Being a teenager was hard work twenty years ago but it’s even harder now. Things have changed so much with the increase of technology, peer pressure, anxiety & bullying.
Being a parent of a 14 year old is hard work too, just because they are getting older does not mean you stop worrying, there’s just new things to worry about. This is why I’m glad to be working with The Children’s Society on their Seriously Awkward campaign
Here are some of the most interesting findings from the research report. They want to challenge the perception of teenagers as resilient or streetwise, and lift the lid on how many teenagers feel – especially those most at risk:
- The majority of parents feel life is harder today for teenagers than when they were young.
- One in three 16 and 17 year olds has faced sleepless nights due to worry in the last year.
- One in three 16 and 17 year olds frequently feel anxious and a quarter frequently feel sad.
- One in ten 16 and 17 year olds admit they feel pressure to do things that could leave them at risk such as taking drugs, drinking alcohol or spending time with people they don’t feel comfortable with.
- 70% of this age group do not describes themselves as ‘streetwise’
- Two thirds of 16 and 17 year olds feel judged just for being a teenager.
- The Children’s Society estimate that half a million 16 and 17 year olds in the UK face particular risk of harm because they are already dealing with issues such as poverty, poor health or a lack of supportive relationships.
- A teenager has to be under 16 to be protected by laws on child cruelty and neglect.
- Three quarters of parents believe 16 and 17 year olds are still children and should be protected from harm – but the law is dangerously inconsistent in this area.
Recently my son was involved in a case of mistaken identity. Someone thought they saw him trying to get into a car but couldn’t be 100% sure it was him, the person they saw wore dark clothing with their hood up. I’m so glad they told us about it but we knew it wasn’t Brandon. He had his arm in a specialist sling as he had recently broken his collarbone so the description definitely didn’t match but even so, I know my son & know he would never do that.
But he felt judged just for being a teenager, he likes to wear dark clothing, not because he wants to break into cars but simply because he likes dark clothing. I wear black clothing the majority of the time but I would not look suspicious because of it.
We need to look out for our teenagers, yes they are growing up but they are not GROWN UP and we all need to remember that.
What do you think? Do you think it’s harder for teenagers now? If you agree please sign the petition to protect 16 & 17 year olds from abuse, harm & neglect.
I have not been compensated for this post, as a parent I simply wanted to help with the campaign