Human Values and Teenage Humans

We held a Wellbeing Forum about Human Values.  I wrote this for the meeting as it gave me the opportunity to explore how, as adults, we often have amnesia about the fact that we were once teenagers too… and how chaotic it is!


I was once the perfect teenager

I always showed respect

I was a model human being

what more could parents expect?

I was once a perfect teenager

my room was tidy too

homework filed from A-Z

I even flushed the loo

I was once a perfect teenager

Well does that really exist?

Do adults get amnesia?

Should they see a therapist?

I was once a model teenager

Parents values all my own!

I smiled politely, did my chores

Was never on the phone!

I was once a perfect teenager

Each one of us unique

I never interrupted

Unless was asked to speak

Was I a perfect teenager?

Is there something I forgot?

What was going on behind the scenes?

Have I just lost the plot?

Adolescence is a time

of changes, angst and pain

irrational behaviour

anger and disdain

Until we had two teenagers

I blocked all this lot out

now it’s coming back to me

The values go to pot!

Well… I was a rebellious teenager

so moody and chaotic

my values shifted wildly

not focused much on logic

I was once an angry teenager

not happy with the rules

at school, at home or anywhere

those values – they’re for fools!


What’s wrong with dirty bedrooms?

Mascara on the floor?

Half filled glasses, plates and food

In piles just by the door?

What’s wrong with untidy bedrooms

I’ll do it later mum

Secretly I liked to make her cross

Tidy is so humdrum

Why is just enough not good enough?

Why don’t they get my jokes?

Why do I need to wear those shoes?

Go walking with the folks?

Why can’t I have that lovely coat?

I really need it please

Else my friends will all disown me

They really love to tease

What’s wrong with eating half a cake?

It’s there for us to eat

tomorrow I’ll get healthy

I so deserve a treat!

Why is there just so much stress

So many things to do

Why do teachers want so much

Can’t see my point of view?

No wonder I hid within my room

Excluding all the light

I read, played music really loud

Spoiling for a fight.

What of my teenage values?

They are very different now

Values change as we do

Not really quite sure how

Perhaps its finding congruence

Perhaps its finding “why” and “meaning”

Stepping into authenticity

Is utterly revealing

As adults we quite oft forget

How complex humans are

Without our teenage evolution

We wouldn’t have got this far

We all need our own values

There are no rights or wrongs

Different value structures

Influence us lifelong

Am I a perfect parent?

Does such a thing exist?

We try to learn and understand

To fill the gaps we missed

As parents we get lots of help

With tots of 0 to 5

But no-one prepares us for the

time when Teenagers “go live”

So remember your key values

For Parents everywhere

You’ll be a perfect parent

If you listen, love and care.




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