The following is guest post by Kell Kelly of All Mum Said.
Talking to Teens about Consent
Today’s teenagers are living in a world that’s far beyond anything we came across at their age.
They’re constantly accosted by technology. Branded images, messages and ideas designed to sell products and lifestyles. Social media influencers shape their ideas of how their bodies should look and what their bodies should do. The alarming rate of pornography use by children as young as eight gives our children very warped ideas of what sex is.
The results of a study involving 41,000+ young people has shown that young Australians are smoking and drinking far less than they used to. A study done in 1999, the year that I finished high school, showed around 70% of surveyed teens had tried booze. By 2015, that had dropped to 45%. Teenage drinking is now something indulged in by the minority, according to this latest survey.
In 1999, I quite happily headed to the pub after final exams. We shared jugs of beer (already well aware of pub economics) and rested our ciggies in ashtrays while we shot game after game of pool with local truckies and booze hounds. It wasn’t new to us at all. We’d been drinking for a few years by then.
On the weekend, we drove through a Sydney suburb. We rounded a corner to see a large group of boys on bikes and scooters in the middle of the road. Luckily, we were going slowly, looking for the right street number, so we didn’t hit them. There was quite a big group of them, maybe 7 or 8. They were young boys, too. No older than 10.
As they moved out of the way, I muttered something to my husband about how dangerous it was for them to be on the road like that. No helmets, no supervision. He agreed as he parked the car. According to Siri, we had reached our destination.
Role models are people or characters who inspire us, especially when we are young, to be our best selves. They display the characteristics we admire and strive for. As parents, we hope to expose our children to role models that will speak to them in some way. Role models don’t even have to be real people. Fictional characters are sometimes even more desirable as role models because they often encounter extreme circumstances and still exhibit their positive characteristics. Case in point? Doctor Who.