Teenagers are a problem. We read it a lot in the newspapers so it must be right. However, I've never found it so myself and my own two teenagers are wonderful, delightful, morally sound, interesting, pleasant people to know. In fact, I'm privileged to be their mother. I'm thrilled by them, and enjoy learning from them and seeing them change and become more of what they will be and more of what they wish to be.
I bet your teenagers are lovely too.
My nearly seventeen year old, E, says: "There's no place for teenagers in society. I don't want to be treated as a kid because I am not a kid. I don't want to be treated as an adult because I'm not one."
She goes on: "You can't just ignore one perfectly reasonable, perfectly capable group in society. I'm not against old people, but we deserve to have good treatment as well because we're the future. "
E states: "It seems we're just a problem the government is trying to shove under the carpet. No wonder a lot of teens are screwed up; they know they get no respect so they try to find it in other ways, for example, in gangs. But we're not all hoodies taking drugs and grunting all the time. Part of the problem is that society doesn't view teenagers as proper people."
"The poor things are already messed up with the hormonal side of it, why does society have to screw them up too?"
She reflects for a minute then comments: "I can totally sympathise with people who don't like teens. A lot of my peers I wouldn't want to deal with, but it's half that they're a product of schools and a society that doesn't value them."
"Treating teenagers like they're not proper people doesn't help. Making them a problem doesn't help. Making them less than other people doesn't help. Everyone takes notice of little kids - they're so small, and they don't resist what bigger people do to them. They don't resist control. But society doesn't have as much control over teens. Teachers struggle to take control of their classes. You know, teenagers should be a special apprentice group. We're gonna inherit the world. Give us more respect, we're the ones who are going to be pushing you around in wheelchairs."
"The government just love doing things that they want to. Things that they don't want they ignore even if it's right in their faces. They love avoiding giving answers to questions. The dreadful things happening in schools they ignore, but home educators, who aren't trouble at all, they consult about and review to death. The government are in a room full of big elephants but they pick at the fluff on the carpet."