Today I read a thread in a facebook page ranting about teenagers. They ranted about bad manners, ‘the youth of today’, I blame the parents and lots more besides. I suspect it was written for the most part by parents of young children.
How I smiled reading that thread.
These parents of younger children are blissfully unaware that the day will come when their little ones will join the merry band of youth that are ‘teenagers’. They have no idea that despite their best parenting, their little angels will not always behave as they should. Just as their little ones were never going to eat sweets, have too much screen time or have a meltdown in public.
How do I know all this? Because I was once that mother.
Once upon a time I went to the playground and was furious that teenagers ran around it almost knocking over my little ones. I saw young girls with outfits on going to a disco that I’d never allow my young teenager to wear. I gave out about the numbers of hooded teenagers making noise outside when my little ones were trying to sleep in the Summer. Or the brats who sauntered across the road while I had to brake in case I ran them over.
Until one day my fairy tale ended and reality bit me. I had teenagers who despite my best efforts, on occasions did everything I’d thought they wouldn’t. For a while I turned into Miss Marple, doing my best to keep track of what they were up to, while sometimes just hoping they were behaving. I despaired at modern living and how different things were in my day.
And then I remembered…the less than perfect teenager I once was. The one who sauntered across roads as if she owned them, who thought she knew it all, who didn’t much care for boundaries and pushed them regularly to the limit. I remember also my mother saying, “In my day…”
So I have little doubt that the majority of those teenagers who are upsetting the mothers in the face book thread today will soon grow out of those teenage years and will in time join the ranks of parents of young children who despair of teenagers and are sure they will never have one.
But they will.