The teens have got this

Teenagers get a bad press. 

Have had since the dawn of time. 

Thugs , hooded louts who roam the streets terrorising us in their packs, off their faces on legal highs???

I don’t recognise those ones though . I’m the mum of 3 teenagers and I’m offended on their behalves by lazy stereotypes and negativity. Course there will be horrid teens ….but there are horrid people my age too but I don’t think I can be judged by their behaviours! I’m a single mum so pigeon holes rub me up the wrong way as it is but I certainly think our teenagers deserve much more credit.

Over the past few weeks I’ve seen a wave of teen activism which is way more familiar to me as the kind of teenagers I know . The bravery of young women speaking out against sexual harassment as part of the #metoo movement. Reclaim the Night here in Manchester hugely driven by the Student Union. These I can identify with as the work of teenagers rather than those anti social grunters , succumbing to rickets due to lack of daylight and screen addiction (though even I had to admit to being at least on nodding terms with those guys too on occasion!)

On the wake of yet another school shooting in the US we have seen a group of people rise. To take on the NRA and the gun entitled of America. A group of people so very passionate about protecting kids in school. A group not wanting to fight gun crime with more guns but less.

This group are not the parents of children fighting to keep them safe , not the grandparents saying enough is enough , too many children have gone to school never to come home. This group , being loud , being vocal , being heard are the kids themselves . The ones who have seen their friends gunned down ,who have been wounded themselves.

Emma Gonzalez has become the face of these people. An intelligent , articulate,passionate  young woman  . Watching her speech gave me hope ,it’s here if you missed it.

This woman is taking on a president who wants to arm teachers , she’s taking on a mindset that puts the right to own a gun over the right for people not to be shot. The movement “We call BS” is formed and these young people want to be heard.

They’re belittled of course , you can’t stop these shootings .You’ll never see gun control in the US , hush with the youthful optimism and just accept the status quo.

Thankfully they’re not listening .

Femi Oluwole is a UK activist , co founder of the ‘Our future , Our choice ‘ movement. An anti Brexit group passionate about the fact that young people voted heavily to remain , the thinking behind the campaign being that in the 20 , 30 years it’ll take to fully see Brexit , make our own laws ,secure trade deals that Brexit will no longer represent the will of the people.

I won’t get into the argument behind this or Brexit at all here . What does make me happy is young people sticking their head above the parapet and demanding to be listened to.

Teenagers are hushed often , told their views are invalid as they don’t know much. The young people in America standing up against the NRA have been mocked , have been accused of being actors in a bid to silence them . Femi Oluwole has been shouted down by middle aged presenters who are supposedly interviewing him. I just hear a big hush , a ‘sit down and shut up ‘ when young people articulate themselves.

The thing is though. You can’t silence young people in 2018. Our teenagers use social media like we do oxygen. They can mobilise an army of like minded individuals with one tweet. They can and they will make themselves heard and I for one want to listen. I want to hear their thoughts on their futures , I want passionate people involved in the shaping of our world. We , as older people , expect to be listened to simply because we’ve been on the planet longer. Though looking at it from a young person’s eyes we picked Trump , we voted Brexit based on a promise on a bus , we haven’t stood up and spoken out. No wonder they are frustrated.

I saw a tweet from Barack Obama in the wake of the Florida shooting which resonated with me 

Teens – we’ve got your backs .
You’ve got this.

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39 thoughts on “The teens have got this

  1. Teens are amazing, often infuriating, sometimes a bit too black/white, right/wrong, but sometimes in life that is what is needed to get things done, a belief in something that is unshakeable, not yet destroyed by years of seeing nothing happen. Good luck to the youth! Our planet needs them!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Cheers! Teenagers don’t always equate to angst or drama. My teen son acts like a normal person. But he is more vocal about his feelings, outspoken about his opinions and expressive about his thoughts.Very far from my teen self who will just shut up when told to do so even if I wanted to say something.
    Emma Gonzalez and David Hogg leading the youth is truly inspiring. But we should not also forget that Nikolas Cruz is also a teenager. Just like the Columbine High shooters, both teens. I hope lawmakers will not just focus on gun control but also take steps to reach out to troubled youths.

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  3. Watching Emma Gonzalez et al in the US has been nothing short of inspirational (and that’s not a word I use much). My particular interest (and blog) is parenting as a feminist, and I really have confidence in the changing attitudes around this – led by young people who seem less willing to be pigeonholed by gender. I think the young have always been more open to doing things differently, but it is so heartening that (generally) they seem focused on changing the bad sh*t that previous generations have let slide. All power to them.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes they seem way less willing to be labeled with gender and sexuality and the stuff previous generations have been all too willing to do. Certainly gives me hope


  4. We need these teens and people need to listen and not hush then. They are our future and they want a say in how their lives will be and the world they will have ot live. I totally support them and they need to be heard #blogcrush

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Teenagers have always gotten a bad press thanks to a few who do something silly. Most of them are pretty good.


  6. Hurrah!! What a brilliant post. I could not agree more, it’s time we stopped dismissing young people and listened to what they have to say. They cannot make a bigger mess of things than we have. Thanks you so much for sharing with us at #TweensTeensBeyond

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Fantastic post, I totally agree that teens get this unfair attitude towards them. The fact is they’re on the cusp on adulthood and need to be treated as grown ups, and particularly be listened to properly. Thanks so much for sharing with #fortheloveofBLOG

    Liked by 1 person

  8. A fantastic and inspiring post Kelly. It is time that we all recognised the good and valuable contributions that our teenagers make to the world and I like you have been heartened by the response of the teens in the US in response to this latest atrocity. Thanks for sharing your views with us.#TweensTeensBeyond

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Love this! I think teens these days are much more enlightened and informed than ever before. We grow up to be adults desperate to raise the next generation better than our own but then expect them to be just the same and treat them poorly. But they’re not the same, they are better, and I’m so pleased they’re making themselves heard! #BlogCrush


  10. It’s empowering to see our world’s young adults making themselves heard and standing up for their views and the world that they want to create. I too can completely see their frustration with so many decisions that are being made above their heads, when this future is theirs. It’s fantastic to see them taking it with two hands and shaping it into a better place. Thanks for linking up lovely x #DreamTeam


  11. i’m also offended by how society portrays and aiienates teens. as a um of a now 20 year old and second mama to many of his friends I think teens are awesome. So good to see those in America find their cause and passion and step up to the plate; proving themselves to be capable, articulate, motivated and confident young adults ready to mould the future ❤ #blogcrush

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Yes – you are so right lazy stereotypes about young people are unfair and unhelpful. I was so proud of how the youth vote came out in the general election last year. I continue to be in awe of the teenagers I teach and how passionate some of them are about important topics. #familyfunlinky xx

    Liked by 1 person

  13. YES! I think teenagers still have the belief that they can change the world. The older you get, the longer we’ve seen our efforts come to nothing and we stop trying. But, as you say, with social media as a platform to unite people and get your message across, change IS possible. Exciting times!

    And congratulations on being the host featured post on this week’s BlogCrush 🙂 #blogcrush

    Liked by 1 person

  14. I love this. We definitely need more people to stand up and be heard, especially when it comes to guns in the US. Thank heavens they’re not listening to all those people trying to hush them up and tell them it’s a pointless battle. Fingers crossed their voices get stronger, they are the ones with the power to change all our futures.
    Thank you for joining the #FamilyFunLinky x

    Liked by 1 person

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