Remember your teenage years? Chances are, you weren’t having the time of your life. How would you rank them? I, personally, can safely say, my teenage years were the hardest part of my life. With all the biological and emotional changes you go through in your teenage years, life pretty much sucks. I was quite popular in high school, but no one escapes bullying. That’s the nature of teenage minds. Where the difference is being made, is the support you’re getting and how you chose to deal with the bullies. It’s like walking on tightrope. My parents were very supportive but also very overprotective at that time. I don’t blame them, looking back, I would have done the same. I wasn’t a dream child in those years either. But at the time, it felt overwhelming. I’d probably would have liked the option of being able to talk to someone unbiased, someone professional provided by my high school, someone to be found at the same place when I needed to talk. You don’t share all your fears with your parents, let alone your mates.
I want my daughter to have that option. I’d like my daughter to be educated about the possible ways of dealing with the pressure. New, worrying findings say 1 in every 3 girls are unhappy with their appearance. According to the Good Childhood Report 2016 conducted by The Children’s Society. That’s 1/3. Frightening figures.
Furthermore, 1 in every 7 girls are unhappy with their life in general. Pretty bad, compared to the fact that we meant to be a more developed society than the generations before. Can you take more bad news? It’s getting worse. And only with girls. Boy’s happiness remains the same.
So, what’s going on? Why only girls? We are being told and reminded constantly not to measure ourselves to the poster girls, the idiotic Kardashians, or other public female figures considered to be beautiful. In my view, that new era has already begun, and women started to realise that our qualities aren’t based on beauty. As adults though, it’s a lot easier, because we have all those years behind us and we’ve learned and struggled our ways through the us of teenage years. But can we spare all those unnecessary tears and scars? Can we minimise the impact of bullying? Can we provide the help they need from us without pushing them out of their comfort zone? I think we can and we should.
Another aspect of this survey, that social media should take the blame. I’m not so sure that technology should be or can be blamed in these days, but the inevitable truth is that young people spend significant time on their social media outlets. And that’s an extra source of bullying. As a parent I find myself armed with limited knowledge on this mine field: we didn’t have to deal with cyber bullying in our teenage years. I don’t know anything about it. Just the everyday classroom bullying was more than enough, thanks very much. So, even if you think you’re the best to help them, you might need some catching u to do.
Therefore, I strongly support the Children’s Society’s call for the Government to make sure emotional and mental health support is available in all schools. My generation missed out on this, I want my daughter to be able to get the help she might need.
What can we do? Share this message, spread the word, talk about it with your friends and family.
Visit The Children’s Society’s homepage to learn more, educate yourself and donate.