The life of teenage boys
Sunday, November 15, 2009
The recent Guardian piece was a lovely optimistic read, by the Guardian journalist who interviewed the teenage boys local to her. The young people interviewed showed a remarkable level-headedness, a positivity and at the same time a clear-eyed assessment of their situation which sat totally at odds with the hysterical violent air-head reputation they frequently labour under in the press, both tabloid and broadsheet. Playground bullying was much more of an issue for all of them than street violence. Just like the dignified answer from one teenager to being asked what his hoodie represented ("warm ears") their version of the figures that are bandied about on how many young people carry weapons were reassuring, as was their assertion that "if you know someone that likes trouble, you just keep away from them." It made me wonder why we make the continual assumption that our young people are going to make the wrong choice, and that we must protect them from that. Those that choose to ignore our advice and make that wrong choice, we abandon. Our lack of faith in them, as always, says way more about us than them.