Growing up in any era is hard, and many of us remember how tough it was being a teenager back in the day. There were bullies, homework, dates, parties, friends, and none of it seemed to be easy. Anxiety was high, the stress never left, and life was hard. While most think that their generation had it the toughest, there is an argument that teenagers today may have it harder than any generation before, and it may be leading to confusion for many of them. Navigating life as a teenager in these times isn't easy, and often adults struggle too. Teenagers are hard to read and hard to understand but the generation right now is more confusing than ever for adults to figure out.

Being a Teenager in 2023

Credit: David De Lossy
Credit: David De Lossy
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Being a teenager is hard, but in 2023, it is tougher than most parents realize. Back when most of us were teenagers, our bullies were left at school, whereas in today's world, they can reach you any time of day. If you hated a school, you could transfer and restart, but bullies can still reach you no matter what. Times have changed, and there is more for teenagers to process than ever before. There is figuring out what gender you identify as, where back in the day that wasn't spoken of. There is still the same stress of figuring out who you like and want to date and if they like you back. There are online classes, in-person schooling, and sometimes a combination of the two. There are news stories throughout the year of school shootings, and threats in school, and while parents have tough choices to make, the teenagers that attend these schools have to live with anxiety and fear. Being a teenager has never been as hard as it is now, at least from a psychological standpoint.

Being a Teenager in Twin Falls

Credit: Digital Vision.
Credit: Digital Vision.
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Growing up in Twin Falls can be a little rough. There isn't as much to do as there is in bigger cities, and sometimes to find a way to entertain yourself you have to become creative. There is also the social aspect. In a town that is this size, if a kid or group of kids bullies someone, in a bigger town you can transfer to another school and likely not see those kids again, but in a town this size, your options are limited and you will likely still run into the bullies around town. It can make things tough, and as parents, we have to be sensitive to what our child is going through but also find an answer that works best for all involved. It isn't easy and there isn't a simple solution at times, but sitting by letting things continue to take a toll on our children isn't the answer either.

Figuring Out Teenagers in the Magic Valley

Credit: monkeybusinessimages
Credit: monkeybusinessimages
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For adults, it is tough to figure out the teenagers in this town. I have been blessed to meet and speak with some of the most giving and sweetest kids you will ever meet. Some teenagers in Twin and the Magic Valley are giving, and their senior projects show that. Some teenagers will flip people off, trash parks, and be rude to anyone that gets in their way. It is tough to figure this generation out, but the best thing we can do as adults is to try and help navigate them as best we can. They don't have it easy, and many are seeking guidance, but we find ourselves lost in work, our phones, video games, or tv shows, and not giving the generation of tomorrow enough of our time. Maybe instead of them being confused, it is us who are.

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As teenagers in Twin Falls and the Magic Valley continue to navigate through life and figure out who they are, make sure to be patient with them, understand them the best you can, and remember back to when you use to be like them. Many of them will continue to make you scratch your head and be confused by their actions and choices, but that is part of being a teenager. One day you will meet one that you'd trust to watch your kids and the next one may be giving you a hand signal or using language they shouldn't towards you. Trying to figure them out is like learning a foreign language, for many of us, it will never happen. 

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