What rights and responsibilities should teenagers have?

Essay by snjalil1High School, 11th gradeB+, January 2010

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It is indeed important that rights are considered with responsibilities. In every human undertaking, it is understood that rights are given because of the responsibility that a person has adopted. Rights cannot be given to irresponsible people. It is true that people who are given rights often abuse them and make society pay the price.

Certainly, teenagers are old enough to make decisions about things that concern them. It is at the end of the teenage that a lot of decisions are made. Decisions made include the courses of study they wish to undertake, the career paths they wish to follow, and, perhaps, select the persons that each of them want to have as life companions. These are all important decisions. What usually happens is that parents will want to barge in on all these three decisions and if possible make the decisions for the teenagers. The reason: Parents know better; they have been that way before; they are older; they are wiser and so on.

But as often happens, especially in these fast moving times, parents train their children to live in their (the parents') time rather than in the teenagers' time. Teenagers should be given the right to make decisions that affect their lives; after all they are the one who are going to live with them.

One doubt in connection with this remains though. Are teenagers responsible enough to make the decisions? Will the decisions they make be good ones? Here is where the adults - including parents and teachers can play a part. Their age and wisdom will be very useful to guide the teenagers to make the decisions. Adults should help teenagers think of alternatives. The education system should teach students how to make decisions and solve problems. This will enable them to make almost...