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Parent beware: Twickenham/Teddington toxic area for teenagers

(14 Posts)
Toxicteen1 Mon 11-Sep-17 13:40:01

Name changed
I am becoming increasingly aware of what a toxic area this is for older teenagers. Apparently drugs are at "every" party. Underage drinking is completely common place from about age 14/15 at parties and in parks after school. This is not beer or cider but whisky and vodka. These are not "dodgy" kids but ones everyone thinks are sensible good kids. These are kids whose parent say my child would never do this. This behaviour is not limited to any one school or any type of school.
I do think being allowed out at lunchtime in year 11 is problematic.
Just wanted to highlight a local problem which is easy to underestimate until you are afflicted

LottieProsser Wed 13-Sep-17 23:09:49

Interested to hear more about your experiences. This hasn't really been a major issue for my daughter and her (large) group of friends who have just finished year 11 at Teddington but obviously I know there is some drinking by some teenagers at some teenage parties. Haven't heard about it happening at lunchtimes. I don't think you should totally terrify every parent of a pre-teen child into moving (not sure where would be safer for teens?!)

AmazingDisgrace Tue 26-Sep-17 16:29:04

I think you'll find this goes on up and down the country with teenagers having a drink at parties. It is actually more commonly cider, although occasionally someone will nick their Dad's whisky. I really think you are scaremongering TBH.

Perhaps you've had a recent issue and are projecting this?

Rosie70 Wed 27-Sep-17 06:05:50

None of my year 11 child's friends drink, do drugs or smoke. OTT scaremongering post

FrustratedofTW1 Wed 27-Sep-17 12:27:54

Yes it goes on, cheap vodka from Tesco though (used to be Bubbles when that sweet old couple were in charge). Some older teens do well out of being paid to buy it. However not all teenagers get involved and often when they do it is down to naive, or even downright negligent, parenting. The important thing is to talk to your teenagers and impose sensible boundaries on their behaviour to stop them being at risk, and don't assume they are not getting involved, in my experience it can be the most sensible geeky ones that get drawn in as moths to a flame to join the cool kids who then get them hammered.

I once went out on a Friday evening in summer to find my DC who had defied the ban on drinking in the parks. I saw some scary sights but by far the worst was on Moormead, mainly OP pupils but also other schools, including LEH etc. It was like a scene from Soddom and Gomorrah, many were very drunk indeed and disappearing into the bushes together with the obvious risks. There were also several other incidents of risky sexual behaviour, some involving the Police, amongst the pupils in West London schools (and probably nationwide), and some of those involved social media. You should not fall for the idea that their social media activities are private, you may be the only person not seeing your teen engaging in risky behaviour.

The reality is that teenagers indulge in risky behaviour in real life and online and it is our job as parents to protect them from the consequences. Schools also play a role and if you know there has been a gathering involving sex, drink and drugs or risky online behaviour do tell them . They can employ peer pressure from older pupils to mentor the at risk pupils as well as counsel the most vulnerable.

It tends to calm down in Year 11 as they mature and get too busy with exams......

FrustratedofTW1 Wed 27-Sep-17 12:34:17

But it starts in Year 8.....

Twickers6 Wed 27-Sep-17 19:40:36

Rosie do not believe it. This is a real problem. The previous head at OP used to warn parents in the weekly newsletter about Moormead and York house gardens. Apparently richmond green is another destination. Be wary of sleep overs as they can be a cover for going out to get drunk and then crashing at a more liberal parent. I was on the bus a few months back and the girls from St caths were talking of going out bedroom windows to a party the parents had said no to.
None of this is new.

Strawbs69 Wed 27-Sep-17 21:52:44

I agree it is a problem in the area. There seems to be a lot of weed smoking amongst my dc,s friends. My understanding is also that the small independent shops are quite easy to buy booze underage. I guess they have been priced out by Tesco metro etc. I think it is naive to think ones children won't be involved. My very sporty dc was. Much to our surprise. We thought lots of sport would be protective. We are a few years on now but I don't think things have changed

tw11 Wed 27-Sep-17 22:17:42

I don't think the problem is specific to the area at all. It's not a local issue - it's an issue nationwide, and I dare to say worldwide. I have friends in Europe and North America and all of them they are seeing the same things. Two of my friends living overseas are high school teachers (one is a principal) so they have more exposure to these things. These are the times we live in, it's got nothing to do with TW1 and TW11.

All we can do is to communicate with our kids and support them, be there for them when they need us, and support our schools to be able to deal with these issues. And lead by example - teach the value of education, reading, and sports, and keep them busy. If they're busy reading, studying and play sports, they won't have much time and energy left for drugs and alcohol.

Perhaps I'm naive, but this is how I was raised and in my case it worked. Back then we didn't have access to drugs, but we did have access to alcohol and cigarettes.

noitsnotteatimeyet Wed 27-Sep-17 22:49:03

In the early 80s I was one of the teenagers getting drunk on Richmond Green and in Marble Hill. I went to a very sought-after west London school and sometimes we'd smoke weed at lunchtime... obviously things haven't changed much...

Btw I somehow managed to become a fully-functioning adult with good jobs and a family, much like the vast majority of my peers and the vast majority of the current crop of west London teens

whatwouldrondo Thu 28-Sep-17 10:26:07

noits I am glad that all turned out well for you but sadly I know of young people who were involved in this scene, who have had mental health problems and failed to achieve their potential as a result. The Priory's programmes for young people are a thriving business. Of course it is chicken and egg as to whether it was their existing mental health issues that caused them to drink and take drugs and indulge in attention seeking, including risky sexual, behaviour or vice versa but certainly there are some very real issues concerning the mental health of young people in the borough. I suspect some of those are related to being in an affluent suburb that is part of a big city.

When our big city teens go to university they often feel that students from less urban backgrounds seem very innocent (but also vulnerable to overdoing it in a way they got out of their system by Year 11)

I do think it is important for parents to be aware of these issues and adopt sensible parenting strategies as discussed above including being prepared to enforce sensible boundaries on behaviour. I know experienced teachers sometimes tear their hair out at parenting that can be naive and sometimes just downright self indulgent...

whatwouldrondo Thu 28-Sep-17 10:29:42

I also think that parents somehow think they need to less worried about the risks for boys. I know of more boys suspended or expelled from school for being involved in this scene than girls, especially for drugs but also as a result of sexual behaviour.

Hebenon Thu 28-Sep-17 11:07:13

In the early 80s I was one of the teenagers getting drunk on Richmond Green and in Marble Hill. I went to a very sought-after west London school and sometimes we'd smoke weed at lunchtime... obviously things haven't changed much...

Btw I somehow managed to become a fully-functioning adult with good jobs and a family, much like the vast majority of my peers and the vast majority of the current crop of west London teens

Me too, pretty much word for word! Only the mid-eighties for me.

2B1Gmum Fri 17-Nov-17 12:17:23

I agree with whatwouldrondo, I did my share of underage drinking and dope, but it wasn't as strong and I never got offered the range of drugs that our children see at parties, at Reading etc. My DD's lovely sensible group of friends fell out at Reading because a group were experimenting with drugs and those that didn't had their time ruined looking after them. DS' school, always held talks for the parents, and I was shocked at the naive parents. One said 'could you not bring in a drug addict off the street' to show what they look like! I couldn't hold my tongue, I said actually some drug addicts where suits, pay mortgages and hold down jobs - doesn't make is safe and certainly not easy to spot. Sadly DS 2 (age 21) knows two bright sporty boys who died before age 19 experimenting with drugs, I don't know anyone from my era that did. There are different drugs out there and easily accessible via internet. I also know 2 who have spent time in the priory before age 20 - it takes years to get over and back on track, even with that sort of help.

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