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For those with teenagers

(21 Posts)
Fredmitten Mon 17-Oct-16 12:21:23

AIBU to think that teenagers today grow up a lot later than they did twenty years ago?
From posts in recent days it seems they shouldn't be expected to get part time jobs, or get themselves up for school in the morning. And it seems parents attending university open days is very much the done thing.
Without wanting to get too in my day about it, my parents were interested and engaged in university discussions and gave me a lift to open days when the train wasn't an option, but part of going was about it being my experience and my choice and striking up conversations with other equally awkward 17 year olds on my own.
Are we raising less independent young people, is that a problem, and what is the change (if there is one) in response too?

blueskyinmarch Mon 17-Oct-16 12:25:25

Thats a bit of a sweeping generalisation. Maybe some teenagers are mollycoddled but not all of them. Mine had part time jobs, got themselves up for school and went to uni open days by themselves. We brought them up to be independent and to make decisions for themselves with our support. This is the same for the majority of our friends children.

I can also recall some of my friends as a teenager being mollycoddled and most, like me, being allowed to grow up and become independent with parental support when needed.

rollinghedgehog Mon 17-Oct-16 12:46:06

I do not have teenagers but I remember being one.

I am terrible at getting up to this day and my mum would always give me a frustrated shout friendly knock as a teenager and later in life as an adult living back at home. Even now my dp is very good at shoving me out of bed giving me a gentle nudge when I need to move.

I had occassional weekend jobs as a teenager but did not work during term time at university, which was helped by financial support from my parents. I am very grateful for this, at it meant I got a better degree, and ultimately have ended up with a better job.

My parents were investing a significant amount in my university education, so I think it is entirely fair that they got to at least see the places I was considering on open days, even if the final decision was ultimately mine. (The one I did go to by myself was a lot more fun, but I would never have dreamed of asking my parents not to come to the others!)

So maybe I did have 'less independence' but I think it all worked out in the end. I got it when I was ready for it, and I think it had an overall positive effect, but I also think it would depend on the person.

mikeyssister Mon 17-Oct-16 13:07:47

My son was deciding what college to go to last year. he asked us to go to a couple of the open days and some he went to on his own. His reasoning was he wanted our opinion on which we felt would suit his needs best.

We went, wandered around with him while he wanted us, and on our own when he didn't. It meant we could attend more subject talks than he could on his own. He went to the one's on courses he thought he'd prefer and we went to others he was less interested in and then gave him a briefing.

He then chose his university and we're paying for it.

Would we have gone if he hadn't asked, probably not, but we would still have been involved in the decision making process because we're paying for it.

He's working part-time to have spending money, playing hard and studying hard.

Sounds like a perfect scenario to me.

Thatwaslulu Mon 17-Oct-16 13:14:18

My DSS and DS both secured part time jobs at 16, and made their way to and from school on public transport from 11. DSS asked us to help him with uni choices and we took him on his first day and settled him in, but that was very much led by him. My parents took me to uni open days as a teen too which I think on balance I preferred as I am an introvert and very shy so would have found asking questions and such difficult.

With my DS he went to sixth form open days alone and collected his GCSE results alone although there was an expectation by the school that parents would pitch up on results day (I was subject to a terse phonecall asking if I was interested in his education) - is that a new thing now? I would have expected results day to just be the kids - it is certainly what happened when I was at school and when DSS was.

BackforGood Mon 17-Oct-16 13:25:42

My teens are pretty similar to myself / friends / siblings when we were teens, tbh.
My teens don't like getting up - Newsflash - neither -do- did I!
My teen have jobs.
Yes, University open days are different, but that comes from a combination of lots of reasons... one being that both dh and I drive and we have 2 cars...another being that with all the technology available to us these days, both dh and I have a lot more flexibility in working hours than my parents did....another that rail fairs are now astronomical.....another being that students today are paying a heck of a lot for the privilege, so getting the right advice becomes more important... then there's the fact that university open days have now changed, and it's quite unusual to go on your own - they are set up differently.

My dc are confident, independent young people, as are many of their friends. They've done FAR more than I had at their age - in terms of belonging to things, travelling, planning and fundraising for things, doing leadership training and leading young people etc., so no, I'd say mine were probably more independent than we were, if not the same.

sophiestew Mon 17-Oct-16 13:54:36

My teens are very independent. Both had part time jobs from age 16 and were usually able to get themselves up in the morning without any input from me.
Yes, I think parents are more involved in uni choices these days, but that's probably because we are paying for it.

EastMidsMummy Mon 17-Oct-16 14:13:43

My teens have part-time jobs, get themselves up for them (paper rounds) but one of us has gone with them for most uni open days they've been to, mostly because of the massive cost of (peak time) train fares. It's much, much cheaper to drive.

aginghippy Mon 17-Oct-16 14:25:33

I didn't have a part time job when I was at school. My parents didn't talk to me much about university choices. Why assume that your teen experience is the typical one?

Without a doubt, my dd is more independent and more confident than I was at that age. That change is probably in response to her having more opportunities and a better education than I did. YABU

littledrummergirl Mon 17-Oct-16 14:33:53

I took ds1 to an open day a couple of weeks ago for a number of reasons including cost and that he is a summer born child and hasn't long turned 16.
We split up in the afternoon, ds1 finding out about the course while I looked at accommodation.
I don't see that having someone with more life experience help you make important life decisions is molly coddling.

Inyournightdress Mon 17-Oct-16 14:34:06

Parenting in general has changed, it has definitely become more child centered. Personally don't see it as a bad thing.

I think most people want their children to have more than they had which is partly to do with it. I know I wanted my kids to enjoy being kids for longer than I was allowed to for a whole host of reasons. I also think when I was a teen it was a lot less common for people to go to university. My parents did not understand the process at all as neither had been. On the other hand my kids had two parents who had been to university so our approach is probably different than how my parents personally saw it.

FarAwayHills Mon 17-Oct-16 15:10:36

I am relatively new to the teen thing. What I've found different from my day is the level of parental involvement in teen friendships, whether is managing friendships or getting really involved with all the mini dramas or freaking out when their DD is left out of something. I just thought we left the parent arranged play dates behind in primary.

Marynary Mon 17-Oct-16 15:17:51

I agree with you about university open days (parents are far far more likely to attend nowadays than 30 years ago) but I don't think much has changed regarding jobs and getting up in the morning.
I didn't work that much (only in the lower sixth and during university holidays) and I won't expect my children to do more than that. Teenagers have always been crap at getting out of bed in the morning. Nothing has changed there.
Do you actually know any teens OP?

Marynary Mon 17-Oct-16 15:25:31

Come to think of it, universities didn't usually have open days 30 years ago so not surprising that parents didn't attend. We looked around on a week day after being invited for an interview or after the course offered a place.

fishonabicycle Mon 17-Oct-16 15:27:25

My son (15) has a Saturday afternoon job waiting in a pub. He has also been getting himself up for years ... I go out early and he just has his own alarm.

DameDiazepamTheDramaQueen Mon 17-Oct-16 15:28:25

Going to open days has a lot to do with now having to find them going to uni!

I was working from 13 but it seems most kids get jobs at 16 now unless it's a paper round.

DameDiazepamTheDramaQueen Mon 17-Oct-16 15:28:41


Stillunexpected Mon 17-Oct-16 15:32:17

Well I have an 18 year old on a gap year at the moment and I was just thinking yesterday how much more grown-up than me he is at the same age! He has a part-time job as a sports coach and has been working for the past 4 years, since the summer he was 15. He teaches and trains groups of both adults and children, which is something I would never have had the confidence to do. He has several times had to do presentations for assessment days or other occasions and it doesn't seem to faze him at all. I have also noticed that both he and his younger brother, 15, seem much more at ease around other adults when we go to a party or get-together. They are both far more confident that I ever was speaking, giving their opinions etc.

We did go to all his open days mainly because they were a pig to get to on public transport and it a couple of cases it cost less in petrol than a train fare to get there. You're right, my parents never came to my open days but then neither were they paying for my university education. We are funding DS and I'd quite like to see where our money is going!

Fredmitten Mon 17-Oct-16 18:00:56

I don't have any teenagers (or other sized children) and it seems like there's as wide a range of independent/less independent as in the past. I have teenage family members who are exceptionally mollycoddled, but that's just one family.
Interesting point on university now I needs to be paid for, and perhaps an unintended consequence of the policy.

corythatwas Mon 17-Oct-16 18:11:07

I didn't have a part-time job and that was over 30 years ago. Most of dd's friends did (dd did not as in poor health).

My dad got me up every morning and basically prepared my breakfast- I am far too lazy to do that for ds.

Attending open days for many parents I suspect is working out what they will be funding/can afford to fund as halls differ in price and maintenance loans tend not to cover all costs for living and accommodation. Also to do with the fact that train travel has become proportionately more expensive in recent years and most 17/18yo's don't drive.

In any case, when I was young there weren't any open days to attend, so that got rid of that problem.

Having said this, dd did not encourage us to come to hers either, so we didn't.

Generally speaking, I think my dc are more streetwise and independent than I was at their age; my mother as more likely to sympathise with my helplessness and help me out; I am more the type that says "well, what are you going to do about it?"

Marynary Mon 17-Oct-16 18:14:42

In any case, when I was young there weren't any open days to attend, so that got rid of that problem.

Exactly. There were no open days years ago so nothing for parents to attend. That is what has changed.

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