Living the lifestyle of a child has some real advantages, but being in an adolescent mode of life is even more satisfying. Being a child is fun because you are in control of things and people. But being an adolescent is even better than being a child because you gain status for your recognized accomplishments.
Children are sometimes rewarded with fun things, and that feels good, but adolescents get to do those things too and in addition get to receive even more pleasure by attaining recognized status among their friends. A child’s fun is limited to the short period of time that the play he is engaged in is giving him pleasure, but an adolescent’s pleasure lasts for a longer time. Their pleasure comes from the recognition by other people that they are important, that they can do meaningful things. They have earned the symbols of respect such as being on the sports team, or being in a social group or having a car, good grades, or some other quality. When they speak other people listen. When they were behaving as children other people might tolerate their talk, and their guardians might graciously praise them for cute things they did, but when they are doing some things better than their competitors they are gaining a deeper recognition. The adolescent is valued by his peer group for more than just being a cute child; he is valued for things that he can do.
Being an adolescent is satisfying because you know you are recognized by your friends as being grown up and important.