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Sunday, 28 July 2013
The Parent Trap
Us middle agies were sitting round the dinner table last night chatting about how much more our children have in the "entertainment" area of their lives than we did when we were teenagers. Computers, all day TV, phones, easier travel, more compliant parents....
Exactly the same conversation that my parents had with me when I was a teenager, my mother having brought up during the war, when there were no bananas, a constant threat from the skies and no entertainment of any kind.
What became apparent to us all was that the aching boredom, along with the idea that everyone else they know is having a much better time than they are and that their home/parents/life is just so boring/turgid/useless when compared to their peers, is a universal teen thing. Whatever we try to do to alleviate the boredom or to make our children's lives less anxious and stressy and boring and horrid than our teenage years were, is not going to work.
Because aching boredom is teenage life. It passes. Life gets better. It is just a phase. Not a helpful thing to say, but the truth nonetheless.
If only they were dogs, they would be happy as Larry in a pond with a ball for hours and hours. Sigh.