Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Happy Teens

Teens happiest people in Canada

So said the headline and in hanging out with the grandgirl who will be sixteen this year, I've observed her happiness and the happiness of her friends.

It has astonished me. When I recall my teenage angst, and my daughters' for that matter, she presents a far different picture than ours.

Moodiness is rare. She has a load of friends and they all hang together in a large group. Most evident amongst them all is their marvellous sense of humour, how relaxed they are, how accommodating and inclusive they are of older and younger people, how engaged both politically and environmentally. How talented and versatile they are and how spontaneously they will perform a skit, or dance or hug and comfort each other .

I thought this was all limited to her good fortune, her sunny nature and that of her friends whom I should mention are of both genders and all ethnicities.

Until I read this:

In fact, 96 per cent of Canadians aged 12 to 19 reported they were highly satisfied with life in 2009. That's compared to 94 per cent of teens who reported either being satisfied or very satisfied with their lives in 2008. Each year the Canadian Community Health Survey asks Canadians to rank their life satisfaction, and the data shows that teens are getting more satisfied every year.

And this:

According to the experts, teens are happy because their parents (the baby boomers and gen Xers) are really good at being moms and dads. These parents have put a ton of resources into kids, from school and extracurricular programs, to counsellors and sport and recreation opportunities.

Read more about it here.

This more than anything I've read in the last while gives me hope - the real kind. These kids are all aware of the mess we're leaving them and they're still happy!

Gee, it makes me want to start all over again!


  1. Yeah, think again on that one. The news is good though. I can't help but think that happy teens will be good and thoughtful adults.

  2. As you say, considering the mess the world is in, it's amazing how happy the young are. Even in the UK, over 80% say they're happy. They must have a brilliant way of looking at things, screening out the negative and concentrating on the positive stuff they can enjoy.

  3. It's amazing, isn''t it? I think my niece and nephew feel the same way too. They are both teenagers and have the same optimistic attitude and they are much wiser than I was at that age.

  4. I'm glad they're happy - but are they also a wee bit complacent?
    Do they assume that life will continue to be so happy and secure without a little help and a lot, lot, lot of dissent?

    I truly am glad the young feel happy, in the face of all that's going on in the world. Perhaps they choose not to address this.
    Perhaps they are right. Perhaps, because there's nothing ordinary people can do, they have decided that they might just as well be happy for the time left, and say "f... it!"

  5. oh lordy - I'm too tired to start all over again but there's hope for us all if teens who've been lavished in love and support turn out to be happy and spread the love :)

  6. I agree with your posting. There is in my family a 17 year old young lady whose accomplishments in service to children in India and Africa fills me with awe.

    Why wouldn't out teens be happy.They happen to live in the best country on this planet despite what the whining, leftist media says about Canada . No wonder the teens pay little attention to the news.

  7. Re the whales video. Sorry to say it is on video tape and I have no way to load it on to my computer.

  8. WOW...You make Canada sound great... So I guess Canadian teens are nothing like their US counterparts.

    Here in Greece, teens are just as neurotic as their parents! But as the mother of a pre-teen I can say that there is hope for the future...YOUTH is HOPE after all!

  9. This is good news indeed. What you write about your granddaughter reminds me of my younger sister; though she's no longer a teenager, she seemed remarkably cheerful for much of that troublesome stage, and remains so in her 20s. Sometimes I wonder what's behind the general trend — if such it is.

    For my part, I was a miserable yoke for much of my teens and a bit beyond, until I eventually talked myself into optimism in my mid-20s (and haven't looked back since). I consider myself very lucky in this regard, and quite unusual when I compare my attitudes with some of my peers. The world needs all the hope and hopefulness it can get.

  10. These are really interesting statistics. I have always thought that happiness was in the genes. I have generally been happy, and nobody paid much attention to me when I was a kid. My sister, upon whom my mother showered all the attention she felt guilty about not showing me, has been plagued by depression for most of her life. She blames it all on our mother. I think that there is a strong group mentality with teens. Perhaps these days it's the norm to be happy. Or at least to say one is happy. Nobody wants to be "different."

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  12. We'll swap you! Your glowing teens for our knife-wielding hoodies - what do you say?

  13. As long as they are prepared for adulthood. I think I read that middle-aged people aren't very happy because they are so overworked and often caring for their children and sometimes their aging parents. But seniors are generally very happy.

    I'm not sure if they are happier than teenagers though. Teenagers and seniors are somewhat similar since they generally don't have to work and do not have huge life responsibilities at the time.


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