Give teenagers a chance!

Recently I heard on the local news about a subway on a housing estate that had been damaged with graffiti, by teenagers, the reporter claimed.

This took me back to 2004 when I was campaigning to get my local children’s park upgraded, read more about this in my post titled Power to the people.

The council informed me that there was no money available to fund an upgrade, but then a fountain was installed and a mosaic built costing thousands of pounds and these were placed in a part of my town which was rarely used by local people. All very nice but I thought that the money could have been better spent on our children. Soon after the fountain was full of soap suds after ‘teenagers’ added washing up liquid to the water.


Next the skateboarders were labelled as yobs because they were skating on top of and damaging the mosaic,

my feelings were and still are that if they had a designated place to skate  then they wouldn’t be causing trouble.

I visited this mosaic and yes  there were youths skating on it, when I approached and asked if I could have a word at first they were offensive and suggested  that I “***off” but once I explained that I was on their side and was attempting to get a skateboard park they couldn’t have been more polite and readily agreed to sign my petition and come along to the demonstration I had planned.

Another time I was sat beside a children’s paddling pool with a group of children that I was child minding in another local town. Next to us were some teenagers who had left empty crisp packets and drink cans on the grass. The park warden yelled at them, “Pick this up now, go home and don’t come back!” they ignored him so when the warden had left I politely suggested  that they put the rubbish in the bin so that he didn’t think badly of them. I expected some back chat, but to my surprise they did as I asked. This proved to me that if spoken to in the correct way most , not all, teenagers will respond with respect.

Please readers don’t tar all young people with the same brush, there are some who will go out of their way to cause trouble, I’m sure, but the majority are good, just bored and maybe if society made more provision for them then there wouldn’t be such incidents occurring?

We have survived family life with 4 teenage boys without too many hiccups.

The council did eventually fund the much needed skateboard park after 3 years of campaigning,

unfortunately, my nephew a keen boarder then managed to fall off and brake both of his wrists – not quite what I had planned!

I would like to thank Stu Gaunt, Jeremy Lamprell and the north Devon Gazette  for supplying the photos used in this post.

Please share any experiences of teenagers.

As always comments/questions are welcome.





29 Comments on “Give teenagers a chance!

  1. I couldn’t agree with you more. The majority of youngsters are really nice and respect people and property. Some and hopefully not many seem to take delight in causing damage to bus shelters etc. Why I don’t know as it’s certainly nothing to be proud of. Youngsters often offer older people a seat on the bus, which is really nice. Interesting blog as usual .

  2. I know when I was in my teen years, a lack of things to do caused a lot of my trouble. We never had skate parks either so we used the city. I know with my oldest daughter, our city now has lots to do for her age and I love that.

  3. I have three boys in and around the teen years;I think that most of the time if they are treated with respect and talked to nicely they are usually quite willing to respond in the same manner.

  4. This is how I approach teens with a friendly word of warning and all was good in our neighbourhood till I returned to Dubai, now there is an anti social behaviour order on a group of them, but they don’t have anywhere to go other than town. Lots of facilities for small kids, such as parks with swings and slides, but they get kicked out of there for being too old #tweensteensbeyond

  5. #thesatsesh haha, I love this. As a secondary teacher I couldn’t agree more. Young people do have a harsh time within society, but they are diamonds when you choose to see them shine.

  6. I totally agree. For me it’s about respect you need to show some respect to get some back. Too many adults start from a negative standpoint when talking to teenagers. Thank you for linking up to #PointShoot 📸

  7. I never thought of the idea that teenagers didn’t have enough places to go and that is why they cause trouble. I guess the malls aren’t good enough anymore lol. I have a different opinion about teenagers though. I feel that no matter how bored they are they have no right to be disrespectful but at the same time if an adult comes up to them ready for a battle, kids pick up on that and that makes them immediately defensive. I’ve been on both sides of this fence though and can see both sides of it. As a teenager myself, I ran into a security guard with my brother and the guard automatically accused my brother of stealing. I immediately spoke up. The situation got handled but not until my aunt came to straighten it out because even though my brother was searched (we found out later unlawfully) and the guard found nothing on him, we still had to wait for an adult to vouch for us before the guard would let us go. If teenagers are treated like hoodlums, they are going to act like hoodlums. At the same time, when you approach a teenager and he/she is automatically disrespectful just on principle, that’s not okay either. This is a very interesting post and has got me thinking about this conundrum now:) #bloggerclubuk

  8. I agree. Always give them a chance. It’s so easy to assume the worst but then if we did that with everyone, we’d never engage. Wonderful work with the skateboarding park. What a great and worthwhile project to be involved in #tweensteensbeyond

  9. i agree here, the main issue is lack of things to do. When i was a teenager my friends and i never caused trouble but we would hang around the streets etc as there was simply nothing to do. #coolmumclub

  10. I am so with you on this Karen. They are a group of society who are almost universally disrespected and as the Mum of three teen girls I absolutely agree that you should not stereotype them. There are many who are no angels but the same can be said for adults. Great post. Thank you so much for sharing with us at #TweensteensBeyond

  11. it is so tough being a teenager, it’s a hard time and they are kind of inbetween with nothing to do or nowhere to go and where do they channel all that energy….it often comes out in the wrong way or is misconstrued. I actually feel quite sorry for teens as it is an incredibly awkward time which I wouldn’t like to revisit if you paid me! Thanks for linking up to #coolmumclub with this xoxo

  12. I think this is so true, so many people think of teenagers as “yobs” and trouble-makers. Unfortunately they appear this way because they’re bored! There’s a great skate park in Stoke on Trent where my mother-in-law lives and it is always full of teenagers. They certainly don’t seem like they’re trouble-makers when they’re there.
    Great post.

  13. I agree with you. I have two kids in their early 20’s and I learned if I spoke to them and their friends in a respectful manner then I got respect back.

    Also, I agree that we have closed a lot of avenues for kids to do things like community centers and such. So, we as a society are not giving them constructive things to do but allowing them to just hang out and do nothing.

  14. I think if you approach teens expecting them to behave like yobs, then they will! They definitely get a bad press, and people seem to object so much to half a dozen of them hanging out together. Teens don’t have the money to hang out in coffee shops or burger places, so where can they meet their friends other than in public places like parks? #tweensteensbeyond

  15. I totally agree with you. Kids of all ages act out when they are bored, not just teenagers. It’s just that by that age they want to be out of the house with their friends and if there’s no place for them to go they will inevitably end up walking the streets and being loud and showing off to one another, it’s just what kids do.
    Thank you for joining #FamilyFunLinky x

  16. A great post Karen and well done you for taking the time to make a difference in your community. Our teens do get a tough press often without justification – we have all been there and it is hard finding your way and a little guidance and a lot of support and sound advice can go a long way. Thanks for linking up with us again. #TweensTeensBeyond

  17. Teens, in general, definitely have a reputation that they don’t deserve. As adults, we need to find better ways to connect with them and foster their interests in productive ways.

  18. I was a nightmare as a teenager always in trouble but I agree give them a chance Thank you for linking to #Thatfridaylinky please come back next week

  19. it is true, if we show people respect most will show it back. Sorry to hear about your nephew though! Brilliant read, more people should read this. Thank you so much for sharing this with us for #ablogginggoodtime Just to let you know that sadly Catie (Spectrum Mum) will no longer be a co-host for #ablooginggoodtime, we will have a new co-host this Thursday and you can still link up through Katie or myself Thanks, love Mackenzie

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