Gransnet forums


Sad teenagers

(38 Posts)
Doodle Tue 10-Sep-19 21:11:20

Anyone else got grandchildren who think everyone is having a great time except them? Social media makes them think it’s party time and fun for all. The lonely have a tough time.

Doodledog Tue 10-Sep-19 21:16:02

Hi Doodle.

I don't have grandchildren yet, but I do remember thinking that all my friends had a much better time than me, and that they were allowed to eat cake for breakfast, or stay out late, depending on how old we were.

On the whole, this wasn't the case - but everyone pretended to be 'cool' and didn't admit that their lives were boring too, and their parents were massive killjoys like mine grin.

I think that maybe social media makes that seem worse, but I doubt that things have actually changed much. People only post (or even take) photos of themselves having fun, and looking good, not sitting with a face pack watching Eastenders. If you haven't already, you could point this out to your grandchildren?

absent Tue 10-Sep-19 21:16:24

I suspect that most teenagers in every generation have the impression that their own lives are much less exciting and fulfilling than the lives of their contemporaries. No doubt social media exacerbates this feeling, but I think it is just a natural, although painful part of the process of growing up.

GagaJo Tue 10-Sep-19 21:26:40

As a secondary school teacher, it seems to me that the ONLY teenagers that don't feel 'left out/left behind' are those that are roaming the streets, often chased by the police.

Horrible to see your grandchildren unhappy Doodle, but you DEFINITELY know they're not up to no good.

BlueBelle Tue 10-Sep-19 21:58:49

I remember thinking I wasn’t allowed to do half what my friends did and looking back and hearing us all talk now, I wasn’t. It wasn’t meant in a bad way it was to protect me but I still feel a bit ......not jealous, not resentful, but a bit sad that I didn’t get to ‘roam’ around a bit more

KatyK Wed 11-Sep-19 09:32:01

My granddaughter is a teenager. She is stunningly beautiful (yes I know, I would say that but she is). She thinks all her friends/people on Instagram are thinner than her, have better skin etc. She's not sad or lonely though. She's happy in her everyday life thankfully.

annodomini Wed 11-Sep-19 09:51:04

My GD is a pretty, outgoing girl with masses of friends, a sergeant in the Army Cadets, rides a scooter and is now at 6th Form College. I don't think she can possibly feel that her contemporaries are having a better time than she is!
In my teens, 60 years ago, I wasn't allowed to go out at night except for Guides on Friday. Some of my friends were allowed to go dancing on Saturday nights - my parents would never countenance that! Having said that, I think I made a pretty good life for myself, once I'd left home for University, not that I was ever a 'good time girl'.

lovebeigecardigans1955 Wed 11-Sep-19 10:00:01

It's very commonplace to feel miserable as a teenager.

That line in (I think) Dancing in the Dark by Bruce Springsteen sums it up for me, 'wanna change my clothes, my hair, my face.'

It.s a very self-conscious time and you feel that everyone else is smarter, thinner, more beautiful etc etc. All you can do is reassure them that it's the same for every generation and that those who they think are having a better time probably have the same feelings - they're just better at hiding them.

It's the outer veneer that's on show and so important when you're young. Grandma used to say, 'handsome is as handsome does,' and we laughed - but she was right.

Gonegirl Wed 11-Sep-19 10:06:06

Social media can be very damaging for kids. And not all kids have the advantages that others have. It's the disadvantaged ones that are going to get caught up in this.

Even with things like Scouts, some of the activities cost money.

But if a child is lonely, for goodness sake try to keep them off social media! Try hard to find other things to fill their lives. Not easy I know.

KatyK Wed 11-Sep-19 10:21:35

I suggested to my DGD that if social media was making some of her frii unhappy, that they come off it. She looked at me as if I was mad and said 'Nan it's their life. That's never going to happen.'

TerriBull Wed 11-Sep-19 10:22:03

Of course we didn't have social media when we were growing up, what a blessing, I certainly didn't feel judged by my peers in the way some do these days. I would add that those who we perceived as having a good time, were usually the ones who didn't end up with a good life. Whist we, "the drips", often fared better. Drips being defined as mid teens with little experience none of sex. Too much too soon is not always a good thing. Everything comes to those that wait.

My heart goes out to those who do think everyone else is having such a good time, if only they could be imbued with the wisdom and hindsight that will come along later, of knowing that much of what they see on social media is an illusion.

Sb74 Wed 11-Sep-19 10:52:39

I have two children (10 and 12). They have good lives so don’t worry about being left out BUT I personally think that social media is the downfall of society and behind many issues that we have not only in this country but also on an international level. I think it’s very unhealthy and brings little benefit on the whole. Not to worry the OP but I feel social media is behind the increase in mental health issues in our young. I value the internet and the convenience it brings but social media is the source of many problems and I for one would be glad to see it end. I know that sounds strange as I’m on here but I would. Along with reality TV shows and all the other nonsense that dilutes what is important in life. I try to shield my kids from this nonsense. They do look a YouTube and my daughter posts silly things to her friends but I don’t encourage social media in any way. I don’t do Facebook etc either. I just dislike the whole culture of it or what it is doing to our kids.

olliebeak Wed 11-Sep-19 11:09:38

I absolutely hate and abhor most of those TV Programmes that are currently aimed at teenagers/young people - the ones like 'Made in Chelsea', 'TOWIE', 'Love Island', 'Geordie Shore'' 'Take Me Out' etc. Our young teenagers are growing up believing that these all depict 'real life' - and that they are failures if their own lives don't measure up to them.

I remember a song from 'way back when', by a singer called Janis Ian - 'At Seventeen'. So poignant - have a listen :

Gonegirl Wed 11-Sep-19 11:14:40

I guess we are joining in social media by posting on Gransnet.

adrisco Wed 11-Sep-19 11:18:40

Yes that song "Seventeen" says it all. That horrible feeling of being left out, of feeling inferior, of every girl being prettier, cleverer, more popular than you. Janis Ian is my all time favourite singer/songwriter .. but she will always be best known for this beautiful heartbreaking song. My elder granddaughter has just started High School. So far so good .. but the dreaded Facebook hasn't been allowed yet. So glad it wasn't around when we were young!

Griselda Wed 11-Sep-19 11:34:58

Absent wrote -
I suspect that most teenagers in every generation have the impression that their own lives are much less exciting and fulfilling than the lives of their contemporaries

and she is right.

Many years ago before social media existed I was conscious of this as Head of Year 11. I did a survey in which I asked the pupils how often they were allowed out at night and at weekends and what time they had to be in. be in at night.
The results showed that almost every child had quite strong limits about the amount of time spent out of their home and the timings and arrangement for their return,
I suspect that things haven't changed that much.
It used to be that on Monday morning a weekend party had been just OK, but by the end of the day the stories had reached the level of drunken orgy. I guess that with social media these stories get exaggerated more quickly.

Violettham Wed 11-Sep-19 11:37:46

well said sb 74 and olliebeak I agree with you both

Nonnie Wed 11-Sep-19 11:48:59

I think insecurity is part of puberty. I was insecure for a lot longer than that, until I left home and discovered how much I had to offer. I thought I was very plain but now I look at old photos and realise I was quite pretty. I think we just have to live through it.

Newatthis Wed 11-Sep-19 12:16:15

I think it's not just teenagers. Many people, old and young, feel that everyone else is having more fun, are more pretty, thinner, richer, etc etc. I guess society has got that way and it is all down to social media - people posting their lives on FB, Instagram etc.

TrendyNannie6 Wed 11-Sep-19 12:25:47

I love social media but I agree with gonegirl

Hetty58 Wed 11-Sep-19 12:42:37

It's a natural part of teenage life (I recall being miserable) but magnified by social media. Youngsters need to realise that the 'happy' posts and pics are often just a front.

We put on our best face for friends and outsiders but our family get to know just how unhappy, bored, scared, lonely and lost we really are. Once we find out that our friends are just pretending too and often feel the same we can relax about it.

Blinko Wed 11-Sep-19 13:09:27

Thinking everyone's got it better than you is surely part and parcel of being a teenager? It was in my day, anyway. It goes with the territory. hmm

Cherrytree59 Wed 11-Sep-19 13:18:48

Teenage years can be the worst years.
For teeenagers who dont fit in with the 'in crowd' it can be hell.sad

Doodle does your grandson have a specific interest that could be encouraged?

Animals can be a great help.
My daughter had a weekend job at a kennels/cattery.

My son kept birds in avery at the bottom of our garden and joined the bird society.
It members were mainly older people.
They encouraged and were extremely eager to help him.

Both children were encouraged to swim for excercise.
Useful if teen doesn't like team sports.
Our local leisure centre has swim times for children with autism.
My daughter has also found a martial arts group that has special tuition for 'sen' children.
(Work in progress)

My daughter joined the red cross and learned some useful skills.

I feel for some teenagers it is case of helping them to look at outside the norm, I know they will say it is not cool.
However friends and school-mates do not have to know what each other's home interests are.

I have both sympathy and empathy Doodle, I know that it will be long before we will/could be facing similar issues.

I wish your grandson well.sunshine

Anrol Wed 11-Sep-19 13:30:23

Sad teenagers always remind me of the old 1970’s Janis Ian song Seventeen.... . Still hits the angst of teenage years right on the head nearly 50 years later. I fear the sadness of some teenagers will always be so for those hormone filled years.

Doodle Wed 11-Sep-19 13:55:05

Thanks Cherrytree. Yes he does have several interests and to the outside world would look fine. It’s the problem of keeping relationships when friends have got problems of their own. I hope your (3?) have a better time (are they siblings ?)