One of my retirement jobs is running a taxi service known as uberpoppy.
It’s a job that I don’t mind doing because I get to see my grandchildren several times a week, and get to hear their stories, from the very worst of teenage angst, to sometimes good news.
I have absolutely no idea how children cope with the modern day pressures of school, dealing with their contemporaries, parents, and siblings.
And the older you are, the harder it gets.
And if you are girls, it is even more fraught.
So first cab off the rank in terms of how her day was going, old friends have become new enemies, losing one friend for reasons unknown to anyone other than the friend in question, potentially isolates you from that group.
It’s peer pressure at its worst.
Then there’s the necessity to conform, not to anything sensible, but what ever the queen bee of the group considers initiation worthy .
Sometimes it’s not worth the effort to confirm.
The thing here is, not a lot has changed from my day, over 50 years ago. Initiations were also terrible, it was thought up by the leader, who usually was a cretin, and his acolytes, equally as moronic.
What advice do I give her?
The temptation is to conform to the group, but that sometimes backfires, because these situations all have the possibly of damned if you do or damned if you don’t.
My best advice to her was that she had to dance to the tune of her own song. Sometimes all it takes is for others to realise your worth is to take a stand, not one that you rubbish the group but in your silence and in your actions.
Its very hard at that age to say you should lead by example, but sometimes it gives you that small break from the nonsensicality of school life you need to refocus on what is important to you.
The rest as so many others say will take care of itself.
Of course though all of the she has been texting on the phone and I suspect she didn’t hear a word I said.
It’s home, uberpoppy, home.