Parenting teenagers is so much fun and somewhat different to how it was in my day. Of course when I talk about my day I am referring to the 90’s. My weekends and evenings consisted of beer gardens, drinking 20/20 and clubbing. Looking back it was any wonder I passed my A Levels as going clubbing was my hobby. I was rather good at it too! It was not unusual and the door staff would let us in with a cursory glance. If ever we were asked for ID we would happily wave some badly photocopied and edited driving licence or even an NHS card! No-one really cared that it wasn’t ours and it was obviously a fake.
The time has definitely changed and no longer are the clubs filled with underage drinkers. There are less clubs now and it seems that the nightclub of the 90’s has died. Those of us known as Generation X enjoyed those experiences, it was a time of shifting societal values. It was a time before fitness apps and smart technology.
My eldest is now 17 and is described as Generation Z. This generation are described as being comfortable with technology, and interacting on social media websites for a significant portion of their socialising. This is typically her and on top of that they drink less than their parents often did and are much more into health and fitness. They have gym memberships that they actually use and they watch what they eat.
My Generation Z child is about as different as me, in terms of how she chooses to spend her leisure time, as can be. She studies much harder and is much more active than I ever was. I played hockey for fun and fitness but Chloe plays to win. She also is a regular at the gym to train for her hockey. Chloe’s socialising includes going out for dinner with friends, or having friends over to mess about in our new hot tub.
At weekends they are looking for activities to do. Therefore when I was invited to come and join in the fun at Go Ape I sent Chloe along with her girlfriends to tackle the high ropes course. They packed up the car and using the Sat Nav (remember that they are technically competent!) headed off to The Royal Forest of Dean. I had asked them to text me to let me know they had arrived but I didn’t hear from them. Thankfully I guessed the wifi was a bit ropey (pun intended).
The girls were shown how to use the equipment safely – well I say safely. Abi, one of Chloe’s friends apparently took a little longer to understand the mechanisms of clipping on and off. Maybe they are not all competent with tech! Abi decided to jump off the small platform much to the instructors dislike! She was then watched very closely around the course as they warned each other via their walkie talkies that she was on her way! This was hilarious to the girls but reassuring when they told me afterwards. Health and Safety is taken very seriously and Abi was even called into a debriefing meeting.
The girls loved their time at Go Ape and had great fun. The instructors were friendly and encouraging. This is definitely how my girls enjoy spending their leisure time. They attempted all the challenging obstacles taking the difficult route wherever they could before whizzing down zip wires. This group of teenagers want adrenalin, they want active and they want to live life in the fast lane having fun with their friends. Go Ape delivers on this.
Generation Z are hard workers and hard players.