“We aren’t that different to you, we just make TikToks”
“We’d just like adults to be okay with us being in the park when we want to be, and know we’re not doing anything wrong. There usually ends up being a big group of us, and we all like to have fun together after school.”
This is what Celyn, aged 12, told us. Teenagers from across Wales have been sharing their experiences of playing and hanging out with their friends, and the challenges they face in their communities.
So, we want to remind adults that every child is entitled to space to play and socialise with their friends – including teenagers. We want to encourage everyone to be more tolerant of teenagers in shared spaces because as it turns out, we’re not so different after all…
Go on, have a little think about your life as a teenager. Sure, maybe there was little less technology and the trends might have been different, but you’ll probably be surprised to realise how similar your experiences are to those of teenagers today.
“I talk to my parents about what they did when they were my age, and it’s not that different! I spend a lot of time in the park with my friends and hanging out on the benches like they did. We just have phones and stuff now, so we make TikToks and use SnapChat."
Cerys, Celyn’s mother, said:
“While it can be hard to let our teenager go out and play with her friends without us being around, it’s all part of growing up and allowing her to find herself. I spent much of my teenage years hanging out in parks and on the streets of my village, staying out well beyond my curfew and pretending I lost track of time, so I am learning now as a parent how to accept my teenager is the same!”
We want to inspire nostalgia and stir fond memories in adults in Wales, helping to bridge the gap between adults and teenagers today, particularly in public spaces.