SOAPBOX: Who's to blame if a teen turns bad?
STOP whingeing about teenagers. It's time we cut them some slack.
I probably feared the day my kids would become teenagers as much as childbirth as they are given such a bad rap.
I remember walking in a shop with my then eight-week-old son, Thomas, to have some woman confront me with "he is cute now, but wait until he becomes a teenager".
It seems a common dinner table discussion to bag this age of transformation in a person's life.
I have two teenagers in my home now and I love it.
You can have meaningful conversations with them, play sport with them (even though they've become heaps better than me) and, mostly, they're still happy to be around you.
When I think of the pressures on teenagers today, is it any wonder some of them are belligerent and otherwise?
They have piles of school work to get through, sport to play, friends to keep, social media pressures and a part-time job.
And always, someone is reminding of the burden of a future they have to map out for themselves in a few short years.
If they are rude, cheeky and unreliable, who is to blame? The teenager or the parent who has some point disconnected so they don't explain when their child has pushed boundaries too far and their child no longer wishes to explain what's bugging them?
Or maybe, they're simply living up to the low expectations we continually place on them.