ENJOYING a walk with my 10-year-old grandson, it occurred to me his generation have endured a disrupted start in life.

Children like him, from all backgrounds, during their most formative years, have experienced the turmoil of a once-in-a-lifetime global pandemic and global warming. Families have been under unprecedented pressure, experiencing financial disruption, illness and bereavement.

I asked him what things have been like for him. His answer? “Challenging!”

Pressed further, he sighted the isolation of home schooling, concerns about not having completed all coursework and disruption in building friendships.

Like many children, he contracted Covid each time he returned to school, disrupting his education further.

How did that make him feel? “Frightened,” he said.

He is stoic but is aware that he and his friends’ start in life has not been the norm.

Our worry must be that many young people will never recover from this disruption and will be unable to reach their full potential.

When pressed on what he wants for his future, my grandson is quite adamant: we need the adults in charge to get a grip of things; we don’t want to be the generation that has to spend our lives picking up the pieces. This from a 10-year-old.

Given the new crises we are facing – inflation, energy supply disruption, conflict – we need leaders who can ‘get a grip’; strong, informed, experienced decision-making leaders who are open and up front; leaders who will focus on securing the future and success of our young people. They are the future and they have no more time to waste.

And, finally, were there any questions he would like to ask me?

He thought for a moment and asked in all sincerity: “Nonna, do many people read your articles?”