Mandy Eve-Barnett's Blog for Readers & Writers

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Ambivalence, A Teenager’s Persona…

November 18, 2013

Ambivalent – definition: uncertain or unable to decide about what course to follow


Ambivalence is widely viewed as a teenagers persona. Their conversation is liberally interspersed with ‘I don’t care’, ‘I’m bored’, ‘you don’t understand anything’, and many more. The ‘sudden’ change in a child for many parents is puzzling  and frustrating. No matter what they say or do it is never ‘right’. The reason for the changes are due to new massive hormonal  messages flooding the teenager’s brain in conjunction with the normal and current needs and experiences it has to process. In essence their brain is being reshaped, and reconstructed giving rise to personality changes and emotional instability.

It is essential that teenagers are exposed to encouraging, supportive and sound advice in this period as their personality will be shaped into their adult persona during this time. Negativity in any form will result in devastating results, whether physically, mentally or emotionally. The teenager years are the most venerable and it is the reason they need more love and encouragement. Let them experience new hobbies, research spirituality and get involved in organizations but with supervision and guidance. Above all love them.

Have you experienced the ‘teenager’ period? Are you in the midst of it? 

Can you share tips on how to deal with a teenager?

For my own experience I encouraged new hobbies, sports and interests. Got to know their friends and hang outs. Ensured they understood I would collect them from anywhere at any time if they needed me to. Required a text so I knew they were safe and unharmed. And loved them fiercely. My son is now 21 years and a delight. My daughter is 17 and we are coping with her growing up with understanding and love.

When we write for this age group or create a character from it, we need to understand the workings of their minds. As with all research for novels, the more we understand the better our work will be.

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A Case of the Doldrums…

June 24, 2013

Doldrums – definition: a state of in activity or stagnation, as in a business or art.


Although the definition state,s in relation to a business or art, I heard this expression throughout my childhood, mostly in school. My parents and grandparents would not let my siblings or I ‘mooch’ about or use the words ‘I’m bored’ or ‘It’s boring”! There was either a suggestion of something we could do or we would ‘escape’ the suggested activity by suddenly finding something better to occupy ourselves.

The most difficult age is probably teenage, for the ‘I’m bored’ statement. The transition from childhood toys and make believe games to more adult pursuits is a challenge. Teens do not want to be perceived as childish but do not have the skills to find other outlets for entertaining themselves (in the most part). There are numerous playgrounds for smaller children but the lack of areas for teenagers is glaringly obvious. Without defined spaces and activities the teenagers become the brunt of adult derision. They are viewed as trouble makers, when all they really need is a dedicated space for activities.

In the English village I used to live in, I struggled to get the simplest requests approved because of this  misconception. Eventually we managed to get a half pipe for skate boarding placed and there was a field marked out for soccer and a tennis court. However, when we requested a flood light so the teens could use these facilities at night, it was refused. The use of the small pavilion was also refused – ‘they might cause damage’ – being sited as the reason. Not all teenagers are hooligans and most would appreciate and respect their own dedicated space. If they have something to do and are not in the doldrums there is less likelihood they will be troublesome.

To my way of thinking this is the age more effort should be put into.

Can you remember being in the doldrums? Did you use the phrase I’m bored?

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