What the film Boyhood tells us about the need for family mediation

boyhoodIt struck me watching the film Boyhood at the weekend that teenage boys are always telling me that everyone is on their case. When Mason in the film reaches 15 he asks his stepdad “can someone just give me a break for one day?” The irony is that a poor role model adult on his case is not lost on us. It’s not what we say to teenagers that matters it’s what we do. The role we show them.

It was incredible that someone took the time to spend 12 years filming a boy as he grew up from carefree child of 6 to young adult male at 18 off to college. Thank you Richard Linklater!

I’m not convinced that the endless drone of “responsibility” turns out better adults. I have so many different roles in my work but listening to teenagers woes is definitely top of the list and acting as translator back to schools, parents and other professionals. I’ve forgotten how many times parents have called me up “because they are sick of the rows over school work and homework”

I have long been an advocate for the abolishment of homework. It sometimes seems that schools and departments have forgotten there is an important family life to live. This film shows us the true dynamics of what matters in a child’s life as they grow up.

It was very striking in Boyhood the image of a carefree child that is crushed into serious reality around 15. I see and hear stories everyday of happy go luck children that suddenly have the weight of the world on them. I have seen this in cases as young as 7. Students with dyslexia seem to hit that world of responsibility younger than most. At very young ages we are not “keeping up”.  I wish childhood went on for longer. Maybe while schools and the powers that be argue about how important homework is for life they could take a step back and look at how long we have to be responsible and grown up in contrast to how short a time we have as carefree children?

In the meantime I’m just the person who listens to all their stories, translates their fears and somehow finds an easier path through them for everyone.

This is a must see film for parents – see what really matters to the adults you turn out. Boyhood

Dr Naoisé O’Reilly

Expression Developist™