“I am not a teenager and here’s why…” said a group of youth one day during a discussion on the article by Dr. Michael Platt, The Myth Of The Teenager. One after one each of the group of fifteen or so youth declared why they were not or would not be teenagers. They said things like:
“If we don’t want anyone to despise our youth, then we need to be worthy of respect, we cannot hope to be that by being a teenager. I want to be someone who makes a difference in other people’s lives, and I cannot do that by being a teenager.” ~Benjamin age 13
“We cannot walk as other men or talk as other men or do as other men, for we have a different destiny, obligation and responsibility placed upon us and we must fit ourselves to it.” ~Paije age 12
“And now, here I am at fourteen. I still don’t fully understand what it means to be a youth, but what I do understand is that youth can do hard things. I know there is so much more to life than what the teen world has to give us, and that the point of life is to achieve greatness. By doing what a teen usually does like being disrespectful of their parents, having low expectations of themselves, focusing on friends and entertainment and being irresponsible, you get the complete opposite of greatness, which is weakness.” ~Nick age 14
“I am not a teenager because I am not afraid to stand up for what’s right.” ~Bethani age 14
“I am preparing for my future as an adult with adult responsibilities.” ~John age 12
“I crave responsibility and respect from even the adults. I am not a couch potato. I will take on adult responsibilities before I ask for adult privileges. My years as a youth are my launch pad into adult life— the time to discover who I am and prepare for adulthood.” ~Marina age 13
“The teenager is an animal of fear—fear of solitude, fear of responsibility and fear of wisdom. The teenager’s optimum goal is—to become a more perfect teenager. They are the most free yet the most in bondage of beings. They are in bondage to their own ignorance and lack of responsibility. I am not of this group. I am instead part of a group of people who call themselves “Youth.” We do no run our lives on fear, but rather on what we know to be right. We trust in God more than man, and since we do this, we know that we are not destined to stay young forever. Instead, we are to grow into the mission that God has given us.” ~Quinton age 14
When I heard these inspiring youth speak I said, “You should turn this into a book. People need to hear your message. Most of the world doesn’t know they can avoid having their child turn into a teenager.”
Well that is exactly what they did. The book I Am Not A Teenager, by the students of Erda Academy, Angela Baker, and Nicholeen Peck is now ready for reading. It is a free e-book.
The book is amateur in style and even grammar in some points. There are also points where the youth make some pretty brave statements which most adults wouldn’t dare say in writing, but we left it that way because it was written by youth ages 12-15, and needed to stay in their voice. We hope you will enjoy it.
The purpose of the book is to inspire teens to be youth and to educate parents about the cultural shift youth need to thrive instead of getting caught up in teenage issues. If applied it can help solve teenage school problems and teenager problems with parents. Parenting teenagers doesn’t need to be something we dread any more. When teenagers see another option, they are often inspired to change the way they are living. Discuss this article and this free e-book with your teenagers and youth.
By Nicholeen Peck, BBC television star and author of Parenting A House United, and Londyn LaRae Says Okay.