Opportunities to have adventures in the real world are necessary to assess risk, celebrate real successes, and learn from mistakes. These experiences help to develop skills for the future. Experiences like these also teach that small failures and skinned elbows aren't the end of the world, and that makes us more resilient.
Teenagers are a strange breed. Creatures of habit, room dwellers, cupboard scavengers, door slamming mumblers. They like to sleep for copious amounts of time but also possess the ability to become nocturnal socialisers. They fridge forage and either avoid the bathroom at all costs or consume it for seemingly every waking minute... there is no in-between.
My daughter isn't a teenager - or even close to being one. She doesn't have the relative maturity or, frankly, the common sense, that goes with being that little bit older. While, to her mind, she's almost a woman, to me, she's still, in many ways, a little girl - and despite her best efforts to act grown up, she can't help giving this away.
The growing number of young people with mental health issues is worrying me. I see young people everyday who are struggling; they don't know what to do, their parents don't know what to do and the schools are finding it difficult to cope. We need a system that is much more able to support those young people who need it.
In an ideal world, stuff like this wouldn't be happening. I know that might be too much to ask, no one can control what people say. Just respect the staff of the places you visit. Stop harassing them if they are clearly not interested, and for the love of God leave the 16 year olds alone, making them uncomfortable is far from a joke. Respect the staff. That isn't too much to ask.
Teenagers often respond to negative experiences with their friends, or boyfriends/girlfriends, in what may seem an over-dramatic manner. What we tend to forget is that this may be the first time they have had experiences like this, and they have not yet managed to, or are still in the process of developing coping strategies to use in response to these situations.