Teens think they are fully mature, but their brains still have several years before they are fully developed. Some common teenage myths include:
The Imaginary Audience
First coined by the psychologist David Elkind, the imaginary audience is a mistaken belief in that the adolescent imagines that he is so important that there is an audience focused on his every move and hungry for every bit of information about him.
The Personal Fable
Also coined by David Elkind as a corollary to the Imaginary Audience, the Personal Fable goes something like, “I am the center of attention because I am so special and unique. No one else has ever suffered the depth and intensity of my emotions.”
The Superman Myth
Teens tend to think they are never going to die. The line of thinking goes something like this: “Sure, other people may get sick, get killed in car accidents, or become addicted to drugs, but that could never happen to me. After all, it hasn’t happened so far, so I must be doing something right.”
Vampires who drink blood are not real, but there are people who seem to feed on others emotionally like vampires. They talk about themselves incessantly and don’t care about anyone else. They think nothing of dumping a load of emotional garbage on you and then driving off feeling better.
As your child moves into the teenage years, especially girls will begin to make the illogical emotional mistake I call Frankenstein Envy: I wish I had Susie’s hair, and Juanita’s complexion, and Mary’s car, and LaKeshia’s personality, etc. The obvious flaw is taking the best parts of each girl and assembling them into one ideal individual, so monstrous that no one, not even the list of gifted friends, can compare favorably.
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