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Is there a great difference in teenage years?

(62 Posts)
MarthaBeck Sat 09-Nov-19 10:54:06

Very interesting feed back this week from an older people social group.

They were asked what major difference they notice effecting teenagers and their own teenagers days, relative to today’s society.

The top ten differences were not put into any order, but they do provide an insight into the generation divide.

The majority of the time key points older people made are listed here.

We did a not about future face the problems of drugs and pressures that they do today.

Sexual knowledge and behaviour is both good, yet often over the top.

Few smoke, ( very good ), they have a great real more money to spend.

There has been a considerable reduction in good manners and lack of respect for age and others. Lack of discipline in our schools today and teachers dressing down does not help.

Dress sense, horrible tattoos, body piercing. Hate, racial tones and frightening hoodie is worrying. As is the carrying knifes and other weapons.

Swearing, indecency in public places, the dangers of social media.

Far better educational opportunities very welcome but would welcome better understanding of professional careers paths including care.

Not having to face dole lines, rationing and bombs.

Worries about future living standards and housing opportunities for young people .

Far older in their years and street wide, they also gave a greater interest in the environment and travel. We should consider votes at 17 with further review in say five years.

There were many other comments, but often more based on own family experiences

Would be interesting to have your views.

Ilovecheese Sat 09-Nov-19 11:03:13

I was a teenager in the late sixties and early seventies, there were plenty of drugs around then.

Oopsminty Sat 09-Nov-19 11:08:06

I was living in Spain at 17, in the late 70s. Decided I'd had enough of A Levels, much to my parent's horror.

Plenty of drugs out there

I think youngsters today are far more polite and tolerant than I was.

Not interested in lowering the voting age. I'm proof that at 17 you can still be a bit dipsy.

Calendargirl Sat 09-Nov-19 11:12:18

I think a major difference is how much more aware of so many things they are nowadays compared to us in the 60’s .
They learn about the dangers of drink, drugs, unprotected sex,
they know about the environment, climate change, the world is a much smaller place than how it seemed to us.

On the other hand, although they seem streetwise and mature in many ways, I think of my DH who left school at 15, working full time from then in a man’s job. Not many of them have had a paper round at that age nowadays.

Sara65 Sat 09-Nov-19 11:29:38

Yes I recall plenty of drugs around in the seventies.
I think one of the big differences now, is that teenagers are very aware, they’ve had sex education, drugs awareness lessons, their parents are probably quite open about discussing everything and anything.

We were thrown in at the deep end, I left home knowing almost nothing about sex, absolutely nothing about drugs, and I’d never really, beyond the odd sherry at a wedding, had an alcoholic drink!

But I soon learned!

Grandad1943 Sat 09-Nov-19 11:30:11

I left school in 1960 and like very many having failed my Eleven Plus exam I therefore had no educational qualifications whatsoever.

However, at that time Britain had more job vacancies available to it than there were people to fill them. Therefore I left school on a Friday and gained my first job interview on the Saturday by just walking into a food store, and began work as a trainee Butcher on Monday. It was as simple as that.

Wages were good even for young trainees and many young people changed jobs regularly in those first few years until they found something that suited there talents and interest.

Certainly, life in Bristol where I was brought up was straightforward and enjoyable and for us lads National Service had come to an end. There was only the Vietnam war to concern us as on several occasions Britain looked as if it may have become involved and that would have brought back National Service.

I lived for my mates, my motorbike and a few girls that would hang around with us until I met my now wife in 1967 and we bought our first house for two thousand seven hundred pounds in 1968.

So, I feel that young persons today have a far harder time in "getting themselves established" as the world is a far harsher place in almost all areas.

To do what I did on leaving education is now impossible.

EllanVannin Sat 09-Nov-19 12:19:23

Idyllic in the 50's ! I was a teen in 1953 . Little crime to speak of no peer pressure, in fact no pressure at all. Quite innocent in those days, no drugs or alcohol problems probably because there was little or no money to spare and the pubs which were few and far between closed at 10.30pm or last orders were then, I'm not sure.

Every home appeared to have a mum and dad, so stability was more evident than now. Nobody cared that someone had more than the other person. I think Persil washed clothes mattered more smile
Us kids made our own entertainment making dens with ferns up the garden, going fishing for tiddlers or tadpoles/frogs, playing tag or sly fox.

Pea-picking/ fruit picking at the farm for pocket money. Jobs around the house for our pocket money----like filling the coal scuttle, mowing the lawn, cutting the privet hedge.

The 50's was the best for me.

EllanVannin Sat 09-Nov-19 12:28:11

Of course there's a difference in the teens of today as many are obnoxious individuals due to this PC society that we've been forced/dictated into------" musn't upset them !"

As a teen, we didn't dare disobey our teachers let alone swear or punch them as is done today. There was a cane in the corner of the classroom but I don't remember it being used.

sodapop Sat 09-Nov-19 12:31:10

I agree with Calendargirl in the main. Today's young people are much more aware than we were especially with global issues. Many of the comments made are the same ones older people have always made down the years.
Life for us in the fifties and sixties was much less stressful.

boodymum67 Sat 09-Nov-19 12:53:17

AS much as I don't like ageing..I`m 67 and disabled since 45....I wouldn't jump at the chance of being a teenager now......the streets are full of dangers we didn't have as young `uns.

Doodledog Sat 09-Nov-19 13:00:30

Why would you like to upset teenagers, EllanVannin?

I think that a lot of young people nowadays are more sensitive and kinder than we were. I shudder when I remember some of the words used to describe ethnic minorities, gay people etc when I was a teenager.

So-called 'PC' has made that unacceptable, and I think that choosing words that are not going to offend or hurt people is a very small thing that has a very large impact.

growstuff Sat 09-Nov-19 13:09:29

It's interesting that an "older persons group" is likely to include people who are a generation apart. I don't recognise the experiences that some people on here say they had of teenage years. To me, those were the experiences of my parents.

dragonfly46 Sat 09-Nov-19 13:10:22

Doodle I don't think young people are more sensitive it is just that they do not see the differences in people. I put this down to their upbringing. My parents were always very aware of people's sexual orientation and ethnicity but it did not rub off on me. In general society is more accepting, on the surface anyway.

At the end of the day teenagers are just as unsure as we were. It is a troubling age with the same pressures, exams etc as we had with the added problems brought about by social media.

trisher Sat 09-Nov-19 13:31:50

Wow where were the people surveyed living in an isolated village somewhere.
There were drugs available and alcohol was cheaper (perhaps those surveyed didn't think it was a drug)
There were people with tattoos and knives and we were warned to avoid them. I remember seeing a flick knife in the 60s (think they were illegal)
As for bombs and rationing Only 90 year olds would be teenagers when there were bombs. I remember sweet rationing but I wasn't a teenager when it stopped.
I'm not sure who these people were but I think they area bit out of touch.

EllanVannin Sat 09-Nov-19 13:55:58

What do you mean,Doodledog ? I didn't say " I'd like to upset teenagers ??"

EllanVannin Sat 09-Nov-19 13:57:23

I said " musn't upset " which is entirely different !

Doodledog Sat 09-Nov-19 14:36:28

Of course there's a difference in the teens of today as many are obnoxious individuals due to this PC society that we've been forced/dictated into------" musn't upset them !"

Ok, so you didn't say directly that you would like to upset them; but you did say that 'PC society' makes young people into 'obnoxious individuals' who must not be upset. That does suggest (to me) that you think it would be better for young people if there were less by way of thoughtful language and more 'non-PC' speech.

BlueBelle Sat 09-Nov-19 15:34:29

Well I went through the 50 s my mum and dad both worked full time which was 8-6 six days a week I wasn’t a latch door kid as my Nan looked after me
I never had or was offered drugs
I had all the lack of confidence about my body face hair as today’s kids
I buried my head in a book instead of a phone no difference really
I lay in bed listening to radio Luxembourg similar to Netflix etc etc
I was 17 before I had a holiday and 20 before going in a plane
I was 16 before my granddad got a tv we didn’t get one until I left home
Outside loo , no bathroom and izal toilet rolls
I didn’t know what contraception was about until I was 18, oh what an innocent, but I wasn’t, that’s the problem
So few jobs to choose from for a woman shop, teacher, factory, secretary, nurse
I d love to have the life of today pressures and all We had pressures too

MaggieTulliver Sat 09-Nov-19 15:56:27

I have a great deal in common with my 19 year old daughter (I’m 62) and she asks my advice about everything from drugs to relationships. I was a teen in the 70s and the main difference between us is that I had to rebel against my parents and she didn’t. Oh and technology of course!

Sara65 Sat 09-Nov-19 16:06:46

Sometimes my husband and I reminisce about our teenage years, we met when I was sixteen, but we weren’t together.

I often think about how many times I put myself in dangerous situations, and I honestly think that my teenage grandchildren are a lot more sensible.

But of course, Maggie is right, they can talk to their parents, and also to their grandparents, nothing any of them can say is likely to shock me.

growstuff Sat 09-Nov-19 19:19:37

I'm the same as you MaggieTulliver. I'm 64 and my experience of being a teenager was much closer to that of my children (in their 20s) than to many of the descriptions on here.

Deedaa Sat 09-Nov-19 21:29:34

I was an art student in the 60s. A few students had tried purple hearts and hadn't enjoyed it and we knew someone who knew someone who was on heroin. That was as far as our drugs experience went. We rarely drank - too expensive! We would meet in the pub for a couple of drinks at the end of term (literally a couple of drinks) The biggest scandal was when two of the boys were arrested for vagrancy in London and had their hair shaved off.

M0nica Sat 09-Nov-19 22:13:14

I was a teenager between 1953 - 1963. My memories are not of it being so innocent as people believe. I can remember at 14 looking at parents and teachers and thinking that their control over me depended henceforth on me being willing to be controlled. having said that, I was treated as a child until I was 16, after that I began to be treated like an adult. That is one thing that has changed. The transition from childhood to adulthood starts earlier and lasts longer, sometimes too long.

But essentially I was a teenager in the 1960s. sex, drugs and rock and roll, actually I generally kept clear of all three. The postwar generation I belonged to kicked over every trace we could find, so I feel it is hypocritical to criticise people younger than me. I went away to university at 18 and after that my life was my own.

Work was available then - but it is now. It took me and several friends about two years to settle into careers after we graduated, but we worked as shop assistants, clerks, waitresses and anything else we could find to keep body and soul together. Not that different from the gig economy.

I look at my 12 year old DGD going on 16. I can see that the eductation she is getting is different but as good as mine, that she has more money than I did at her age, but that is general across all ages. She has much the same freedoms at her age that I had, but that I was a lot more independent than she is. I travelled on alone on public transport far more than she does and much further.

MissAdventure Sat 09-Nov-19 22:17:01

I think today's teens are quite obnoxious, generally.
I'm sure I wasn't THAT bad (in fact, I know I wasn't, because I knew my mum would find out)

SirChenjin Sat 09-Nov-19 22:19:49

My youngest is 12 and the older 2 are 20 and 22. The major thing that strikes me as different from my teenage years in the 80s is social media - they have to navigate some horrendous behaviour on there at a time when they’re very vulnerable. I would have hated to have grown up with that level of public scrutiny and judgement.