Saturday, 22 December 2012

Teenagers - they roam in packs

Teenagers - they roam in packs
22 December 2012

Teenagers tend to roam in packs.  They are not solitary creatures.  However their social and pack skills only really come to the fore when they are with their peers.  They are hardly likely to exhibit this same pack behaviour with adults or younger kids.  Younger kids tend to annoy them.  Adults even more so.

They use these pack skills in all spheres of their lives.  They like to arrive at parties together and in groups.  They tend to move as one and never alone.  No one wants to be the first or the only person anywhere – EVER.  Even arriving at school in the mornings is timed to coincide with friends arriving too.  They do shopping together.  Even going school shoes shopping with Mom is more acceptable if their pack moves with them.

These same pack skills affect the sport they play.  The clothes they wear.  The extra-murals they do.  If no one else is playing it, wearing it or doing it – they won’t either.  They hate standing out and tend to go for uniformity of clothes, activities, etc.  Everyone wears a certain type of clothes.  If caps are in, then they all wear them.  If a certain type of sunglasses are in, they all wear them too.  The same goes for shorts, shirts and shoes.  In fact – it goes for everything.

And when you’re a den mother for a night for a pack of teenagers, you will find the following – they graze.  Continually.  They have voracious appetites.  For food, for junk, for annoying siblings, for sweets, for cool drinks in summer and hot chocolate in winter, for the internet, for computer games, for going to bed late, for being moody and hormonal, for goofing off, for dissing each other, for sleeping late.  Basically for being typical teenagers.  They are exactly like every stereotypical image and version you’ve ever seen of a teenager on TV and in the movies.

And once they’ve established that your den is sufficiently depleted, they move onto the next den.  The next den mother.  The next fridge and food source.

And so they roam from home to home.  Always on the lookout for something new and exciting to do.  If these escapades include danger and are forbidden, it just makes them that much more exciting and enticing.  They annex the computer and the TV too – if given a chance.  They lounge about living the lazy life.  They are experts at social commentary and firmly believe that they do indeed have all of the answers.  That adults know nothing and are particularly dense and boring.  They have a nonchalant and jaded attitude and play very hard at appearing to be permanently unruffled and unfazed.

I love it when my home is filled with kids.  Yes, kids.  Because contrary to their own perception, teenagers are still kids.  Albeit big kids.  I enjoy listening to their interaction with each other.  Seeing how they goof off and tease each other.  How they mooch about and eat all of the time.  How they are so opinionated and “wise”.  How they truly believe they have their lives worked out and mapped out.

Luke had a buddy sleeping over this week, and they told me all about how they can’t wait to “like move into a flat together one day”.  How they would all pay rent and stuff.  Yip, stuff.  I can’t wait to see this.  They can’t remember to put the lid on the tomato sauce bottle, but think they have got life licked.  And ironically it is really very sweet, because we were all the same.  Once upon a time, a long, long time again, we were also filled with optimism and a continual zest for new things in life.  Before we got bogged down by bills and responsibility.

I hope life doesn’t beat this out of them.  That they get to realise their dreams and live their adventures.  In the meantime, I’ll stock up on junk food and make sure I have enough bandwidth.


  1. This is very funny Helene, again, because it is so darned true!

  2. You can NEVER have enough food...they remind me of the swarm of locusts in that ant movie. :-)