Thursday, November 15, 2007

You Needn't Be at Cross-Purposes

No time in the life of parents brings as many puzzling questions as does that period when their children are in the teen years. At no time are parents as apt to feel so perplexed and so much in need of new understandings.

You look at your daughter with the woman's curves beginning to shape her body, and for a fleeting moment you see in her the baby whose curling fingers clung to your hand some twelve years earlier. You look at your son reaching for his razor, and for a second you see the stocky little boy who took his first wobbly steps across the carpet some thirteen years back. They are the same people, yes. They have the same bodies grown bigger. The same minds. But a bewildering change has come over them. They are no longer little children. Neither are they men or women. And yet we who are their parents feel the same responsibilities for them. We still need to manage, guide and help them. Legally, morally, spiritually, this is our desire and goal.

Because the task of helping children through the teen years is such a vital one, we are searching as we have never searched before for courage, wisdom and deepened insights.

Fortunately today there are things to know that can lessen old misconceptions which have stood between us and our children. There are things to learn that can make us better able to help them grow into the kind of men and women we want them to be and who are so urgently needed in today's world. Out of these can grow new understanding and new faith in ourselves.

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