What causes parents to undervalue teens who refuse to go along with the crowd, preferring
more intellectual activities rather than the regular teen activities common nowadays?Why do some parents push their more introverted, intellectual teens to be more like the more popular teens in the neighborhood & schools instead of valuing their teens for their uniqueness?There are parents who actually feel that there must be something wrong w/their teenage children because the latter refuse to follow the crowd,indulging in activities that are to their detriment; refusing to do things because every teen is doing it, ¬ playing the popularity game- they really don't care about popularity.
One of the problems with parents, we are just human. I noticed your question because I have the privilege to say I was once that child. I also have the privilege to say one of my children is also that child, we did not follow the crowd and we danced to a drum to our own music, yes, but the problem to being the introvert is that others feel that we are not normal. We are labeled as backwards and sometimes over stepped into some of the awards that are given to others that are more extroverted. We are not seen as being leaders, though we lead our own way and do not follow the mainstream, but we are seen as lack of leadership. Society labels us as "having depression" and we are labeled as an outcast and thus become outcasts. I am the individual that reads while on break, rather than gossip with the rest of the crowd. I seclude myself from the rest of the popular employees. Hence, my boss, believes that I do not know how to socialize. Teachers and other staff are worried about the future of my child for the same exact reasoning. Society in an entirety masses and labels individuals and if they are not regular teenagers and do not do regular teenage things.. they are outcasts, questionable and possibly are depressed, suicidal. However, either way that a child goes in any age, lead, follow or just sit to the side they are judged and have been for years and will be for years.
There is that old Latin saying: "Si duo faciunt idem, non est idem", meaning - If two do the same is not the same. So we can't really generalize about such behavior. The only yardstick of "normalcy" would be how much the kid in question is displaying being happy in what they do while secluded into their own world. If they are depressed and need a special attention then they are escaping into loneliness and showing those signs of resentment towards all intruders.
A happy introvert is still showing enough willingness to be around others with a reservation that they may not participate a lot. Unhappy ones will insist on being lonely and show a high level of intolerance, if not animosity towards everyone around.
As for the society and how they may treat a genuine introvert - who really cares what they have to say. At this point it becomes a matter of a personal philosophy dealing with our freedom to be ourselves, and who is called upon to impose limitations to it. Even extroverts become a pathetic picture of social duplicates when they neglect their individuality for the effects of "belonging" to the herd.
We have to be clear whom we consider as our "authorities", whose opinion really matters - before we give up our own as the only one that matters, because ultimately it's our life.
Many people show that tendency to live everyone else's life except their own, and they become very "smart" with advices and warnings, while having their own closets filled with skeletons. So, we should ignore such smart asses, or put them in place, whatever suits our temper. There are no such social "norms" that require everyone to behave the same way. If that would be the case, we might as well emigrate somewhere.
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