In my last article, I identified a new young generation, the SAFFYs: Serious, Active, Forward-Facing Youth. They're very different to the "typical teen" parodied by Kevin the Teenager. Less frivolous, hedonistic, lazy and 'devil may care'. More anxious and responsible about the future, and more respectful of the past.
I don't usually take selfies in departure lounges - but it's different when travelling with a seventeen year old boy. It's sweet - he teaches me some stuff and I teach him other stuff. I was really surprised as we settled into our seats on board the aircraft, when he turned to me and said: "What shall we play?"
What I want to question is though, why the government has just started wanting to help mental health in schools? They have had years to do so, even by providing teachers better training with Mental Health awareness and understanding or making Mental Health a compulsory unit in Science or ECM, yet they have failed to do anything until recently...
Anyone look back at your tween and teen years and reminisce about how incredibly awkward and uncomfortable you felt in your own skin? Anyone, in conjunction, also realize that those quirks you felt so odd about back then have actually made you the unique person you are today? Anyone think how sad it was that you wasted all that time and energy worrying about what others thought about you? Well...I sure as hell do.
My writing straddles too many genres to be categorised. So I turned Indie. However, when my self-published, first novel made it to the Amazon bestseller list, I realised I had a niche: a group of readers around the world who liked what I wrote. They wanted to know what it meant to come of age in a complex environment like India.
When you live with three teenagers, you are always the first in bed. You are programmed to sit up trance-like at 2am, jump out of bed and do a check of bodies in beds - and, if bodies are missing, conduct the same check hourly thereafter. This was a shock - a return to broken nights from the exhausting days of Baby-has-a-cold.
Schools, you either love them or hate them, a little bit like Marmite I guess. Some say school years are the best years of your life, some even say school reminds them of their youth. But what do you think of when you reminisce about your youth? Do you see school as a good thing or do you feel let down by your school?
We hear the stories of many fellow comrades who have fallen foul to that 'vampiric' institution of unpaid internships which appears to sap the elixir of life from aspirational go-getters. These people have watched The Devil Wears Prada one time too many. There's a whole corner of the internet dedicated to sharing these exaggerated cosmopolitan horror stories.
Former children's minister Tim Loughton said last week that improving educational outcomes is the key to tackling youth unemployment. He's absolutely right, and it is early intervention programmes like ours that can help to ensure the most disadvantaged young children and teenagers are able to achieve their full academic, and personal, potential.
Last week my 15-year-old daughter told me she hated me. Absolutely screamingly, door-slammingly, never-come-in-my-room-again hated. 'You don't understand,' she said. 'This is my life and you're ruining it!' I hadn't stopped her from going to a party or from going within 10 feet of boys (tempting though that is). All I'd done was banned her from having her mobile phone in her room.