When I look back at my fifteen-year-old self, I can’t remember ever voicing my emotions or my feelings, I would always just suffer in silence. 

It seemed that in the eyes of the elders we would never gain the respect that we deserved as we were never going to catch up to them in age. 

The downfall is that children were never believed, and this is where the dangers of child abuse in some families could be seen as a child’s imagination gone wild.

It felt like we were invisible and too stupid to have an opinion and nothing we said would be taken seriously as our voices didn’t seem to matter.

Anything we did have to say would be down to the fact we wanted to draw attention to ourselves. We came to accept that we were to remain silent.

As the years progressed, I remained a rather confused and reserved individual and kept my beliefs locked within myself. It would take decades before I was able to find my voice and speak my truth.

I think this is a generational thing that was passed down from years of silence, ‘children were seen and not heard’ and also women were encouraged to be answerable to men. The latter was not an issue in my upbringing.

The main subject that I am covering is the rights of our younger generation. 

Children as young as three are exposed to a lot of toxicity, not always in their homes, but when they mix with others in public.

Also, they watch films that are not suitable for their maturity and play violent games on gaming devices.


‘A young child knows no better that what you teach them and allow them to do.’

I remember when I was in primary school, hearing a swear word was the worse offence in my eyes. Foul language was non existent in my childhood home and had never passed my parents lips.

In some family settings children are used to the toxic behaviour of their relatives and in some cases it’s the norm. 

The use of foul language, the domestic arguments, and the violence can be a regular everyday occurrence in the household.

Some children will grow up with this kind of behaviour, which is seen as normal,  in their own homes when they have their own kids.


The younger generation of teens to early twenties have a hard job of trying to set a good example for some of the younger children.

In our under-privileged society where we are looked upon as the poor working class, we have to work extremely hard to make ends meet especially if we have young children.

Some of the children are from one-parent-families and may not be able to live the idealistic life that their friends are living. The parent can just about afford to feed and clothe them, money is too tight for the luxuries of life. A holiday on the wish-list will be unfulfilled.

There is the peer pressure of wanting to fit in with others, having the latest trainers, mobile phones, and other fashion accessories,  which seem to be a matter of life or death, as all their friends are in possession of all these items.

The pressure is then passed on to the parent to provide such luxuries, they either have to go in debt to pacify the teen, or when request is declined the teen may become angry hence their behaviour becomes unbearable.


I never had this problem in my teens because I never felt pressured to fit in with anyone. I was doing a paper round at the age of fifteen and would save up for what I needed. It was never about what I wanted.

On reflection of once being a youth I remember all the confusion and frustration I had going around in my head and nowhere to  vent and release it.

It had no bearing on my Parents I just wished that I have the resources of a therapist back then.

I believe that this is a common situation with some young people today. They have no real outlet, so they tend to keep all their thoughts and feelings deep inside them. This is why they end up making irrational decisions.

Reaching puberty is a major factor of changes in behaviour and attitude to life as we become more aware of our bodies and are self-consciousness. The added pressures of wanting to fit in with the competition around us can be a stressful situation.

I admit I fitted in without much effort as I really did not care about competing with other girls. I was too boyish in my ways.

The relationship with our parents also changes and we may be seen as ‘little devils’ as we reach the rebellious stage and the need for attention. We can be standoffish with our relatives as we want to be seen as independent adults and want our voices to be heard.

Everyday life can be remarkably busy especially for the mother who is raising many children. The younger the child the more the attention is needed.

The older child can feel that they are not getting the support they need from the parent and begin to resent the attention given to the younger siblings. At this time, they may feel alone and decide to make decisions about taking control of their own lives in whatever way they can.

There are some children who are neglected and left to their own devices, and this does not always end well.

If you are not getting the support you need in the home, you then search for what you need elsewhere.

As they grow older the priority of the young person is no longer to be loved, but  to have loads of money so they can afford all the luxuries that they see other fortunate young people with.

I am not stating that all young people go down the route of crime I am just writing about the reasons why it may seem an attractive offer to them.

I have experienced working with young offenders in the age group of sixteen to twenty-five and have always given them the space and time to explain to me why they took this route. However, I found that they all had one thing in common and that was emotional neglect.

I am not one to criticise or judge anyone of them for spending time in prison as there is always an explanation for everything we do.

The system does not always work well for those of us who tick the boxes of the minorities or the under-privileged of society as we are used to being over-looked unless we are a person of interest.

Here is a scenario which is not related to anyone I personally know.

A young guy called Larry, in his late teens from an ethnic minority, lives with his mother. The father had absconded from the family home many years ago. Larry has three younger siblings, and his mother is struggling to finance the household.(BACKGROUND)

He suffers with anxiety and feels under pressure to be the head of the household. He feels that his mother does not give him emotional or mental support and takes him for granted.(STATE OF MIND)

Larry decides to look for part-time work, around his education, to be able to buy the necessities that he needs to be able to fit in with his friends. (PEER PRESSURES)

On applying for several jobs, his applications have been rejected due to lack of experience and the fact that he did not come across as confident enough. Larry is feeling like a failure and is desperate to make money.(EMOTIONS)

A not- so- close, friend tells him that his boss is recruiting young boys as salespeople and that the job will pay 75% more than what the jobs out there are offering. He then introduces him to his boss who explains that his business is not legitimate, and he will need to be initiated and on trial.(INFLUENCES)

Larry is now a top earner and is now able to live the lifestyle that he wants and can afford to support his mother.(CONFIDENT)

Eventually Larry gives up on his education and works full-time for the dealer. (DECISIONS)

There may come a time when Larry does get caught with copious amount of goods and will serve time in jail.(PUNISHMENT)

When Larry is released from jail, he has a choice to earn less money legally or to take the risk of going back to his higher paid job.(CHOICES)

This is just one example of how some young people can end up serving time in prison.

Larry felt at a loose end where he felt he had no choice but to accept the offer that was presented to him as he gave up on applying for any more jobs.

Do we make excuses for Larry’s choice???

Like I said I am not here to judge Larry, but I feel it is a shame that he had to give up on his education in order to survive poverty.

It would be interesting for us to examine Larry’s feelings and emotions that have come into play.

We need to look at the major factors of Larry’s situation before he decided to work for the dealer.

How would you respond under the pressure and struggles Larry was faced with in his life?

We all have the freedom to make our own choices but in Larry’s situation he felt that he had no one to turn to.

Are we to blame the guy who introduced him into a life of crime?



Some people in this world see everything in black and white and it is the ones who do not have the struggles of what the under-privileged are experiencing are the ones who always judgemental and quick to bad-mouth the young people.

I am in no way delusional about how crime has increased since the seventies and eighties.

There has been an escalation of young people who are disrespectful and that overstep the boundaries in life. There are teenagers killing each other rather than trying to work out their differences. I am aware of that.

I acknowledge that most of the community centres where they used to have activities and coaching, have been closed due to government cuts and the young people have no positive role models to offload to.

I am not making an excuse for the toxic behaviours of our youth I am merely saying that we need to concentrate on the mental health of our youth as this is part of the contribution to how they live their lives.

We need more positive mentors who will allow the youths to be able to express themselves in a positive way without violence.

Experienced life coaches who can listen to the pent-up feelings of hurt and shame, be there to support them on their journey to become  responsible adults. This can only be done in an environment away from the influence and distraction of others who show no interest in change.

Violent crime is on the increase and in order to tackle the problem it would be an advantage to get funding to setup workshops for early intervention.

We can all sit down and complain about a lot of things. BUT WITHOUT ACTION THERE WILL NEVER BE CHANGE!

Finally, the balance that we are searching for starts from the moment our children can walk and talk. What is being fed to our children will influence their choices in life.

In everything there must be a balance.

Natalie Bleau

The Scripture of Balance

1 comment
  • Haydn
    April 18, 2022

    It all starts from the home, their upbringing and the socio-economc structure. I blame parents who put others before their kids. Also what they allow their kids to be exposed to.

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