Vineet Punyamoorty

Student ,

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Do we lose some of our good qualities during adolescence? If yes, why?

Is it true that we lose some of the best qualities during adolescence we posessed before? By 'qualities', I mainly mean concentration, scientific temper, committment, and empathy. Is this the case with a majority of the people? Or do you feel it's exactly the opposite? Any logical/scientific explanations?

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    Feb 25 2012: Hi Vineet. Nice question. I can only reflect my point of view from a western society perspective, but yes, I think we do. We lose the freedom of creativity, the unrestricted abandonment to sing and dance and the ability to be comfortable with failure and asking questions that may sound silly.

    We lose these wonderful attributes because of our fear of being embarrassed, socially ostracized, ridiculed or shamed. This kicks in at puberty since at this time we really need to gain positive approval. I believe the main problem is our education system which is highly conformist.
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      Feb 25 2012: Wow. Seems that my philosophy of understanding this problem is roughly the same as others'. Really nice response. Thanks. :)
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    Feb 25 2012: Why not take a broad view here? To many people, a special charm of childhood is the happy-go-lucky little person who accepts things as they are, including the values of her parents, family, and surroundings. With adolescence comes some insecurity as part of the search for identity, but also the perspective and inclination to challenge the status quo, not yet in a fully mature way but often in the beginnings of a thoughtful way. She comes to notice hypocrasies and tends to be exposed to a broader array of ideas and perspectives in the world on many issues in which she had previously accepted with little question the view of some authority. Adolescents as they move into young adulthood often start caring about matters larger than themselves, their loved ones, and their toys and start trying to change the world to make things more fair. They are not 'better" than they were as children, but they often have a wider circle of caring and the will and persistence to be heard or to act for the benefit of others.As a mother of three, two of them in their twenties, I would not say my girls lost their best qualities. They may not be as happy-go-lucky, but they have the hearts, minds, values, and work ethic to care about and to make a difference for others. The adolescents and young people I have taught are the same.
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    Feb 25 2012: Between puberty and adulthood we undergo the enchanted anguish of adolescence. Do we come out of it better, or worse, than we went in? Good qualities like candor, simplicity and exuberance give way to prejudice, sophistication, and inhibitions. This sociological development equips us to survive the adults-only game of hardball, so I answer your question in the affirmative. As to why, I guess it is needful to be better suited to take our place among others as part of society. QUOTE: "One of the signs of passing youth is the birtth of a sense of fellowship with other human beings as we take our place among them."-- (Virginia Woolf). A provocative question, Mr. Punyamurty, thank you.
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    Feb 25 2012: .
    'A pessimist is an optimist who became a realist.'
    I think both that phrase and
    'It f**ks you harder than life itself'
    explain exactly how some of the most positive childhood qualities can be lost with age.

    Life has a habit of being hard, cruel and filled with obligations. Things which force you down, hold you back and pull youaway from your true interests.
    As a child the world is yours, everything is possible, everything you want is attainable --because life is simple.
    Usually as you age, the qualities of optimism and wonder can take a beating, sometimes killed entirely.
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    Feb 25 2012: This has a lot to do with hormones. With puberty the wiring of the brain is relayed to prepare the adolescent to fend for his/her own existence and to break with the parental bonds. With some kids it's mild and with others more fierce.
    Besides this like Heather is mentioning the educational system isn't properly prepared to take up with those physical changes. And also within a lot of societies moral tradition counteracts a healthy transition to adulthood.