Episode Title: 16 Year Old Male: Money/Siblings/Careers
This high schooler shares his perspective about parenting, education, and success. Also listen as he gives a peak in to his internal struggle between pursing a path for financial gain vs a path of fun and excitement.
In this episode, Dr. RJ interviews a 16-year-old high school Junior, Alex. To start off, RJ speaks to Alex about his family background. Alex admits to having a spoiled upbringing. He grew up in an upper-middle class family and describes knowing that his family was very well off growing up, noting that he remembers being blown away at the type of gifts he would get at Christmas. Despite being well off, his parents instilled a hard work ethic in him, and he sees that as one of his strengths. Despite his close relationship with his parents, Alex is not very close with his younger brother. Alex’s younger brother is about 4 years younger than him, and Alex says that they have very different ideals and personality types. Because of their personality differences and Alex picking on his brother when they were younger, there is now a distance between them. Alex laments letting trivial things get in between his relationship with his younger brother.
Alex describes gaining a new perspective on life and his relationships when he got closer with a new group of friends his Sophomore year of high school. He met this group of friends through theatre, and he says that their common bond comes through the desire to create things. This creative outlet allows him to find a sense of reprieve from the high expectations at his school. His high school is one of the top schools in Texas, and he says there are very high expectations of the students to succeed. Because of these high expectations, Alex has found himself in a lot of high-level classes. He says that there is so much homework that he is often expected to do more work outside of school than he does in school. Next, Alex and RJ talk about the effect of social media on Alex’s generation. Luckily, Alex says that social media has had a much more positive influence in his life than he’s seen with others his age. He is not concerned with
the like count on pictures, missing out on fun, or drama on social media. He mostly uses it as a tool for relaxing, like watching funny videos, or to learn something new. More than social media, Alex speaks on how anxiety about school work is something that is hard on today’s teens.
Many of Alex’s friends see schoolwork and college as a means to an end of becoming successful and financially stable. He worries about teenagers that aren’t doing things because they’re passionate about it, but rather because it will look good on a resume or college application. For him, his goals right now would be to do something in the film industry, whether that be in producing or directing, but he is anxious about whether that would be a safe way for him to earn money. He emphasizes, however, that money isn’t the ultimate source to happiness. Alex’s main goal is to be a leader and to be a respectful, passionate and friendly person.
Finally, RJ asks Alex about how he sees dating in high school. For himself, he is more concerned about his school and career goals, rather than trying to get into dating. Alex is much more interested in focusing on school and having fun with friends. He leaves parents with the advice that, no matter what, they need to keep striving to understand their children and show them love however they can.
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