Recently I’ve been finding myself getting annoyed by people’s thoughtless, thruway comments saying like ‘It was good there, but there were lots of teenagers’ and ‘They let too many teenagers in’. And… ?
Those ‘teenagers’ are a) human beings and b) children.
One day, soon enough, your delightful two year old and your cute six year old will also be a teenager. And will you love them any less? Will they be any less your child? Of course they won’t.
Those teenagers you are tarring with the same brush are someone’s sons and someone’s daughters.
They have as much right to be places as toddlers and primary school kids and every much right as toddlers and primary school kids to have fun and enjoy themselves.
And, let’s not forget, lots of teenagers don’t have fun. Lots of teenagers are depressed and isolated, cutting themselves off from their families and the world. As a society we should be HAPPY to see teenagers out in the big wide world enjoying themselves, not moaning because they might spoil some idyllic idea a parent of a four year old has of what makes a ‘perfect family day’. Let the teenager and their parents have THEIR perfect family day too.
Yes, teenagers can be awkward, noisy, stubborn and reckless. They can be badly behaved. But so can toddlers and primary school kids. So can ADULTS, for flip’s sake.
There are bad teenagers, but there are far more good teenagers. So next time you turn your nose up at the sight of a 15 year old boy with his hood up or the screeching of a group of teenage girls, stop and have a think. That boy is someone’s son. Those girls are someone’s daughters. They are loved and cared for (we hope) and they have every bit as much right to be where you are as you do.
Think of the teenagers.