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Steppenpig

Teen Angst

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It's funny how movies and literature always portray being a teen as being a really awkward and traumatic experience. I must have led a really boring life. Everyone I know just sort of grew up and gradually became adults. No trauma. No constant anguishing about sexuality or rebelling against authority. There were just practical problems, like going to uni, finding new friends, finding housing to deal wiith. In fact, I almost find it weird that none of us worried or talked about sex. A bit about girlfriends, but really virtually nothing about sex. What most of my friends wanted, was to be allowed in the pub. Actually, the weirdest thing was, we used to have drunken house parties at least once a month (not in my house) that were totally tolerated by the parents, and we just got paralytic and fell over, and still no one was having sex. I can't iagine any of the parents I know these days being so accommodating.

I do know a handfull of people who did have major conflicts with their parents, but considering what percentage of the population is mad or dangerous anyway, actually pretty small numbers.

And I've never really met anyone who had one of those "oranges are not the only fruit" type experiences, suddenly blossoming intellectually and redefining their life after puberty. And, it's weird that teenagers are always portrayed as problematic, but children and grannys are adorable, when in reality it's probably the other way round. I guess there must be a strong correlation between having a traumatic adolescence, and being literary or interested in film-making.

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Its pretty much self fulfilling isn't it? My nan always claimed that adolescence in her era meant getting some fur where you didn't have it before and that was that.

Its just another indication that we really have nothing more pressing to worry about, like starving or being bombed.

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I don't get the 'all teens must be difficult' bit, either. Maybe I was luckily, but my two were always perfectly pleasant and reasonable - although I am not saying we never had any worries at all.

Mind you I do think there are genuine agonies for some kids - crippling self-consciousness and blushing can be one - I had a friend who was terribly prone to blushing, and the more anxious she got about it, the worse it became. And of course any bullying at school. There was a positively evil little witch in my year at school - she had a really vicious tongue and the usual admiring coven who were in truth only kowtowing because they were scared of her. She was a tiny little thing, too. Went on to be a teacher - I have often felt so sorry for any poor kids who had to suffer her.

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I agree - all the kids I knew who had traumatic teenage years were fecked up already from either abuse or genetic problems.

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I agree - all the kids I knew who had traumatic teenage years were fecked up already from either abuse or genetic problems.

I must have been a good teenager! I stopped after my 20th birthday!

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I own two of them - the odd problem here and there but on the whole they're getting on fine.

I'll lend them all my severe porn, and sell them drugs!

I had no problem being a teenager, and I hope your kids grow well adjusted like me!

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Getting in pubs and X-Rated movies - and where to put your nose when snogging. :ph34r:

Is your nose removeable, like your teeth? :blink:

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A sobering thought:

For my respective parents and grandparents generations, late teenage years meant being in a trench in the Somme or landing on a French beach under fire.

I think their generations grew up a lot faster than I did.

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Writers are fantasists. Personally I think the drama on screen is the stuff that goes on in peoples heads , the stuff that as you said we didn't talk about as teenagers, but might have fantasised about or gossiped about (ie made up). Then when you see it on screen it seems real because it's familiar.

As you say a lot of it becomes self fulfilling...it's kind of like an arms race.

What happens on telly gets more dramatic, people see it and think 'wow - my life is really dull, look what everyone else is up to'. So people start acting it out, thinking that's what an 'interesting' life is all about. Then the tellybox has to ramp things up a bit to keep pace and you have the likes of Skins and Jeremy Kyle.

I've been thinking about this a bot lately...I have far too much time on my hands :)

P

Excellent point. Someone once said when you watch telly, you have to keep reminding yourself that all you are doing is watching telly. It's not life. Or as Martin Amis said, 'Why aren't the women in porn like the women in porn?' It's all just entertainment, written by people who by definition are introspective and imaginative.

I didn't have much teenage angst; what little there was took place a bit before my teens anyway, around the age of 10, when I gradually got into the habit of thinking of life in a pessimistic, depressed way. By the time I was sixteen though I decided all that teen stuff was stupid, and decided I was going to act like an adult from then on.

Needless to say I got lots of 'old man' comments and 'you're so conservative' etc, mostly from early girlfriends who behaved as if they lived there entire life in a photostory in 'Jackie' comic.

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I don't think it has to be all trauma and self harm but it is a difficult, conflicting time and I'm sure we're wired to forget what it's like which is why kids say 'you don't understand'.

I have a 13 year old. He's been the easiest going child up to recently. In fact, I've always said I could have had 10 children if they'd been like him because he was a such a joy. I'm now watching him go through a transition which I can see is a struggle. He has a young baby face and really hairy legs. It's like a complete mix up as he's changing physically, mentally and emotionally.

We've just been away for a few days and one morning he didn't want to cross the dining room to get breakfast because he suddenly became self conscious of what he was wearing. I find it really hard as I don't want to him to feel like that, there's nothing wrong with him. Getting the balance and not getting the stroppy face every time you say something is near impossible.

It's a storm that has to be ridden out by both parents and children but whilst you're going through it you can appreciate how it's harder for some than others.

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Yes but, the InBetweeners was brilliant. I also immensely enjoyed the first Adrian Mole books.

I think the point with those is they were pretty realistic. Inbetweeners played it up a little but at it's heart it was a brilliant insight on a group of teenage friends.

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