Tuesday, 9 August 2016

Brexit and Beyond

There are a number of things I learnt from Britain’s recent decision to leave Europe.  The obvious ones have been discussed and discussed again many times over so I won’t be covering the tediously obvious.  Instead I want to look at what has specifically rocked the ‘World of Teen’ aka my household.

Us v Us
Fortunately ours is not one of those families who have argued so incessantly with each other over recent events that they are no longer giving each other the time of day. (Expecting sometime in the not-too-distant future Jeremy Kyle’s studios to be brimming over with disaffected adult offspring and disappointed middle-aged parents clamouring to justify their opposing opinions.)

Children Behaving Gladly
Having said that it is a family which has markedly changed since the Brexit campaign achieved momentum.  First and foremost it has made my 3 grumpy, and often silent, teenagers to be more politically aware.  Politics, for them, had previously been a sombre affair. (Dare I even say boring?) Usually, eyebrows ever-so-slightly raised when a national election rolled round but, other than that, it was never really hinted at let alone debated.

Imagine my incredulity when, immediately following the result, my youngest child announced that he found ‘Question Time,’ and I quote; “interesting.” (I personally didn’t find the programme remotely watchable until I was 30.)  In fact both my boys lapped up hours of news coverage both before and after the vote.  They even conducted their own internet-centred research on what both sides of the campaigns’ strength and weaknesses were and soon formed their own opinions on what they thought was the correct move.

Voting Virgin
My previously immovable daughter’s determination to avoid the mention, as well as the action, of voting melted away into determined capitulation. She quite happily accompanied me to the polling station and, after an extremely quick tutorial in how not to jigger up your ballot paper, she victoriously sidled out of the room with a contented smile on her face.

Reasoned Arguments

To put this into context, whereas previously my children had quite unhappily squabbled over and got their knickers in a twist about, what I deem as, highly unimportant matters such as; who has drunk all the milk? Where’re my socks? And, the unforgettable; I am not going into college today! Now my children were in hot debate about the future of the country and all those residing in it.

This was a real wow moment for me as not only did it mean that my children were finally growing up (whatever that means) but they were actually taking a genuine interest in the political world around them. What next? Joining a political party? Becoming an MP? Being Prime Minister?

“Now, come on Mum…”

Responded my eldest son when I put this idea to him,

“Let’s not get carried away.”

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