When I was growing up a lot of kids in BC, specifically, were living in poverty. At home in Calgary there were a lot of things we couldn’t have, but the idea that we were poor, didn’t really hit home until we moved to BC and we as teenagers realized just how difficult life was.
I didn’t have a job, and I wasn’t really interested in one as a teen, I was just trying to figure out how to get from one day to the next, without dying, which if you know my story, makes a lot of sense, and also means that I didn’t have time for a job. I was too busy trying to find my place.
But what I do remember is that kids who had jobs, were exponentially more stressed out than some of us, because they had so many adults – plus all of us kids – telling them who to be.
It’s hard being a teenager, it’s so difficult. Between teachers, friends, parents, and people you might work or volunteer with, it’s difficult to find yourself, hold onto yourself, and remind yourself that it’s okay to just be you.
Each of us grew up thinking that when we were adults we’d have it all figured out, but the truth is we were just kids, trying to make it through the day without being too badly scathed or scarred.
With the weight of the world on today’s teenagers, it’s no wonder that so many of them are struggling. Imagine turning on the news and finding out that if you lived in another place, your very existence on the sports field is illegal.
Or knowing that in a country not far from your own, young kids are going to school one day and everything is fine, only to go to class the next day and end up dead because of a shooter.
These are triggering, traumatizing events, and even if you’re not there, it puts the kind of fear inside of you that it “might” happen here.
Go easy on your kids, because as they are trying to discover who they want to be, they are also discovering that the world will hate them, simply for existing. As Brown, Black, Indigenous, Jewish, Disabled, Trans, or even just because they blink the wrong fucking way.
Please remember that kids are hearing everything you say and whether you know it, like it, or not, they are judging themselves, based on what they hear you say. We condition our children, based on the conversations we think they don’t hear.
All those conversations that you think they aren’t listening to, they are hearing, and they are thinking “well does mom, dad, auntie, uncle, guardian, think that about me too?”
They treat people the way you teach them to treat people, so if your heart is filled with hate, they’ll fill their own with hate, just to impress you.
And mom, dad, guardian? If you’re doing the best you can, just because you know it’s the right thing to do…then you’re doing a damned good job.
If you have thoughts you’d like to add about this post, please leave a message, and let’s talk about them,
Sending All My Love,
Devon J Hall