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Fun things for teenagers

(9 Posts)
GeraldineGransnet (GNHQ) Mon 19-Sep-11 16:41:43

The Scouts have asked us for our gran wisdom about teenagers. What are our top tips for getting young people interested in things they may not know they're interested in? What gets their attention? What do they enjoy? What gets them out of the house? And do we have any tips for dealing with difficult behaviour?

They want to run the suggestions as an article in Scouting magazine, which goes out to their scout leaders and helpers. So...thinking caps on!

Carol Mon 19-Sep-11 18:10:32

The Youth Offending Service will point the way to helpful ideas - there's an office in most towns, or contact the National Probation Service if they can't find one nearby. They will help the scouts to get in touch with a YOS worker, and they may even come along to talk with a group of scout leaders. I found making pizzas or baking bread and having discussion topics whilst cooking was a great way to get ideas from youths, and even the most uncommunicative youth would contribute if they were doing an enjoyable activity whilst talking. What about a wall or large board they can spray paint on or draw graffiti - there's some fantastic talent out there. Get small groups of youths to produce a project to show the other groups - favourite hip-hop groups, something about their local community that they can research such as the prevalence of status dogs and why teens like them - what are the pros and cons of having such family pets. Give them a list of items to find when out camping or within their locality, and race back with to win a prize - make sure the items are things they may not be that familiar with so they have to think hard and ask questions. Get them to display their own talents such as skateboarding, rapping, break-dancing or mountain biking, Britains Got Talent style, and appoint three of their peers as judges - that will be a good laugh! Better stop so you can read other ideas.....

crimson Mon 19-Sep-11 18:26:07

Don't stop...those ideas are amazing! All I could think of was music [particularly thinking of the 'compilation tapes' that prospective beaus would give to my daughter....not sure what they use now?].

Carol Mon 19-Sep-11 19:34:52

I am a retired probation officer so cut my baby teeth on young offenders who delighted in challenging the rookie! Ideas for managing difficult behaviour need a basic training course, but a good start is to sit with the group and agree ground rules that everyone can adhere to and hold each other to account if they are breached. For example, speak respectfully to each other, listen when someone else is talking, mobile phones in their place so they don't disturb everyone and so on..... but important that the rules are generated by the group and not imposed by scout leaders. Avoid getting into arguments, acknowledge that youths may be resistant to change so don't set unreachable standards, give lots of credit for positive behaviour and say why it is positive so they can repeat it, notice when the young person does something on their own initiative, describe how their positive behaviour will transfer to college or apprenticeships. Come on guys...there are some very wise women out there, who will be able to leave these ideas standing x

crimson Tue 20-Sep-11 12:48:41

Monty Roberts, the Horse Whisperer also worked with problem kids, and his approach was always to praise good behaviour and ignore bad. It worries me that young people spend so much time attached to mobile phones or computers, especally as I'm pretty addicted myself [and I use the word addicted quite seriously]. Michael Morpurgo has/had a farm where children from all walks of life went to stay and he found that they loved being with the animals, especially the horses. Also, when kids grow up creating things themselves and feeling pride in what they've done, they must surely be less inclined to destroy something someone else owns or has made?

Ganja Wed 21-Sep-11 08:36:08

Please may I use Ask a Gran for help with a much more frivolous problem than the above. It is my daughters 40th birthday soon and I am planning to go up to London to take her out for a special lunch BUT we will have GD (7)and GS (4) with us. They are good in restaurants, but obviously can only sit quietly for a limited time. Can anyone suggest somewhere fun for children that also does really delicious food? Cost no problem, within reason!

GeraldineGransnet (GNHQ) Wed 21-Sep-11 12:35:44

These are brilliant ideas, thank you!

We're happy to receive more, needless to say.

Ganja, don't suppose you'd like to start a new thread for this? Think you will probably get more responses if you do. It's a very good question...

Ganja Wed 21-Sep-11 19:23:57

How do I do that? Am new to this game

JosieGransnet (GNHQ) Thu 22-Sep-11 09:16:48

Hi Ganja,

To start a new thread, just go to the topic you'd like to start a thread in (for example Ask a gran - you can see a list of all the topic by clicking on 'Topics' at the top of this page.
Once you're on the right topic, just click 'Start a new discussion', near the top of the page. Enter your message, then 'Create Conversation'.

Hope that helps!