I'm taking over the blog for a post about celebrating Luke's 13th birthday. He becomes a teenager, with all the baggage that involves. He's written what he knows about it on the previous blog post, but how he truly feels has been pretty negative.
Luke explained that he hated the perception of teenagers society has. He resented that people of his age are characterised as rude, thuggish, aggressive, untrustworthy and antisocial. Between that, spots and exams he was struggling to find a positive way to view the years ahead.
Never one to shy away from a challenge, I set out to find a positive approach to offer him. I'm fortunate in having a fantastic cohort of friends in real life and online, so I appealed the them for help. I asked everyone to text, email, tweet or comment on Facebook sharing something good about their own teen experience. Here are a selection of replies -
- Being taken more seriously than before
- dressing like Goth/punk/indie kid and heading to a club
- Everyone else is finally growing up too, so the immature ones will catch up to Luke and friendships become easier
- being able to travel on your own, on buses or trains mostly, but also self-propelling to friends' houses that are further afield
- discovering a huge world of music
- straddling childhood and adulthood - being more confident, responsible and individual but still being able to play and be ridiculous
- making your own mind up on issues, being able to think critically
- learning things your parents don't know
- experimenting with different personas and styles while you find what suits you
- getting first jobs like paper rounds and babysitting, and spending the money however you like
I decided to make Luke a Teenager's Survival Kit, with things to get him past the tricky things opportunities to sample new things and styles, and to meet some of his changing needs. He opened it this morning and was very pleased.