Voice: Adults should set examples for teens

August 27, 2001

Many teens will blame their environment for putting them in the circumstances that make them "troubled," and though this is not true, teens will believe this until they begin to succeed.

Once teens begin to achieve their dreams they will realize that their environment was putting them under the circumstances, which would help them to succeed even greater than the "example" teen.

However, when adults who are put in charge of these teens make them face facts or realities that do not necessarily exist yet, teens grow and are molded in that belief, just as their previous environment was trying to do.

I wonder what ideas develop in the minds of adults when they feel the need to assure a teen-ager that one day, with hard work and dedication, they too can succeed, just as this "example" teen has.


As adults they should be placing emphasis on setting the examples themselves and looking for examples in other adults and encouraging these teens to follow their example and strive to better themselves in their own image.

Everyone, not only teens, is raised and brought up in the mold or image of someone or something else. The only difference is that teens should be looking toward adults and adults toward each other.

I have, however seen times when it is obvious that an adult could learn a thing or two from a teen. But this should be a rare case. Adults are the examples, whether they like it or not. Their choices become the various paths that teens and young children will one day have to take.

Learn from my "mistakes" is the common phrase parents and other adults love to use when questioned about any rules or direction they give. How, is the question they often leave unanswered.

How did you learn from your mistakes? Easy, you experienced it. Some things need to be experienced to learn, to achieve and to understand. This isn't a concept many teens can grasp; however, this is also a concept may adults fail to grasp.

Never ask a teen to follow in the steps of someone who is just as successful or achieved as they. Yes, one might be better behaved or more goal-oriented, but both have little experience. Just as a teen would not like to follow a fellow peer, neither do many teens like to be followed.


(Age 16)

El Centro

Imperial Valley Press Online Articles