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It’s been a tough 2020 for kids, but Schoolies in Neeeewwsaaaaaa…….

A little left of field, however something I feel needs to be talked about! I’ve drawn the short straw and been dealt the hideous hand of living in Paradise. Noosa my friends. I know. I’m sorry. I’m sure you’re wondering how I cope (especially during times like these).

There are so many things to love about this place, the national parks, the pristine beaches, the food, the cafes, the laidbackness, the weather, the koalas, dolphins, turtles. The list goes on. In short, I’m privileged and believe everyone who lives here shares that privilege - I was brought up in the UK - not quite the same and I genuinely don’t take this place for granted. I’ve chosen to bring my kids up here and don’t regret a moment of that decision.

Which leads me onto the topic in hand. Some of my fellow Neewwwwsaaaashire residents seem to think that our town is a town where kids and young adults should be seen and not heard - actually scrap that, I don’t even think they want kids to be seen!

They’re panicking because they’re beginning to hear whispers of young adults choosing and not only that, but actually being allowed - outrageous - to celebrate schoolies here. I mean seriously. Kids. Enjoying themselves after quite possibly one of the most challenging (not to mention boring, fun-stripping, controlling) years of their lives so far? Whatever next?

For me, that throws up a myriad of questions and ponderings.

  1. Maybe these are people who were denied the opportunity to have fun themselves as children

  2. Maybe they have had bad experiences around partying when they were younger

  3. Maybe they’re genuinely scared and fearful that something terrible will happen

  4. Maybe they’re a bit elitist and grumpy and snobby and selfish

Whatever the reason, it’s an awesome opportunity to start a conversation with your kids about respect, responsibility, and safe partying because honestly, it really shouldn’t matter where you go to celebrate, celebrating and having fun is all part of life (regardless of age may I add!) and if anything, we should be mindful of the fact that this generation will most likely be feeling ripped off and frustrated given they’re being held back, controlled and forced to reign in things that at their age is important to experience to help shape them as adults.

When you choose to live in a place like Noosa, you’ve got to accept that it’s going to attract visitors. Visitors who support our economy and keep all our favourite places alive. We need to support and encourage our youth even more during this time, not make them feel even worse about themselves just because they’re vibrant and energetic and bursting with life.

We need to lift them up, encourage and empower them, not generically label them as trouble makers. Give them the benefit of the doubt, show them that we believe in them that we trust they’ll make smart choices whilst still being able to enjoy themselves, and educate them to know the difference.

If we continue to shame, belittle and begrudge our youth, it’s only going to enrage and disempower them more, driving them to do things that will ultimately end up being a self-fulfilling prophecy. See them in their best light and until they prove to you otherwise, celebrate and support them.

We can’t control what’s thrown in our paths, we can, however, control how we choose to react to them. Fear can create paralysis, anger, and judgment.

Noosa has been described by some as ‘God’s waiting room’. Come on kids, what do you say we show them a (respectful of course), bit of fun, and joy while they’re waiting…..

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