One of my recurring theses here on the blog is that teenagers are like stem cells. In June, 2009, I wrote:
…[J]ust as stem cells are useful in research and applied medicine because they can pick up their orders from surrounding cells … so I believe that pre-teens and early-teens are also “in formation” and their … identity is largely shaped by early exposures and experiences.
I like to think of this analogy as best expressing the vulnerability of youth. But on the weekend I heard a story that made me rethink this particular thesis. I decided that the stem cell analogy was too respectable for some kids.
So instead, we’re going with this one:
Teenagers are Soy beans.
Soy beans pick up the flavor of the food that surrounds them. Combine them with something else and they take on that taste.
What (or who) gets added to the melting pot of your kids’ lives determines what the end product is like. Good influences will produce good results, but being around people of negative or dubious character will produce not-so-good results.
This post appeared earlier today as Teenagers are Lima Beans; it was late Monday night and I got my beans mixed up.