What do you think of philosophy

Et toi, t’en penses quoi?

Teenage is a pretty early turning point in a teenager's life. This is typical for this time Identity finding. At this stage the young person has to learn to trust himself and to form his own opinion, although he is exposed to the most varied of influences (relationships, parents, culture, media, ...). As adults, we can help adolescents develop their self-image and assert themselves as a person by refining their choices and direction. It is important that we take young people for who they are, with the behavior typical for their age.

Video "When young people take the floor" (Videolink FR)

During this time the young person experiences a series of metamorphoses. The most important of these are:


Excerpt from the lecture by Bruno Humbeeck (Doctor of Education, Psychopedagogue and Head of Research in the Family Studies Department at the University of Mons): "Teenagers: between metamorphosis and the need to express oneself. Key to better understanding and support for adolescents " (Videolink FR).

In the early teens, the young person absorbs tons of information. At this age there is talk of “over-networking”. However, these neuronal connections are not yet sufficiently developed, so that the young person is not able to structure the flow of information. It is not until the age of 14-15 that the neural cabling is gradually established. Then the awareness of other points of view arises, which also leads to a better understanding of the world and of fellow human beings. The young person is then more open to discussion, including discussion in the debate.

In parallel with this structure of the brain, the hormones appear that affect the mood, the emotions and the point of view of the adolescent. The young person discovers sexuality, personal intimacy and intimacy with others.

All of the changes in the body, metabolism, and brain that occur at the beginning of teenage years tarnish the image the adolescent had of himself, but which is now evolving.

The metamorphosis of identity

Over a different period of time and at a rhythm that can be different from one to the other, the young people develop their identity as adults. This transformation is based on your own strengths and weaknesses and on everything you have learned. The young person also shapes his identity by comparing himself with others, interpreting the images he perceives around him and by taking in what his surroundings reflect of himself. The development of his self-worth depends in particular on his ability to take on tasks, acquire new skills, and respond appropriately to the expectations of his family, school and circle of friends. In addition, there is the pressure of having to make “decisions for his life” (school, leisure time, choice of career), for which he does not always have the necessary maturity.

It is important to recognize his abilities in all areas of life and to encourage him to help him develop a point of view and a critical opinion, and to recognize his new knowledge and his choice.

The social metamorphosis

As a teenager, young people gradually distance themselves from their parents or the adults who were their role models in childhood. Despite this distancing, the adult must continue to be interested in the young person, even if he no longer understands him. He must also continue to set the framework: teenagers need boundaries in order to develop. These limits have to be based on the reality in which the young people live. These are fixed points to which you can orient yourself so that you feel that you exist and develop.

During this time, everything revolves mainly around friendship and love experiences. Little by little, people of the same age are becoming new role models. So there is definitely a point in conducting a debate involving other adolescents. The young person can position himself better in relation to others and better express his opinion.

What to look for

It is important to be interested in what the young person is expressing in the debate. The adult must not allow himself to judge. He must give the young person the freedom to comment on the topic or not. Whether the young person takes part more or less actively in the debate depends on whether the topic is suggested by his peers or whether specific topics are raised that concern him in everyday life. Be open to his worldview and suggest that you reflect on certain topics that will move him forward.

With "And you what do you think Teenagers debate " the focus is on the young person. Through the debate, the young person develops his thoughts and his critical behavior, thus promoting his identity, based on his world of experience and his experiences.

Means to deepen ...

  • "L’adolescence", Pr Philippe Jeammet, Editions Solar, 2007
  • «Ainsi soient-ils! A l’école de l’adolescence ”, Philippe van Meerbeeck, Editions de Boeck, 2007
  • "Regards croisés sur l’adolescence, son évolution, sa diversité", Marcel Rufo et Marie Choquet, Editions Anne Carrière, 2007
  • "Pour nos ados, soyons adultes", Philippe Jeanmet, Editions Odile Jacob, 2008 for his view of the world and give him thought-provoking lines to advance his development.