Today I did some work on my children’s writing course. I chose the assignment of writing an excerpt from a 14 year old’s diary who is having problems with home, school and boys.
I barely remember what is was like to be 14 now, but I can pretty much guess I was one of the awkward ones at school. I still am pretty awkward in what I like to think is an endearing way!
As I began to write it made me think that being 14 in the 1990’s was a whole different world than being 14 in 2015.
We didn’t have mobile phones or the internet for a start. I got my first phone around 17/ 18 and I was even older when I got a phone with a camera on it.
Now kids are born into a world of phones and gadgets that take photos. Our TV’s are even linked to the internet. Lets face it to the vulnerable and easily lead the internet poses a world of danger.
To a young and impressionable 14-year-old in 2015 you would probably think nothing of sending a boy a semi-naked or fully naked photo of yourself, whether you wanted to or not. Obviously there are still good kids out there who avoid falling into this trap and good on them I say!
We all remember how painful it was to want to be seen with the best looking boy in school. A lot of people would do anything to make that happen and because they show interest in you and they promise they won’t show anyone I’m sure a lot of girls end up getting caught out.
Because if I remember rightly nothing much stayed secret at school. Even your best friends told on you if they thought it would make them look cool to the popular kids. Or maybe that was just my school.
School must be horrible for kids nowadays. With all the pressure to have the right clothes and the newest phones I’m sure parents are constantly wondering where it will all end. Without the added pressure of social media and photo sharing apps.
I worked for an educational training company recently and pitched an idea of having a course that outlined the dangers of the internet and apps for parents to keep them aware of what is happening.
We are all grown up now but I know my parents have very little knowledge of how the apps work they have heard of so they would have been no use in advising us on how to protect ourselves.
If I was a parent I would want to make sure my child was as well-informed about the decisions they make and the actions they take as I could possibly make them.
If I remember anything about teenagers it’s whatever your parents tell you not to do is what you find any way possible of doing. So just telling them not to text photos or boys is not going to stop them.
I think girls in some respects will always be more vulnerable when it comes to sex than boys. I remember feeling pressured into situations with boys when I was younger that I wasn’t comfortable with but I wanted to be seen as being cool so I went along with it.
To a certain degree that hasn’t changed in my adult dealings with men! I still have a blind spot for some of the behaviour I put up with. My friend told me yesterday it makes me human and the fact I want to see good in people and don’t just give up on them when things aren’t how I’d like them to be makes me a good person and the person in question didn’t deserve my loyalty.
But I’m getting sidetracked. The reason I started the writing assignment today was to take my mind off men!
I came to the conclusion writing the diary entry of a girl who gets slightly mislead by requests for sexy photos is that I’m glad I don’t have to go to school any more!
My tutor might not have been expecting the kind of diary entry I wrote, I did wonder if I was being too forward but then I thought that is probably the experience of many teenagers nowadays.
One of the first rules of the course is that we need to write in a way that children can identify with so just moaning that my parents want me to do the washing up instead of watching TV is probably a slightly outdated teenage experience.
Time will tell when I get my tutor feedback whether I made the right choice.