Thursday, October 18, 2007

RM column October 12 th - Tubridy on Teenagers

RM column October 12 th - Tubridy on Teenagers

I was listening to Ryan Tubridy on the radio one morning last week when he was talking about teenagers, dating and sexuality.

Normally Tubridy drives me nuts sometimes and this show was no different, you would have thought Tubridy had never been a teenager at all, mmhh it strikes me that he was possibly always an auld fogey.

On that show his guests included a mum of two teenagers and Ruth Gilligan the teenage author.
One of the things that struck me about the programme was how much Tubridy tried to get the more salacious and tabloid stories of teen sex, promiscuity and sordidness.

What he got was a different story altogether which showed me that being a teenager hasn’t changed much over the years.

Sure there are more obstacles for teenagers nowadays; our society is much more sexualised than before. Music videos leave little to the imagination but I would say that has always been a problem from the time when Elvis shook his pelvis scaring the living daylights out of parents all over the world. It is all relative.

Don’t get me wrong I have heard all the mad stories of teenage girls going out with no underwear on and according to Ruth Gilligan she had heard of this but never actually knew anyone who conducted themselves like that.

I’ve read all the tabloid stories of teen-orgies in the papers and without appearing blinkered to my own daughter’s life none of them ring true to things she does or indeed her friends.
Certainly some of her pals are drinking and when drinking like that they are leaving themselves open to danger for want of a better word.

Generally they are acting like teenagers have acted for decades and they are not waiting for every opportunity to have wild-rampant sex.

They talked at length about discos for young people and all the debauchery that Tubridy imagined was going on at these social events.

I am not so na├»ve that I think this doesn’t happen, it does, but not for the vast majority of young people.

For many their relationships are as innocent as we would like them to be, where the hottest and heaviest they get is eating the face of each other snogging.

Normally if I was listening to programmes or indeed conversations like that where all sorts of accusations are thrown about, I would think that it is because the accuser has actually behaved in that way; I doubt that is the case with Tubridy.

Maybe as a teenager he thought everyone was getting up to all sorts because he wasn’t.

The mother on the show and the charming Ruth Gilligan were the voices of reason and were reassuring that teenagers are not the hedonistic youngsters the media often paints them as.
One of the most important things a parent can do is talk to their child and be open about sex.

The younger you can have these conversations the better before the embarrassment factor seeps in and before they learn nonsense from the playground.

It is something that I have talked to the Young Wan about, on how not to race into growing up, how no matter what happens that she should always conduct herself with respect for herself as much as with others. All we can hope is that the lessons we have taught them throughout their lives will be remembered, the rest is up to our teenagers.

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