So, I was born in the 70's, and despite being in denial about my rapid ageing I am more than thankful that my parents conceived me during that era. I went through my teens not having to deal with the Internet, social media, snap chat, hashtags, Insta filters, heat magazine, Geordie shore, TOWIE, I phones, thigh gaps, lip fillers, The Kardashians, GIF's, Drake, MAC, Dabbing, HD Brows, Vloggers and Watsapp.
During my teens, one of my biggest worries was my Mam on the day the phone bill arrived.. (this is bringing back memories for many of you right?) I vividly remember the fear that me and our Julia felt.. of course neither of us had made the calls to our friends/boys for hours on end and I think we managed to convince my poor mum that we had received someone elses bill by mistake.. Then came along itemised bills.. Thanks for that BT, you ruined EVERYTHING! we then had to use the local phonebox that stank of pee and you had about 2 minutes to natter before the pips went.
The only means of contact was by the aforementioned phone, face to face or writing a letter.. yep, picking up a pen and writing a letter, I actually had a pen pal in Japan, I often wonder what happened to him.. I wonder if he thinks of me too, I mean I only wrote to him twice as the postage was too expensive according to my Mam, and lets face it I could have bought a few packs of opal fruits and a bottle of Cherryade off the alpine pop man with the money saved on the Air Mail.
These days, Teens don't even need to leave the house to communicate with their peers.. all they need is right there at their fingertips.. they can send a snapchat, tweet a celebrity (we had to write to Jim'll Fix it **Shudders**) put up a Facebook post, or video call their mates.. its crazy!
Sadly, statistics show that teenagers are growing up with more anxiety and less self esteem than ever before. I am pretty sure that Social Media is a huge part of this statistic, Social Media and the internet are huge barrier's to kids developing much needed Social Skills that they will need further on in life, I mean you're not going to send your boss a snap chat to tell him that you can't make it into work? Kids are isolated, stuck in their rooms for hours on end getting paranoid because they sent their friend a snap chat, its been read but the friend hasn't replied, cue the worry that they have somehow upset them, a group chat starts and the arguing and isolation begins!
And lets not forget Cyber Bullying, now this seriously gives me the rage. Kids messaging others, saying some pretty nasty stuff to them that they would never dream of saying to someones face. I have spoken with many parents who tell me that their kids have been or are being bullied, and as a result they have zero confidence, to the extreme that some self harm, our beautiful children are scaring their innocent bodies.
Don't get me wrong, bullies have always existed but its more prevalent these days thanks to the likes of social media and texting! It seems to be a regular occurrence where I read a story in the media of how a beautiful child has taken their own life! And its never going to end unless we, as parents teach our kids right from wrong, build up their confidence and remind them every single day of just how beautiful and loved they are.
The pressure is real for kids to look their best, they scroll through feeds and see their "friends" posting a picture with their latest designer bag, designer shoes or £150 lipstick with perfectly groomed brows and luscious lashes and they feel they have to keep up with it.. kids posting pictures of themselves in precarious poses because so and so from down the road done it and she got loads of likes on her insta post! No just no... just be you, you don't need to do or be any of that shit!
It doesn't matter how many followers you have on insta, how many friends you have on Facebook or how many snapchats you get, what does matter are your real friends, the ones that are there for you, the ones that have your back!!
In my day, the only magazine I bought was My Guy for the latest poster of Simon Le Bon (yaaas ladies*swoon*) But these days magazines and blogs are full of heavily air brushed models and celebs wearing the latest designer gear and top of the range makeup... they look nothing like they do in real life, you know that right? Even Beyonce will have spot breakouts, bad breath, serious PMT, days when her hair won't go right and ties where she wants to throttle Jay Z.
As parents, we never stop worrying about our kids, if they are upset, then naturally we are upset, if they lack confidence then we worry about how to build it up, how do you make a 15 year old believe that they are beautiful? its hard right?
Its never been easy being a Teenager, but in todays day and age its harder than ever before. I have two Teens and a Threenager and the struggle is most definitely real.
Teens.. you have to STOP putting all this pressure on yourselves, enjoy being young, go out and have fun, if you want to eat a cake then just eat the bloody cake, if you want to wear a non branded pair of trainers, then wear them and rock the shit out of them! you don't want to wear make up? then don't wear it, cut your hair short if you want to, hell shave it off if it makes you feel good! And if times are hard, then talk to someone, anyone! Don't ever feel you are alone, you are no doubt surrounded by a tribe of people that love you. There are various agencies out there who will be on hand to help you the Teenage helpline has a wealth of information and support on its page.
- You are amazing
- You are beautiful
- You are clever
- You are funny
- You can make a difference
- You are loved
- You are the future
- You are you!!
There is a saying that goes "if you walk in the footprints of others, you wont make any of your own" and this is very true.
No one can ever be you.. hold on to your individuality, hold onto it tight!
And if your teen or pre-teen is lacking in confidence and they need a little boost, then get in contact, I have just the trick!