To what extent do you agree that all teenagers need to rebel in order to grow up?To what extent do you agree that all teenagers need to rebel in order to grow up?

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Lorraine Caplan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

While I agree that there are probably cultural aspects to this, I also think that responses will to some degree predicated on fluctuating definitions of "rebel."  If rebellion is defined as doing something different from one's parents in order to become independent, then perhaps teens do need to do that, no matter what the culture.  There is some dynamic, I believe, that operates to make a teen do something different to extricate from parental love and control.  The relationship between teens and parents seems to be a pushmipulu kind of thing, where we embrace them, they do something alien to push us away, to create the separation they need to grow, and somehow, this whole dynamic gets sorted out for most people in parents letting go and kids reaching adulthood.  One of my greatest concerns when I started to have children was that they might choose to rebel by becoming conservative Republicans.  Lucky for me, they did not. 

mwestwood eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Rebellion is part of the maturation process. When children are small, they accept the parent as the authority, if they have been treated with love and discipline.  However, once the child begins to become a young adult, there is the growing sense of individuality that becomes desirable to a teen.  Therefore, he or she will want to rebel against what represents the adult world in order to question what the parent has put forth as absolute truths. There is truly a need for this questioning in a teen. How else will he/she become an individual of his/her own without personal convictions.

e-martin eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Culture will have something to do with the necessity of rebellion, as has been pointed out, but this can be culture at large or culture in the home. People who do not feel a need to rebel in order to distinguish their own choices and values from those of their parents are probably growing up in a certain type of culture. 

Those who do feel a need to rebel in order to be "their own person" most likely come from a culture that values individuality, a home that does not provide adequate perceived opportunities for the expression of individuality, or something along these lines. 

shake99 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I don't agree. Though rebellion is a time honored part of growing up for many teens, it is usually not well thought-out and it is something that almost all teens grow out of when it comes time to assume responsibility and make their way in the world. Some teens just skip this phase--they are able to get on with their lives without rebelling. They save themselves, their parents, and society a lot of grief in the process.

Jessica Pope eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I don't agree at all. The idea that teenagers need to rebel as part of thier growing up is pretty culturally specific. There are many ethnic, cultural, and religious communities in which rebellion is not understood as a necessary component of maturation. It's also very gendered. Even in the U.S., rebellion tends to be not as important to girls' coming of age as it is to boys'.

Kristen Lentz eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I disagree with the notion of teenage rebellion as part of the maturation process.  Maturity does necessitate the individual asserting their independence, but that does not necessarily mean that it has to occur through rebellion.  Many young people become independent without rebelling against their parents, authority, or school.

pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

No, I don't think so.  I think it depends a lot on one's personality and one's circumstances.  For example, I was in boarding school in high school and so I didn't really have anyone to rebel against.  I think that I managed to grow up anyway.

litteacher8 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I do not think that ALL teens need to rebel.  However, I think a big part of growing up is taking responsibility for your actions.  Kids often test the limits because they ar trying to find themselves.  They need positive role models.