Teenagers today have an entirely different set of anxieties to cope with compared with the teenage pressures suffered by their parents and grandparents. We live in a competitive world, fraught with the difficulties of holding one’s own in a modern social structure.
Present day teenagers must socialise with some sophistication if they are to have any hope of keeping their heads above the water with regard to street credibility and popularity with their peers.
Unfortunately, such sophistication comes with an impressive array of accessories, not the least of which is the standard cell phone, iPod, matching phone contracts and charge cards, the latest trainers, designer jeans and, in the case of older teenagers, a set of wheels to compare with everyone else’s.
Gone are the days when teenager’s deepest concerns were sourced with dating problems and a recent outbreak of acne. Today’s gadget crazed technology floods the teenage market with this music player and that, game consoles with enough buzz to keep a family of six on a permanent high for about three years, mobile telephones including cameras, music systems and video technology; fashion trends run through just about every aspect of teenage life – even food and drink.
Modern parents are beginning to appreciate the simple life is actually better for their children. Some opt for a country life, to avoid city playground pressures, sacrificing attractive career opportunities to give their children a healthier lifestyle, away from the more destructive competitive aspects of life at larger comprehensive schools. Country kids tend to enjoy more basic pleasures and there is no denying that country social circles are less driven by modern gadgetry.
For those parents who are financially unable to support the latest mobiles, fashions, computers, cars and every other teenage must have, the outlook is bleak. Faced with pleadings for new trainers, new computers, new mobiles, and then having to deal with tantrums and frustrations caused by the teenager’s inability to keep up with the teenage Joneses, these parents can hardly be blamed for losing patience.
The way forward must actually be put into place at nine and ten years old. At this age, children are far better able to understand the difficulties of not being able to afford the latest street trends. Once they are used to the idea, they find it easier to cope with later on and even to defend their parents’ reluctance to hand out cash for replacement technology and fashion items.
Teach your children as early as possible that such items are mere toys, not imperative to live a perfectly content and efficient life. The teenager they will eventually grow into will be more leveled as a result.