THE BLOG

Mindfulness and Teens - Will They Ever Work Together?

17/07/2015 17:44 BST | Updated 17/07/2016 10:59 BST

I'm deep, deep into the heart of finishing my book, either called, Wake the F...K Up or Frazzled, I want the first title but I'm told it might not make it into bookshops and that would send me over the cliff face. I'm pretty obsessed with it now as my deadline is rearing its ugly head. I'm on the bit about mindfulness for the teenager because so many people ask me how they can tone their teen down. You can't. He's supposed to be like that, it comes with the package of puberty. Why are we forgetting that we all had puberty - it's happened for thousands of generations to everyone everywhere in the world. Pimples are universal and will sprout on a Zulu as well as a Swede. A universal mood swing starts at 11 for girls to 18 and for boys it starts at 13 and finishes around 24 and, for some of them, never.

The fact that this happens to everyone should be a great relief to parents. Understand that your teenagers are just developing normally for their age and they won't (as my parents thought) necessarily become serial killers.

At some point the teenager will find his parents boring and old-fashioned which incites him to think more innovatively, inventing new ideas and concepts - anything so he doesn't have to end up like them (He usually does but as a teen he's aiming higher). Rather than learning by rote as he did as a kid, he now argues and wants to try out everything (it's exhausting). This will go on until adulthood when he's stuffed back into the box. Each generation feels they have to top the last one and come up with unique solutions to be able to survive an ever more complex world. Your old dial-a-number telephone has been replaced by an iPhone 208 and your hoover is now voice activated.

Each generation thinks their parents have screwed up the world. The teen's job is to clean up his parent's mistakes and blame them for being selfish, greedy bastards who just think about themselves and are to blame for the world being a mess, the ice cap melting and the fact that there are no jobs or money because we've spent it all. (On these points they're right on all fronts).

When kids hit their teens, if they're male they need to disengage from mommy and if they're female from daddy. The reason being that they are so in love with their parents as children that if it weren't for the biological separation they would want to marry them, (see Oedipus). At this point friends become far more important than the parents because in the future they are the ones who are going to protect and nurture them when mommy and daddy are in heaven.

Just as a baby animal will trot, leap, fly away from its parents straight after its birth, so will your teenager fly the coop to seek independence, which they'll need if they're ever going to be able to steer through the sharp rocks of life. They are bidding you farewell to explore the world on their own, to seek novelty, take risks, connect with peers, deal with jerks and finally realize that the phrase they always come up with, "It's not fair.", Is actually true. He starts to develop a sense of a self. This self wants you out of the picture so you've gone, in the blink of an eye, from God status to something sticky on the bottom of their shoe. I write all of this from bitter experience and am here to pass this bitterness on.