Tearaway teens are nothing new but my parents kept me in line

Michael Eisner

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Back in the 1950s I spent most of my teenage years on the naughty step.

Or rather I was sent to my bedroom to reflect on my sins.

Although my parents, as professional dancers, were great fun and young in spirit, they were really on the ball when it came to disciplining their full-of-mischief only daughter.

While living in Somerset in 1965 I was ‘in my bedroom’ for the whole summer.

It appears I’d been the main influence for half the village’s teenage girls being grounded for underage drinking.

Harrumph! What a hullabaloo over the odd half- pint of scrumpy darlings.

By sweet 16 I was off to Worthing to become a ‘drug dealer’.

What was I going to do, supply Sanatogen to the local wrinklies dear?

By the time I returned home that evening, my sleuthing parents had the police waiting for me.

They’d been suspicious of where I said I was going that day, so checked my room, and found that I’d gone off with a boy.

He had been showing off about selling drugs and I was intrigued, but he was 17, full of bravado and nothing happened.

I was taken to the police station, where they ascertained I hadn’t really been dealing drugs.

As usual, I was just curious – my downfall all my life.So I was sent home with a very stiff warning.

I hated the fact that my mum and dad were so strict.

But of course, looking back now, I could have ended up on the road to ruin, so I’m extremely thankful my parents were such disciplinarians.

Reading an article recently on the sexualisation of Britain’s teenage girls, my reaction was ‘Huh, what’s up with their parents?’

But 50 years on, perhaps parenting isn’t that simple.

Today’s teenagers are bombarded with sexy ‘pop princess’ images. They are encouraged to grow up too soon.

The young people of today are faced with inappropriate internet sites, sexting and peer pressure.

You need to know what your daughter is exposed to on her computer and mobile phone.

No, you wont be very popular. But maybe one day she’ll thank you for keeping her safe.

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