Most of society looks down on teenagers. I remember being with a peer at a local mall. When we walked past a group of teenagers who were being loud, he said, “I hate teenagers.” Statements like that have always frustrated me because I have spent a lot of time with teenagers and many are my friends. There are plenty of things about teens that are irritating, but I think many people get annoyed with teens because they don’t understand them. Teens have a sub-culture with hidden things that is all their own and if you are not a teen you are not allowed in, especially adults.
As they try to find their way in the world teens constantly have parents, teachers, coaches, police, random adults and other authority figures judging them, telling them when they are wrong or how they fall short. They spend most of their time exhausting themselves performing to meet the expectations of adults because they want to be left alone. Then they go into their secret world where they can freely explore who they are and what they want out of life. They hide a ton from the world, but especially their parents. Knowing these hidden things will help us come alongside them with all the things they need— compassion, love, and grace. I spoke to several teens and asked what types of things they and their peers hide. Here are the top 7.