I don't think that teenagers today get a particularly easy ride. We don't allow them many reasons for optimism and that bothers me. Peer pressure encourages them to grow up too fast, and the adult world looks pretty scary in today's grey economic and ecological environment.
Here we try to open our house as much as possible to our children's friends. It's reassuring to know where everyone is, and I like them to think of us as a welcoming home. I'm not holding myself up as some sort of saint, but I definitely prefer to have the house full of youngsters - even if I am cooking for about 15 at each meal at the moment! - than to have it deathly quiet, and wonder where my kids are and what they're up to!
This week we had something new. My 17 year old daughter got a call from a couple of high school friends. They were at a loose end, they said..., looking for something to do, they added...., love the food at your house they mentioned!! I took this is as a huge compliment.
The result was that the two boys cycled 80km or 50 miles to get here, and in exchange for good food, and fun days, they have completely repainted my barn doors. How cool is that!!
Merci les garcons!
Don't ever let people knock today's teenagers. Sometimes all they need is our trust and the space to express themselves.