Understanding Teenagers #weveallbeenthere

Sometimes, the need to write about something comes from different sources.

This time, I feel the need to talk/write about something that I got involved in on a Facebook conversation with a group focussing on local news.

As you know, since I have blogged about it twice already, we have been hit by The Beast from the East, a cold-weather system from the Syberian area, resulting in snow, and extreme cold winds.

This has meant that as our UK infrastructure is not used to these extreme conditions, the whole country grinds to a halt.

(Discussing why a few inches of snow causes so much chaos in a first world country is an issue for another post!)

Grinding to a halt means, hazardous driving conditions, so people find it hard to get to work, and if there aren’t enough adults at school to supervise pupils, that means no school for the kids.

Yesterday, and today, the majority of, if not all, schools in the area were/are closed for this very reason.

As much as it inconveniences parents, as they have to arrange childcare, it impacts upon the staff in school too. We have lessons planned, assessments, and all sorts of things that have to be fitted into a school year, and a few days away can play havoc with what we need to get done. (Sorry, veering off topic again – another post, maybe?)

As kids were at home, they enjoyed the snow. The little ones with their families in gardens and parks, the older ones, hanging out, causing their own mischief.

One large group of teens thought it would be a great idea to stand at the bottom of a hill where there is a main road junction, and throw snowballs at the moving traffic, which I must add would have been moving slowly and hazardously as it was.

And not only that.

They were wrenching doors of cars open, and the boots, when the cars stopped and throwing snow into the vehicles.

Someone on this Facebook group thought to warn folks of these ‘hooligans’, urging drivers to be aware and to approach the junction with caution.

The comments were colourful, ranging from concern for the drivers, to how they would ‘accidentally’ veer into the culprits, and even as extreme as threats to physically harm the kids responsible.

There were calls for their parents to be called up, and accusations that people don’t know how to bring up children if they go out acting in this way.

Equally, there were those saying, ‘kids will be kids’. We don’t see much snow here so they are just a little over-excited.

One woman posted that it’s not the parents’ fault, but the school, and their teachers who should have been teaching the kids right from wrong…

Red rag? Bull?

I actually controlled myself and entered into a rather interesting exchange with her.

You know what I think about the fact there are a lot of parents out there who don’t send their children to school with the right kind of social skills at a younger age.

As these kids get older, they definitely need more guidance, but there is an element of common sense that should have evolved too, by 15.

This woman mentioned that not everyone has parents to guide them. Not only did she know a couple of the children involved, but she herself was from a family background where there wasn’t the support to help her. She had been in trouble in the past, and as she grew up, she didn’t find that person to confide in. In fact, it took her becoming a parent herself, and her autistic son’s loving attitude to her, that made her realise that she needed to change herself. She mentioned that one or two of those children didn’t have parents, and one was dealing with the loss of a parent too,

Her point, which got twisted up by many others who waded into the conversation, was that at this tender age, during those teenage years, kids who rebel often need that outside person who is willing to push them, until they are ready to talk about issue, and then help guide them, as they really don’t have someone in their home life who is able to do that.

It made me think.

I have been lucky in life. I have always had a lot of support, understanding parents and family, and I hope this has coloured the way I am as a person, parent and teacher too.

But not everyone has that luxury.

Time is such a precious commodity nowadays, and given the present economic climate, you find that many parents are out at work all hours of the day, trying to provide for their families. This means there is less time to be spent with their kids, talking to them, interacting with them, and as they get older, really being able to find out how they are feeling, or if something is worrying them.

Equally, kids are privy to so much more information via Social Media as they get older. Believe me, I have first-hand experience with this one, as I have a nearly teen son at Secondary school and a ten-year-old who thinks she is sixteen!

They feel the need to act in certain ways, as it appears the rest of the world (or their favourite YouTubers) do the same.

And sometimes their wild behaviour is actually a mask over something much deeper, more sinister even. There are kids out there who may be being abused, neglected, unloved, and their way of dealing with it is to act up.

I don’t condone the actions of those kids at the bottom of the hill yesterday, and apparently today. They had the police called out on them yesterday, and it didn’t stop them. But maybe there is something more to their actions.

Maybe they really need that understanding person to fight on their behalf… and to dig a little deeper into the why, then support them through the how, until they are able to do the do themselves.

It’s worth a little thought Peeps. Thinking about why people act the way they do before complaining or condoning. And that goes for folks of all ages really, not just teens.

41 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Diana Frajman
    Mar 04, 2018 @ 17:01:22

    I am a firm believer that it takes a village to raise a child but I am also a firm believer that the proper raising of a child begins at home. There may be no parent but I can not believe for a moment that these underage kids do not have some sort of guardian. Having said that, at 15 years old it is time to learn cause and effect and responsibility. Wrong is wrong regardless of past issues. that lessons still needs to be learned.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

    • Ritu
      Mar 04, 2018 @ 20:42:24

      I totally understand what you say Diana and I agree. At 15 there are many things you should instinctively know… and cause and effect… we all need to understand that.

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply

  2. Lisa Orchard
    Mar 04, 2018 @ 15:42:27

    Excellent post, Ritu. You bring up so many good points. While parenting in today’s world has it’s challenges, being a kid in today’s world is so much harder than when we were kids. Your post reiterates what I’ve been saying for a long time. Kids need their parents now more than ever. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  3. angelanoelauthor
    Mar 04, 2018 @ 15:33:28

    Ritu, you bring up so many good points here. Paying attention to the WHY is so hard and takes so much energy many people don’t bother (sometimes I don’t either.) It’s so much easier to just blame and assume than it is to seek to understand. Bad behavior is bad behavior and needs to be corrected, but after the crises has passed–how do we learn to listen better? It’s a challenge I hope we all are willing to accept, even when it’s especially hard.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  4. You Can Always Start Now
    Mar 04, 2018 @ 13:05:17

    As always great post. Aside question do you (UK) put winter tires on or studded tires for the winter?

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  5. thebeasley
    Mar 04, 2018 @ 09:39:14

    Excellent post Ritu and real food for thought. It would take one adult (whoever that may be) to spend a bit of time with one of these teenagers to help & guide them. And even when someone still has both parents at home they can still feel just as unsupported. I do agree that if there are parents around it is up to them to teach their children manners & morals and not the teachers at school, but in the absence of this we do need to look at ways teenagers like this get the support they need. It’s for the good of whole of society after all.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  6. rachaelstray
    Mar 04, 2018 @ 09:22:02

    Really interesting post Ritu and I really agree with you. It’s a confusing time the teenage years your body is raging with hormones and emotions you’ve got so much pressure and now there’s social media which is causing a lot of anxiety for teens I think many just don’t know how to channel or cope with all of this so do stupid things like this. I’ve got a few friends who are teachers and the stories they tell of the silly and often dangerous things teens do really shocks me but they have seen it all!

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  7. joey
    Mar 03, 2018 @ 22:19:35

    So true. All of this. You’re lucky. A lot of us are lucky, but not everyone is. The kids weren’t thinking, and I’ll grant them the bliss of their ignorance, but after the police? C’mon, that’s just wrong.
    I heard Meryl Streep on an interview once, when my older kids were still small, and she was saying stuff about how she needed time off to be with her kids when they were teens and young adults much more than when they were small. She said those years of early adulthood were the times her kids really needed her to be there. It stuck with me, probably always will. When they’re small, they need care, but the older they get, the more they need support and guidance. Who’s tending the children is a serious issue in our society on the whole. Sure, some people don’t care, but most parents do care, but they literally can’t afford the time.
    I’m sure plenty of the parents of those kids would be shocked and ashamed that their kids were involved.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

    • Ritu
      Mar 03, 2018 @ 22:24:29

      I do hope the parents involved were suitably horrified if I’m honest.
      It’s worrying if they saw nothing wrong in the behaviours of the children concerned.
      I agree with Meryl Streep too. Young adults and teens need so.much support even if they don’t think so!

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply

  8. balroop2013
    Mar 01, 2018 @ 04:48:08

    A thought-provoking and eye-opening post Ritu. I appreciate your concern both as a parent and a teacher.
    Teenagers are difficult to understand and they all have their own reasons and outlooks about misbehaving. Some are the troubled lots and the others get influenced just for fun… peer pressure sits heavily upon them. Most of them can’t think of the consequences as their frontal lobes are not fully developed. They need understanding parents and teachers and an empathetic attitude, probably a weekly counselling in groups to mentor their thinking. The younger the counsellor, the better would they feel.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

    • Ritu
      Mar 01, 2018 @ 07:37:20

      Definitely Balroop. Teen years are really tough and things don’t get easier as technology develops. Peer pressure is a huge issue.
      Appreciate your comments 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply

  9. OIKOS™-Redaktion
    Mar 01, 2018 @ 02:55:29

    Reply

  10. syl65
    Mar 01, 2018 @ 01:39:46

    It is hard in some cases but we can still try to find some understanding before throwing them to the wolves..

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  11. Carol
    Mar 01, 2018 @ 01:34:31

    Boundaries are definitely getting fuzzier and yes I agree some kids don’t have the upbringing they should but as a society, I think we need to take a check as much behaviour now is seen as acceptable when actually it isn’t( not) to me…Good post 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  12. scr4pl80
    Mar 01, 2018 @ 00:38:18

    Very interesting. As a driver, I would have been scared to see a pack of kids descending on my car and trying to open doors.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  13. samfiftysomething
    Mar 01, 2018 @ 00:17:33

    You are so right. I do find that people are so quick to judge. There will usually be a reason why. A lot of bad behaviour is either a cry for help or attention. A difficult one because I wouldn’t have liked to have been in one of those cars and it is wrong. They should have some punishment, not all punishment works. Sometimes understanding the why & reasons, time to understand is a better way forward. I used to work in a behavioural school for boys & when you stopped, listened & cared, most responded. A good post

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

    • Ritu
      Mar 01, 2018 @ 07:30:55

      Thank you for your views Sam. As a teacher to the younger children I also know that sometimes it takes time and patience to get things out in the open so we can deal with it.

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply

  14. Trackback: Understanding Teenagers – The Militant Negro™
  15. robbiesinspiration
    Feb 28, 2018 @ 17:28:16

    I take your points above, Ritu, I think a lot of kids don’t get the guidance from parents that they need but I also thing that we have become far to tolerant of bad behavior as a society and these kids have no fear of reprisal so they do as they like. That is not fair on the people in the cars. There needs to be a balance.

    Liked by 1 person

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  16. colinandray
    Feb 28, 2018 @ 14:16:38

    Having worked with troubled teens (and adults) in various capacities, it is so frustrating (and annoying) to hear people jump to an immediate conclusion about another person, without knowing any of the background. In a Christian based culture, that lack of compassion and understanding is hypocrisy. Are we each that perfect that we can ridicule/criticize/condemn imperfections in others?

    Happily, I have also experienced people who are open-minded … and I love them all!

    Regarding a light snow fall bringing areas to a standstill etc.? I worked for local government for many years, and I can understand why budgets are planned around projected circumstances, so when an unusual situation occurs, they are probably poorly equipped. Getting the additional equipment will be very expensive, and will impact the tax base, so there is an obvious dilemma with snow falls.

    Does the government invest in a lot of snow removal/snow control services just in case next winter is the same, or do they see this snow as an isolated weather condition?

    Would “average taxpayer” be prepared to pay more taxes so that IF this winter is repeated, it will be more effectively managed. Would they then complain about idle equipment and unused services if you had a mild winter.

    Just like dealing with teenagers, and people in general, there are always other perspectives to consider before drawing a conclusion.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  17. pensitivity101
    Feb 28, 2018 @ 13:53:53

    I found in my fostering days that most of the teenagers in my care just needed to know someone was in their corner, that they could confide in someone who respected their privacy and didn’t treat their concerns as immaterial or unimportant, that someone cared about them enough not to give up on them.
    Today, kids throwing snowballs at traffic and opening car doors and boots are idiots, but all they see is harmless fun. It doesn’t matter if it’s parents, teachers, foster carers or older siblings trying to emphasise accountability, responsibility or consequence, today’s youth don’t want to know. I’ll get off my box now.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

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