Robert Winston catches up with the Child of our Time Millennium babies who are now negotiating the challenges of adolescence
Born at the turn of the millennium, the children whose lives have been followed in BBC1’s ongoing series Child of Our Time are now teenagers. As the show, presented by Robert Winston, returns this week, we find out how the youngsters, who have turned 16 in the latest two-part instalment, are negotiating the profound mental and physical changes that come with adolescence.
As any parent who has raised a teen will tell you, puberty’s surging hormones can make the transition from child to young adult a challenging time, with youngsters exhibiting thrill-seeking behaviour, obsessing over their appearance and, of course, becoming aware of their sexuality and experiencing the pangs of first love.
For Eve, whose mother Caroline passed away when she was eight years old, there was one particularly tricky hurdle to negotiate as she realised that she is gay and wondered how to break the news to her dad, Tim.
“I don’t think I believed he’d react negatively, but the possibility of anger or disappointment from him made me nervous,” she admits.
However, Tim took the news in his stride and, if anything, what’s happened has strengthened the bond between father and daughter.
“My relationship with my dad is the best it’s been for a long time,” says Eve. “My dad’s my desert island person. If I was stranded, I can’t think of anyone else I’d rather be stuck with.”
For Eve, who now has a new stepsister and stepmother, coming out to her friends proved a lot less nerve-wracking.
“It was a lot easier than coming out to my dad,” she says. “Luckily, none of my friends had anything bad to say when I told them. It was more just an ‘Okay then’ moment, and everyone moved on from it.”
Now 17, Eve admits the past few years of her life have been challenging. “The shift from kid to young person isn't comfortable most of the time,’ she smiles. "I've spent a big part of the plast few years feeling simultaneously out of my depth and desperate to press forward.”
So does she have any useful advice for the parents of today’s teenagers? “We’re all just individuals and adolescence is different for everyone,” she explains. “We’re at a point where we have to begin to make really important decisions and take responsibility for ourselves. All we need is a bit of love and support – and more sleep and money please!”
Child of Our Time returns on BBC1, Monday, April 3, 9.00pm
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