If you had to build a kid from scratch; you know, construct one from basic elements of childishness, where would you start?

A big silly grin would be there, obviously. Liberal measures of backchat, youthful rebellion and sweary lip. An unseemly, giddy rush to grow up, which is essential for all youngsters – oh, if only they knew – and joy in limitless abundance.

You’d still not be there though. Not entirely. Other ingredients would be needed to make the recipe a success.

Harder to put the finger on, when you’re no longer a kid, but most of us can remember them being part of our childhood – if only vaguely.

Freedom of spirit, an outlandish capacity for over-excitement, running with the pack of likeminded friends, swearing loyalty and love – and meaning it at the time. Music. Especially the kind parents hate, adored pop idols and blissful loss of care in a life and culture from which everyone older and unwiser is barred.

Thousands of such happily youthful individuals were targeted in the unspeakable atrocity at Manchester’s Arena this week. All the same. Each fabulously unique. As kids always are and forever have been.

The whole heartbreaking scenario – what happened, why, how, what on earth can be expected to follow – is still too raw and visceral for words of anger, intent or emotionally driven, reactive explanation to serve any useful purpose.

Anne Pickles Best to steer clear of all that and allow some time to grieve, quietly with people we love and those who love us. In spite of all widely offered wisdom, there can be no business as normal because nothing is normal yet. But we must hope it will be – one day soon.

Remember being young and determinedly insistent on independence? Me too.

Did you trip off to gigs with chums, all dressed up to the nines and eyelined to within an inch of super-goth – but making Dad promise to pick you up and take you home after? So did I.

Wouldn’t it be dreadful, should that time-honoured rite of passage be denied to kids now, as a result of the horrendous events of Monday night? It has been said – over and over – that unless we keep on keeping on, terrorists will win.

I’m in no mood for evaluating that sentiment. Nobody can win anything, when terror is in the mix. Not the bad guys, the good guys – God knows, we’ve seen lots of them respond to suffering – and certainly not unsuspecting innocents with no reason to anticipate threat, while wearing fluffy ears and carrying pink balloons.

But I’m all for letting youngsters keep on doing what they do best – lapping up life greedily while they still can. That’s not winning or beating anyone’s ideology. It’s just living.

Summer is almost here. The festival and concert season is nearly upon us. Music, community, fun… and more than likely, rain in these northern parts. Parents and grandparents are understandably afraid of allowing young people to share space with their friends and idols.

What a shame it would be were they to be denied so much of which we jaded, nervous fogeys enjoyed and still recall with immense fondness.

There is risk of absolutely anything everywhere. Avoid all risk and life is limited intolerably. And that really is too much to load onto the shoulders of the young, in my simplistic opinion.

Sure, there’s a chance they may fall. But there’s a bigger chance they might fly. And who would want to miss that?

So, to return to the original question: if you could build a kid from scratch, where would you start?

Might I suggest construction using all the aforementioned building blocks but with addition of an unquenchable appetite for sharing music, dance, community, friendship without blinkers or prejudice – and as much eyeliner and guyliner as suits his or her fancy.

Give them their chances. They might be just the ones to make a better job of eliminating hate and targeted violence than we did.

Goodness knows, they couldn’t make a worse one.