what is your problem

THEY call it meeting. It’s not courting or seeing anymore. The young ones have been meeting each other for years now. Where and what they do during this meeting is anyone’s guess but as long as mine doesn’t end up pregnant; I’ll try not to think about what she’s up to.

Teenagers in general have always set out to shock. From copying gyrating Elvis dance moves to twerking like Miley, it’s an unfunny game played on parent’s who’ve forgotten what they got up to themselves at that age.

Years ago my mate and I used to highlight the words penis and vagina in the school dictionaries and then snigger immaturely as we put them back in the teachers pile. We would have got the hands slapped off us if we were caught. Today, kids the same age can do a quick google search on their phones and be presented with images of all sorts.

As a parent, this is terrifying. But there’s only so many firewalls and checking on search history you can do without scaring yourself some more.   What can you do except talk to them about not being ashamed of their bodily functions and having respect for themselves?

One of the good things about teens these days is that they’re very self-aware but it can also be a roller coaster ride as they experiment with what’s natural to them and what’s just a trend. Some teenagers are straight and some of them are gender fluid and not afraid to shout about it. This gender fluid thingamabob isn’t new. It’s what we old people would have called bi-sexual.

They want to know who they are and be sure of themselves as soon as possible so they can yell at their parents “this is me, accept me or abandon me!” and then go on private messages with their mates, plan to run away from home while calling their parents all the names of the day because ‘they just don’t understand’.

The internet would have a major influence on teenagers as they spend a lot of time on it. Everything they need to know and see videos of; is there for them whether factually correct or if their innocent eyes are ready for it or not. Just like a silent toddler is a cause for concern, so is a teenager with a wifi signal.

To take the internet off them cuts them off from their social groups. This is the most common type of punishment today, with mothers opting to take the wifi hub to work in their handbags instead of going full bucko with the slipper. I know because I’ve done it.

Every time I see a teenager on the PSNI missing list, I thank my lucky stars that I lived my blunder years free from hysterical social media led search parties. We may think that teens get away with much more than what we did but they don’t – because we weren’t able to leave a trace and our parents and the police are still none the wiser.