Thursday, September 04, 2008

THOSE TRYING YEARS


From TODAY, Voices
Wednesday September 3, 2008

By Dr James Dobson

How does a happy, cooperative 12-year-old boy or girl suddenly turn into a sullen, depressed 13-year-old?

There are two powerful forces that overwhelm our kids in the early pubescent years, and account for some of the strange behaviour that drives parents crazy.

The first is social in nature, with incredible pressures being inflicted on adolescents by their peers. The second, which I think is more important, is hormonal in nature.

Human chemistry apparently goes haywire for a few years, affecting the mind as well as the body. This internal upheaval will motivate a boy or girl to do things that make absolutely no sense to the adults. There’s a tendency for parents to despair during this period of transition. Everything they’ve tried to teach their sons and daughters seems to have misfired for a couple of years. Self-discipline, cleanliness, respect for authority, the work ethics, even common courtesy may look like lost causes.

But there is good news. Better days are coming. That’s why, perhaps the very best advice I can offer at this time is: Don’t look too quickly for the person your child will become.
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