Saturday, February 16, 2013

Erik Erikson described the stage of "industry" and here are some ways for teenagers to participate in the economy

I'm ever on the lookout for ways that teenagers can participate in the economy.

Part of this effort is to address the "Industry" stage in the Erik Erikson model.  Can I Make It In The World Of People And Things?

Erikson viewed the elementary school years as critical for the development of self-confidence. Ideally, elementary school provides many opportunities for children to achieve the recognition of teachers, parents and peers by producing things- drawing pictures, solving addition problems, writing sentences, and so on. If children are encouraged to make and do things and are then praised for their accomplishments, they begin to demonstrate industry by being diligent, persevering at tasks until completed, and putting work before pleasure. If children are instead ridiculed or punished for their efforts or if they find they are incapable of meeting their teachers' and parents' expectations, they develop feelings of inferiority about their capabilities.[1]
At this age, children start recognizing their special talents and continue to discover interests as their education improves. They may begin to choose to do more activities to pursue that interest, such as joining a sport if they know they have athletic ability, or joining the band if they are good at music. If not allowed to discover own talents in their own time, they will develop a sense of lack of motivation, low self-esteem, and lethargy. They may become "couch potatoes" if they are not allowed to develop interests.

Learn more:'s_stages_of_psychosocial_development

Note that Erikson links this stage to kids under the age of 13.  I find that many teenagers don't have a sense that they are valuable or they feel that they have to wait before they can contribute significantly (especially in economic life and in life outside school).

What can teens do?
1.  Conversation Assistant:  Teenagers are often experts at the use of their native language.  See the suggestions at and
2. Digital native:  blog assistant, Facebook or social media consultant, web content provider.  Teenagers can participate in a "reverse internship" and mentor an older person.  See Jay Hendricks artiscle in Spirit magazine (the Southwest airline publication)
3.  Photographer:  Sell photos.

The rest of this blog is about how to use roaylty-free images -- which you need to pay for, but which you can use in many commercial situations.

I did a search for "free image bored student" and landed at, which might be "get your RF  royalty free very quickly, 1-2-3"
I came across a great photo for a poster...    and found out that  for $12.50 I can get a small version of the photo.   Since I'm not a complete pirate, I bought the photo for a poster...

Here's the photo:

Here's the poster.

Let's see how easy it is for a student to become a contributor...

Other potential photo-sharing sites include (where the photos can be offered for sale).
The next issue:  How does the teenager deal with disappointment when nobody buys the photos?

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