One-Liner Wednesday – Books

“The day I complain that I have too many books is the day you know I’ve lost it!”

Ritu Bhathal

For Linda’s #1LinerWeds

One-Liner Wednesday – Teens

“Parenting teens is extremely trying… have you tried?”

Ritu Bhathal

For Linda’s #1LinerWeds

One Liner Wednesday – #1LinerWeds – Street

“You don’t know anything now mum: nowadays in the streets, its ‘shank or be shanked’.”

Lil Man

A worrying phrase coming from a thirteen year old ‘innocent’…

We were discussing an old mate of his who has become a nasty piece of work, and Lil Man mentioned that he was moving to his school… Me – not a happy bunny.

I was trying to get him to understand how he needs to choose his friends wisely or there are characters who will lead him astray.

The conversation was very teen angsty on his behalf, and there was no middle ground or attempting to understand that he just needs to learn to walk away…


I got the above ‘quote’ flung at me.

Shank, for those you who may not know, is to be stabbed with a makeshift knife.

Scaring the living daylights out of me…


For Linda’s #1LinerWeds.

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.


Today, I had a meeting with the children in my school’s School Council. I head that (along with the other hats I wear at work!) and we needed a meeting to discuss a few points ahead of the governors meeting tomorrow, so we could present the ‘Pupil Voice’.

One of the topics we were discussing was prejudice. I wanted to gauge the children’s perception or understanding of the word, and then with a very simple explanation to let them know what it was, and whether they feel that as a school do we deal with prejudice positively, and what we could do to combat it.

To break it down I said,

“Prejudice is when you look at a person, place or situation with ideas in your head, preconceived ideas, about how that person will be, or what that place will be like, or whether you could handle that situation, without actually knowing anything.”

We talked about how you could judge a person on what table they were sat at in the classroom, if the tables were set in ability groups, or a certain classroom, because you had heard about a particular teacher. Then we touched upon race too.

The children had never heard the term before which I thought was positive – you would hope that children under the age of 11 were not too aware of these things, much less exposed to it.

They gave me feedback on how they felt we combatted prejudice in the classroom, using Kagan seating, children had ‘buddies’ of different abilities on each table so they could help each other.

They suggested having an International Food Club, or lessons involving various multicultural instruments, or sports too.

All this was great, and as I left tonight, I was full of positivity, proud of the children’s ideas within the meeting.

Then I encountered a prejudice of my own. A fear of groups of loitering teenager.

Walking across the playground to our car park, I encountered three teenagers. They shouldn’t have been where they were. I asked if I could help them ( it was dark, by the way) and they said they were waiting for a cousin. That could have been true had it been half an hour previous, but at this time, most of the children have left.

They proceeded to climb equipment, so I requested that they leave. Luckily the caretaker came by then, and we both escorted them through where they said they had come, which was not actually a gate we had in use.

As they tried to disappear before we got close to them, one started climbing a fence, and I told him there were cameras, and that they should not come back here.

Of course, they finally made their way out, but not before telling me to “F off, you sl*g!” twice. I got the office manager to come out too, and she stood with us as they mouthed off. They also told the caretaker to “Go back home you P*ki!”, to which he said “You’re wrong there!” (He’s Indian, like me, not Pakistani!)

They loitered outside the gate, and I thanked goodness that I was parked in our staff car park at the other end of the school. The caretaker walked me to the car, mentioning that they had been in one of the other playgrounds, stating they were waiting for their sister before too!

I still drove my car surreptitiously past the entrance that they used to exit, to make sure they weren’t still there, so I could warn the Office Manager. Thankfully they had left by then.

In this situation, I fear my prejudice was well-founded. There are far too many teens that hang around the streets intimidating people walking past, sometimes, just by their presence, rather than by actually doing anything. This time though, they were on school property! And acting cocky is one thing, but had I been alone, they could have done anything, though considering they waited until they were half out the gate before slinging abuse at us, I doubt they had the backbone to try. But still, you never know…

I talk to my own child about this kind of behaviour, and hope he never thinks it’s okay to just hang about like that, and definitely not to trespass!

Okay, I’m off to chill myself out now!

Have a good evening Peeps!


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