Posted by: anglopole | June 22, 2008

British kids enter new stage of KIDULTHOOD

Last week we watched a very interesting film on BBC3, namely “Kidulthood” . It is not a horror and yet it was pretty scary. The upsetting element of the movie is that it reflects the reality we live in here in the UK. Perhaps I should not worry too much as we live in a small market town and it’s mainly the cities that are a stage for happenings graphically presented in the mentioned picture(?). Unfortunately, the notion of kidulthood (which is obviously a combination of two words, kid + adulthood) suits perfectly to the image of modern British teenagers. They badly want the adult independence but reach for it in ways far from mature, crime and promiscuity being the most popular ones.

The film begins with scenes of bullying which is inflicted on a teenage girl by her classmates at school. I couldn’t keep thinking of what I see when I go to various schools to teach and what I am treated with on national news here. There seem to be quite a few students who just can’t be controlled. Their hostile attitude towards teachers is worrying but even more so when it’s targetted at their peers, as these usually are not able to defend themselves and are too scared to ask the adults for help.

The Kidulthood characters indulged themselves in partying = binge drinking and drug abuse, which the British teens top the league , I’m afraid:(

Of course, there would be no fun if promiscuous sex, often with people much older then the teens themselves, was not on the list of must-dos if you are a Ms or Mr. Cool. Now, even though we live in the so called civilized country and it’s 21st century, the idea of using contraception is not as common as one might expect. That’s why, the mentioned children, wanting so desperately to taste what they think is adult freedom, face yet another challenge and that’s teen pregnancy . It should not be a surprise to point to the fact that the rate of teen pregnancy here in the UK is the highest in Europe . Since parents do not talk about sex and contraception with their kids, they are left at the mercy of their own resourcefulness when dealing with unwanted pregnancies. The result is, of course, rapidly growing numbers of abortions performed on younger and younger teenagers .

Now, you might be thinking that it cannot get any worse. Well,… don’t! There’s always more lurking round the corner… The bottom of this downwards spiral of teen rebellion here is crime of all sorts. ‘Asbos’ (antisocial behaviour order) are no longer an embarassing stain on one’s criminal record. Youngsters usually treat them a mark of honour nowadays. The gangs do not only get more impudent and ruthless in the crimes they commit, they also recruit younger children to join their ranks. Observing what is happening among youngsters in Britain reminds us that the heart of any natural man is despeately wicked. The number of stabbings , killings and bullying of all sorts among teenagers in Britain outweigh the gruesome portrait of crimes enjoyed by the kidults as depicted by Noel Clarke in the mentioned movie.

Bearing all this in mind, my husband and I are seriously considering going back to Nigeria at some point, before our older boy finishes primary school. Yes, in this land of over 300 tribes, there’s heat, mosquitos carrying malaria, scammers, corruption, etc. BUT also there is discipline in schools, respect for the adults that is so natural for kids and no such curses of civilized world as teen pregnancy and abortions, bullying, gang crime in schools, drug or alcohol abuse. I am ready to face the inconveniencies of a third world country if that means my kids will be kids who gradually will mature to become adults, skipping this cruel, artificial stage of ‘kidulthood’.


  1. If you’re moving to Nigeria, then I’m like so totally coming to visit you! 🙂 I miss Africa like crazy!


  2. Ania, no probs 🙂 I’ll let you know when are Nigerian plans are definite (we still have a few years to go though)! In the meantime, you are welcome to come and visit us in the UK:)


  3. Sounds like a party!

    But seriously, you just reminded me of some of the reasons why I had no compelling reason to stay in the UK. Even the evilest, smelliest, most heavily-pierced Polish teen is a pussy cat compared to the spawn of god’s own country.


  4. On the other hand, have you even tried to bribe a policeman in the UK? How does the experience compare to passing spare cash to a Nigerian cop or a Polish cop?

    I have no idea why I brought that up, some primitive instinct probably.


  5. Why island, what’s on your mind? I’ve never done it in the UK, but found out that in most Western countries there’s no need to bribe a cop when you’re a woman, just look pitiful and smile. Wearing a tight top helps too. In Africa, on the other hand (and in Asia and in South America) you better have a wad of cash ready. Maybe this summer I’ll see how it works in Poland. heh.

    Grazyna! Awesome!!! I don’t think I’ll make it to the UK before the move to Korea. But Nigeria! Totally, girl, totally!


  6. Oh, hi there Island:)
    That’s an interesting idea, I mean trying to bribe a policeman here or in Poland;p Fortunately, I have never had an opportunity to test it:) You are right the Nigerian police are addicted to bribes and often they would create a situation where they can stop sb and, then the only way the poor victim can go free is to produce some dough;) Not, when you are a white person, though! There were a few times they tried it with my husband, but when I appeared in the station telling them I’d phone my embassy, they immediately released my husband with no probs whatsoever (in all instances he didn’t commit any crime)!:)


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