and alcohol abuse.

Serious rebellion typically begins at the onset of adolescence, ages 9-13. Parents normally believe that this power-like rebellion spawns from their actions, which is a mislead belief. It is simply acted against them. The rebellious phase of a child’s life is their inner struggle to ascertain a newer perception of themselves. Rebellion at this age expresses itself through seeking adulthood and refusing to be “treated as a child.”

Rebellion in middle adolescence, ages 13-15, is expressed differently. These children are growing into young adults and choose to experiment with themselves and others. It is in this phase of rebellion that many teens turn to sex inquiries and drug use. These show up as rebellious to the parent, yet these young adults simply want to fit in. When it comes to sex experimentation, many parents worry. During this stage, adolescents fall for inappropriate significant others. For example, age differences. Many young teens attract themselves to older men and women seeking adulthood and companionship. They strive to have an adult relationship to help achieve maturity, and later find out this is not the way. This leads to parental disobedience and depression due to being forced out of a relationship the young adult believes could be forever. This is also how many young men and women regret losing their virginities. This stage shows the effects of peer pressure on a young adult who is trying to find their self. This drug use can also be shown as a rebellion against authority. Children are taught what is right and wrong, legal and illegal at a young age. Using drugs and abusing alcohol is a way to show authorities that this young adult has no apprehension to the law and simply wants to have fun and be whoever they would like to be.

Rebellion in late adolescence, ages 15-17, is usually a long awaited rebellion. These children are often labeled as the “good child” or “prudes.” This form of rebellion is commonly caused by some form of bullying. The teen grows tired of being called these unappealing names and finally decides to jump on the bandwagon of sex and drug use and disobedience. These children have the most dramatic reaction to the peer pressure they are faced with and eventually buckle under the weight of it. Rebellions like these are in search for independence as well. As these adolescents are strongly attached to their parents and guardians, they slowly drift from that bond in high school as graduation and the looming independence draws near. They slowly pull away from their parents and perform a late stage rebellion to gain the separation and autonomy they seek.

In the last stage of rebellion, ages 18-23, adults find defiance in battling oneself. For example, they know they must be on time to work and school, yet they don’t get themselves up; when they know that their work must get done, yet cannot seem to motivate themselves to do it. This stage shows the battle of responsibility. It becomes less like a rebellion and more like a struggle for control of their own behaviors.

In his fascinating book, “Born to Rebel” (1997), Frank Sulloway posits that later born children tend to rebel more than first born. He proves this by explaining how they identify less with parents, do not want to be clones of the older child or children who have come before, and give themselves more latitude to grow in unique ways. So, parents may find later born children to be more rebellious. These children tend to show rebellious signs early in life, in the onset of adolescence, and grow more and more defiant as they age. It’s been studied that these forms of rebellion are the more severe cases. Children who participate in rebellion at young ages, and who are never corrected, become absorbed in the need to rebel and focus solely on the dependent relationship they have created with their defiance.

A lot of children who rebel also base themselves off of others. Children who do not have encouraging and supportive role models at home tend to rebel against societies views of how a child their age should act. This isn’t based off of a need to defy authority or isolate them from the world; this is simply a need to control how they are perceived. So, without strong role models to control healthy and benevolent rebellion, these adolescents are inclined to behave however they want and have no regards for any consequences.

Almost all children have some sort of rebellion. It may not be always be a dangerous form of rebellion like drug or alcohol abuse, but it can show itself in many forms. Even so, teenage rebellion is a vital part of childhood. It helps children and young adults find themselves and their individuality. They search for their own success and use these “rebellions” as their outlets to find them. Rebellion is not just because your child does not want to obey or doesn’t want to participate, it is simply because they want to find themselves and have control, which is usually why they rebel and turn to drugs. These children want to make their own decisions and they strive for adulthood. This is proven by the first form of rebellion which is expressed in forms of seeking adulthood, or not wanting to be treated as a child any longer.

Works Cited

  1. Blvd Treatment Centers. “Teenage Drug Addiction: How Rebellion Can Make Your Child Drug Free.” Blvd Treatment Centers, 22 Dec. 2016, www.blvdcenters.org/blog/teenage-drug-addiction.
  2. “Rebel with a Cause: Rebellion in Adolescence.” Psychology Today, Sussex Publishers, www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/surviving-your-childs-adolescence/200912/rebel-cause-rebellion-in-adolescence.
  3. “Teenage Rebellion.” Culture and Youth Studies, 31 Mar. 2014, cultureandyouth.org/troubled-youth/articles-troubled-youth/teenage-rebellion/.
  4. “Top Reasons Why Teenagers Use Drugs and Alcohol.” The Edge, 9 Oct. 2018, www.theedgerehab.com/blog/why-teenagers-use-drugs-what-every-parent-needs-to-know/.

We Are Here Today To Make Changes

Good morning everybody. My name Darid Prom, and I’m standing here today alongside all of you, immersed with passion and determination, to fight for the rights of each and every single of us. The once prideful Packingtown has developed into nothing more than the base and foundation for rich white men to exploit us of our labors and our strength.

As a working immigrant myself, I understand you. I understand the struggles that you face on a daily basis. I understand the unfair treatment you receive. I understand your frustration and your anger because I’m, too, are frustrated. In today’s society, working people are beaten down by the power of rich men to the point where we can’t raise up.

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Our lives are filled with deprivation at every moment of the day, and we are suppressed by silence. Our skin bled to exist, our lungs choked to breathe, and yet we still struggle to make ends meet and provide for our loved ones. Our lives and our voices have been swallowed by capitalism and greed, our shouts and our throats burn bright red just to be heard. Well, I hear you! I hear your pain and your suffering; it’s valid. We are here today to change the course of how we are treated as human beings.

For many of us, we have become so desensitized in the power of greed to the point where we are unconscious of the way in which private companies monstrously treats us. I recently sat down with a close friend of mine, named Jurgis, who has worked and experience what it’s like in the meatpacking industry. He and his family immigrated from Lithuania to seek a better life. Upon arriving, he was faced with nothing but cruelty. Just like many of you, he dangerously works every single day from seven in the morning until late at night with only a two hours credit and pay of thirty-five cents of all-day labor (Sinclair, 52).

This underpayment is causing the slow murder of the soul of thousands of people who are victims of capitalism, including Jurgis. The concentration of ownership of the means of production in the hands of a few is negatively impacting the lives of people through the development of wage-slavery. Our society is split between owner and non-owner, capital and labor; which are normalizing competitions and our dependence on wages. Wage slavery is not very different from sharecropping. Similar to employers, farm owners would make their own arrangements and exploit workers of their labor. It creates this inequitable relationship that allows people in power to pay workers little to nothing so that they are stuck in the cycle of poverty (Robertson, 412).

We need to fight for the justice of the working people. It is not justice if we are constantly controlled my wage slavery. We need to pass laws that protect workers from the dangers of unregulated capitalism. I want to pass The Fair Labor Standard Act that will establish better job quality with the development of minimum wage and the establishment of maximum hours of work. The initiation of these regulations is important in stopping employers from exploiting desperate workers and immigrants. It will create new jobs for hundreds of workers by limiting overtime hours and allowing employers to hire more employees to compensate. This law will be our next step in helping to raise wages, reduce hours, and promote overtime pay for thousands of workers (Columbia Law Review, 818).

We don’t just need regulations on wages and hours. We also need regulation on the safety of the working conditions and the compensation for our injuries. Workers have to endure gruesome condition just to gain a few cents a day. People have to work in conditions of twenty degrees below zero while experiencing dangerous atmospheres (Sinclair, 52).

Recently, Dede Antanas, a guy who worked in the pickling room, passed away due to the vile condition of this job. His skin, his soul, his life was dissolved into the chemical of capitalism that was spread throughout the floor. However, just like many of you, he kept working, keeping hustling until his body was eventually overthrown by the foul condition of capitalism (Sinclair, 47).

With the rise in the industrial revolution, the working condition has become anything but safe; it is corrupt. The long term exposure of “chemical, dust, and fumes in industrial complexes” contribute to the increased mortality rate among the lower economic class (Shackel, 836).

People would stuffer the continuous struggles that are placed upon them until their body gives up. Giving workers no option but to go to work sick or lose their pay is inhumane. As your mayor, I will pass the Workers’ Compensation Benefits For Federal Employers to meet the needs of those who have faced injuries and illness due to the ruthless condition of their job. Employees to be entitled to medical benefits such as hospital services for treatment. Compensation of loss earning will be paid if the employee is unable to resume regular work during their time of recovery (US Department of Labor).

It time for us to stop turning a blind eye to the suffering of our working people! This law will be the first step in helping to improved productivity, fewer workplace injuries, reduced the spread of illness on the jobs and improved the wellness of thousands of workers of the industrial revolution.

Once wage slavery and unsafe working condition are dismantled, child labor wouldn’t be as big of a problem like it is now. Child Labor has been increasing with frightful rapidity in the midst of capitalism. Employers are hiring children into horrendous working condition. For instance, young men who are coal-mining workers have become vulnerable to diseases such as black lungs because they are constantly breathing the excessive dust of child labor (The Ohio State University).

These children are working from sunup to sundown, with no light in their life and no brightness in their future because it has been greedily swallowed by the darkness of brutality and abuse. It’s time for us to amplify the voices of our young people. It’s time for us to cater to their needs of obtaining educations and resources, not scars and bruises from the unsafe working conditions. A kid I know, named Stanislovas, was only 14 years old when he was pulled out of school to start working in a factory, operating dangerous machinery, to help contribute to his family’s rent. Hours after hours, he would place cans under a lard machine (Sinclair, 43).

Ultimately, he became nothing more than a piece of the machinery that continues to fuel the tiresome nature of capitalism. Do we really want our children to suffer the continuous abuse of child labor? Let us forever put shame on the horrid slavery of children. The youth of our generation should not be made as tools of production of any companies. We need to create a committee to tackle and bring awareness to the public on this expanding issue. The National Child Labor Committee will be our first step in exposing the reality that children faced.

Laws on child labor has already existed, but the NCLC will work to hold the government accountable for the enactment of such laws. This committee will promote the safety of children and their rights to education by bringing awareness to abuse and long hours of work that child endured (Loeb, 318). Together, we can work to provide a brighter future for our children by dismantling the injustices of the capitalistic system.

These issues are pushing people towards poverty, political, and social instability. Which is the fuel that influences the expansion of human trafficking. The issue of human trafficking is on the rise. Marija, who works in a brothel house, are among the hundreds of girls who are victims of this forced prostitution. They have been leered and captured into sex slavery. Many who are victims have been persuaded to come to the United States. It is usually women from poorer countries that are convinced by the pull factor to migrate to the United States to improve the quality of their life. The lure of the big city, opportunities, and jobs help to account for why people from a lower economic class are more vulnerable to human trafficking (Ann, 28).

Many people answer to advertisements being posted across the country on the opportunities of jobs, only to be captured and locked up for sexual enslavement (Sinclair, 151). Talking to Marija, I was shocked to learn that their owner would offer them drugs so they become addicted and relied on the job at the brothel. They have been forced into such system by poverty and debt (Sinclair, 174). With hundreds of people being trafficked across the nation, this inhumane act is getting little to no attention.

This vile and despicable action violates every rights of human beings. We cannot let our people suffer from sexual enslavement. Do you want your children growing knowing that they will be sexually abused every single day just to survive? The normality of victimhood of this evil crime is enacted and reaffirmed without any fundamental actions and alteration from the government. The failure to address this issue will only contribute to the exploitation of our people.

Similar to child labor, I want to establish a committee that will ensure the fight of combat on human trafficking. This committee will work to establish a comprehensive and non-discriminatory framework with police officers for the prevention of trafficking, and to secure the protection of victims of a serious human rights violation. We will lead to effective investigations of traffickers and verify that all victims are identified. Measures will be put in place to empower victims through social assistance including jobs and healthcare. Let us take actions to improve the quality of life for workers, women, and children who are repeatedly faced with hatred and inhumanity.

We must collectively stand strong in the face of capitalism to fight back and beat down the power of division that enables the cruel act of exploitation. I stand here today not fighting for you, but fighting with you to dismantle this injustice that has been ingrained in this town for years. Our failure to respond to slave labor in our economy, including the exploitation of sexual, physical, and emotional labor has become a significant corruption to our society and for the victims involved. We must hold on to the strength and the courage that we still have so we can reimagine the future of Packingtown. A future where we are treated as human beings and not like animals in jungles.

Change is coming, no matter if we like it or not. What matters now is the way in which we choose to approach it. We can keep feeding and fueling into systems that promote child labor, unfair treatments of workers, and exploitation, or we can change the course of this society to equitably support and sustain the lives of  regardless of who you are, what you look like, where you’re from, or who you love.

Change take time. Transforming our systems requires transforming ourselves and the way in which we view one another. Laws alone are not enough to change the world. We can stop the current pattern of inequity by staying united for the collective good. We must help each other in times of needs and be there for one another when no one else is.

I am encouraging all of you to break down this barrier by joining unions. Labor unions will allow for the unity of workers. Right, more than anything, we need to stay united so we can amplify the voices of our wants and needs. Lastly, I want all of you to keep attending rallies so we can bring awareness on the reforms of these developing issues to create and empower a workforce of equality and justice. Change calls for action. Let us take action and fight for better working condition, better working benefits, child labor reform, and exploitation that impacts us on a daily basis.


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