This is a guest post by a 15 year old. It is sad to read because I suspect many would agree.
It takes a village to raise a child, yet the current generation seem to think the child will raise itself
Legally a person is an adult at 18. A fact defined by law. So why are the current expectations forcing teens as young as 13 to ‘be mature’ when they are legally a child? The current expectation on our shoulders is crushing, overwhelming and debilitating. We are both expected to grow up and take an onslaught of pressure from every angle while simultaneously enjoy an enriching childhood. This a task I believe the majority of adults could not complete, so it seems to be passed to the teens of today. With so many adults washing their hands of responsibility towards the care of children, we have a generation growing up with no childhood. When was our right to just be a child stripped from us? Every adult seems to have a negative thing to say about how teens act but they are the ones who have created a system where these ‘disruptive’ teens are stripped of their childhood innocence and are shoved into the deep end of maturity before anyone has taught them how to swim. Children are drowning. A statement that once would have sparked action but now is ignored.
Imagine a world where people would take responsibility for what they have created. Shame it is only a dream rather than reality. Teens are a product of this generation, anything this generation has to say about the actions of teens, surly speaks louder of them. The current parenting technique is coddle your child and squash any ideas of own independence, until the child makes a mistake then they are questioned on their lack of maturity. We don’t expect knowledge before its taught so why do we expect maturity when the opportunity to learn it is never given? When you have a child, you have made that decision to feed, house, care for and be part of raising the next generation. However current parents seem to be forgetting they signed on to that deal. They provide their child with necessities to life then abandon them when it comes to teaching them how to live a life. We are referred to as the snowflake generation and hated by our elders, but we are what they made us. Teens are just mirrors reflecting the mistakes of the current adult generation. Its time to point the finger of blame to the real culprits.
Teens of today are having their wings clipped during childhood and then are expected to fly when it comes to their 18th birthday. Adults enforce rules on every aspect of life before soon there is only one option for children. A path of rules, exams, and no individuality. With no time to be a child, no time to develop the mind, no time to learn the skills needed for what the rest of life has to offer. There is a generation of scared and underprepared teens and all the adults have to say in response is grow up. Its like a twisted maze where the only exit is locked, and we don’t have the key. Its very clear to me why there is exponential growth in mental health issues in our generation of teenagers. Its black and white, clear as day; yet adults will close their eyes to it and claim we are just delusional. That every issue we face, they too faced and overcame meaning we are just snowflakes who cannot handle it. But these adults did not have their childhood ripped from them. They had no fear that they wouldn’t fit on the one pathway to success our society has created. They didn’t have numbers on a page that defined their worth in this world. The world is changing, and adults need to stop dragging their feet and support teens of today to face the 21st century before we lose hope of a brighter future.
Role models, a universal way of showing those who are learning what the end goal is. A sports role model would inspire children and help grow the next generation of Olympic athletes. So, when our generation is looking for role models to show them how to be a good person, where do we look? With corrupt governments leading almost every major country, it’s not there. With the education system now based on exam results and Ofsted reports with overworked and underpaid teachers, it’s not there. With parents now so consumed with fighting for survival in an economy where only the top 10% survive, its not their either. Every option there is to consider have all been tainted by the current society’s obsession on money, there is no room for teens of today to simply learn how to be a good person. Climate change ignored. Racial inequality pushed aside. Gender bias dismissed. Our world is run by rich white men who will ignore or even aid in the failings of society to benefit their bank balance. When this is what the teenage generation have to follow no wonder we are considered ‘immature’ because the thought of growing up is met with the knowledge we will have to fight in a world where we won’t win.
Teens of today have been set up to fail not just be those who raised them. Forced through an outdated and overlooked system to only inherit a dying world. Before adults talk about the failings of teenagers the question needs to be asked, why are they failing? It takes a village to raise a child and it’s time for that village to step up.