Is it me or do teens seem so much more grown up and nice these days?

(21 Posts)
BobsKnobs Sat 19-Mar-16 07:59:29

I see them all in town after school, behaving well and the different tribes from different schools mixing or passing each other without incident. Over the last year been on lots of school visits (year 7 entry) and all the young people seem well behaved, considerate and well, more grown up. My neighbours young teens are concerned about the environment and gay rights and always bravely standing up for someone.

Compare and contrast to my own experiences in the 80s. There were vicious playground fights and hideous bullying was rife. Some kids were destroyed. Really uncool to get good grades. Lots of snogging, sex and smoking in school at a young age. The teachers did nothing about any of it. When different schools met on the bus or high road there would be name calling and fighting. A couple of schools merged and I heard it was awful and took years to settle.

Now I have moved back to the same town so it's not a socioeconomic thing. But the contrast in behaviour and general I dunno, "niceness" is immense.

Are the teachers more on top of it / behaviour expectations discussed early on, or just an innate niceness has evolved?

It makes me feel so much happier about my daughter starting year 7 I can't begin to tell you.

Anyone else experienced similar?

annandale Sat 19-Mar-16 08:04:52

I have employed a lot of teenage babysitters in recent years and they have all been fantastic. Tremendously entertaining when the prettiest was here as she was almost besieged by texts from moony desperate boys asking why she wasn't at that evening's parties, but she didn't seem overwhelmed or head turned by any of this like I would have been For me the big difference has been that all the local schools are mixed, whereas in my home town all but one of the schools were single sex. The Sturm und Drang is a lot calmer.

BobsKnobs Sat 19-Mar-16 08:13:38

Strange, isn't it? Our schools were always mixed so it isn't that. There were always nice kids but also gangs of quite vicious beasts who seemed to dominate life in the corridors and playgrounds outside the classroom.

mummytime Sat 19-Mar-16 08:43:03

At my school there were all kinds of nasty things happening in the background, which our teachers turned a blind eye to.

Teachers nowadays can't do that, they have a responsibility to report welfare concerns. On the other hand my DC claim there is plenty of homophobia etc in schools, and that calling yourself a feminist is just as unacceptable as it was in my day. There is less violence but that could be due to social norms.

annandale Sat 19-Mar-16 08:43:55

Yes, I hope that doesn't happen at ds's school, as you say I don't see this sort of thing and I even occasionally go on school bus routes. Though I grew up in the middle of nowhere so the school bus was just that, nobody else used it, whereas the bus routes here in a city are far more mixed. To be fair it wasn't too horrible in my day either.

Certainly my ds has done circle time, ethical classes right from the start and maybe it has changed things smile For my parents that sort of thing happened at Sunday school or at religion classes but that faded away by the time I was a kid, and I guess PRE at secondary school has kind of replaced that. DS has become a pescatarian due to his year 7 ethics classes.

Independentandproud Sun 20-Mar-16 08:52:15

What a nice post to start my Sunday off well. I absolutely agree. My elder dcs are definitely surrounded by a nicer environment in terms of friendships and schools and even just going out together in Reading or wherever. Just throwing a few thoughts out...too many news stories on social media evils, but maybe the fact that they communicate lots builds stronger relationships? Could it be the awareness of 'society' drummed in by schools? I am loathe to say the constant headlines about schools teaching everything from contraception to the importance of the armed forces upholding our British values, could be making a dent- but maybe I should stop complaining about the amount of personal skills they do!

Pointlessfan Sun 20-Mar-16 08:57:08

I agree, I'm a secondary teacher and I get really fed up of people/the media running teenagers down. Most of them are lovely!

OddBoots Sun 20-Mar-16 08:58:38

I was only reading the other week that this generation of teens are less likely to drink and take drugs, that they are studying harder and are more focused on doing well. I think the flip side is that they are having more stress and MH problems though so it's not all good news sadly.

treaclesoda Sun 20-Mar-16 08:59:20

I have thought this recently too. Hoards of teenagers stepping aside and holding doors open etc, smiling nicely at you when you walk past and stuff like that.

I'm 40 and I'm certain that my peers and I were generally not as pleasant as the teens I come across now.

daffodilsoverthebridge Sun 20-Mar-16 08:59:37

I agree as well.

I wonder if it is that teenagers are more valued in some ways. I remember the disgusting state of the toilets when I was at school for instance. Covered in graffiti and shit and used tampons, no toilet roll or soap, no locks on the doors.

Now schools are physically much nicer. Is it a way of saying 'you are valued'?

Jaimx86 Sun 20-Mar-16 09:01:50

I work in a school and think it could be done to the increasing focus on SMSC values in school (social/moral/spiritual/cultural). Every morning students watch or read the news and have SMSC topics to discuss. Some of these get quite heated ( i.e. Debates on immigration as the school is in a deprived area), but the students learn that even if they don't agree with someone else's view, they should respect it. Of course, when a child's view is completely inappropriate or offensive, staff/agencies work with the child.

treaclesoda Sun 20-Mar-16 09:01:53

oh, and also, I know a lot of teenagers who do some very mature things with their spare time - volunteering with foodbanks, homeless charities, animal welfare charities etc. No one did stuff like that when I was at school. I realise that it might not be entirely altruistic, as of course part of the reason they volunteer is perhaps for something to write on a personal statement for their university application, but even so, once they get involved, they throw themselves into it.

mudandmayhem01 Sun 20-Mar-16 09:03:55

I was doing some temporary, non teaching work in a secondary school ( which several people had warned me off, in hushed slightly racist tones) the students were a delight. On separate occasions students asked me if I was lost and insisted on taking me the part of the school I was looking for and also offered to carry my box of stuff.

BertieBotts Sun 20-Mar-16 09:10:59

I think it must be a combination of things but I think attitudes changing towards kids and teenagers has a lot to be thanked for. 30, 40 years ago kids were more likely to be hit/shouted at than talked to. We've changed the way we parent and far from the disaster it's often hailed to be, I think it's led to calmer teenagers. That's true for schools ad well as parents and then add to that they have access to all of this information online. I know MN for example has made me more aware of loads of issues I was ignorant of before.

HSMMaCM Sun 20-Mar-16 11:42:25

DD's teenage friends are lovely. There are some other not so lovely teenagers around, but I think the vast majority are great.

Wolfiefan Sun 20-Mar-16 11:46:54

What a lovely thread! I taught teens for many years. People would ask what I did for a living. I would say teaching. They asked what age. I'd say teens. They would almost recoil and cross themselves in horror!
Most teens I taught were amazing. Still growing but old enough to allow glimpses of the adults they would become. Funny, often kind, loyal to their friends and positive about the future.
A joy!

Emochild Sun 20-Mar-16 11:50:16

Locally there is a big problem with teenagers to the extent that some of the local parks are no go areas at certain times of day -and i'm not necessarily talking about the evenings

There are, as there has always been, lots of nice teenagers about

I think social media has a part to play in teenagers interactions with each other and public perception

Bullying has gone online -much more likely to receive nasty messages now than get beaten up behind the bike shed!
But you don't get that school vs school conflict now as they are all friends of friends on social media so a lot of the rumours about the school down the road are quashed very quickly

QueenLaBeefah Sun 20-Mar-16 11:53:51

Teenagers seem so much more confident nowadays.

The '80s was a Crap time to be a teenager. Any kind of intelligence was hounded out of you at school and bullying was endemic.
Maybe the Internet has helped.?Positively fashionable to be a geek and bigotry seems to be stamped upon (instead of encouraged - even by the teachers - back in my day. ).

pointythings Sun 20-Mar-16 12:38:20

I've found that the vast majority of teenagers are just really nice. That was the case even when my DDs were very little - there would be teens in the playground, but they would mostly be interacting with the little ones, pushing them on the swings, helping them when they fell over, that sort of thing. My DDs are now 13 an 15 and their friends are all lovely young people. Teenagers have come a long way and I do think parenting has a lot to do with it.

IndridCold Sun 20-Mar-16 14:01:56

An elderly friend of mine was telling me that she had taken three of her grandchildren to see Billy Elliot. She was a bit worried at first to find that they were sitting right behind a group of teenage girls. Needless to say they behaved impeccably, in stark contrast to the two 50-something women nearby, who spent the entire performance looking at their phones...

takeonefortheteam Sun 20-Mar-16 14:06:11

I love a happy thread.
My DCs teen friends are all lovely. They all seem much more confident than I was as a gauche teen; none of that scurrying up to the friend's bedroom and avoiding eye contact that I did in the 1980s.

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