Friday, January 09, 2009




From TODAY, Voices

Friday January 9, 2009


By Dr James Dobson


Have you ever noticed that it’s much easier to handle stress if you have some warning it’s coming? There’s something about knowing a tough experience lies ahead that helps us to get ready for the difficulty, to mobilise our resources for a challenge to come.


It’s for this reason that I recommend that parents begin talking to their children long before the teen years about the joys and discomforts of adolescence. Begin discussing self-confidence in the primary school years. Then in the period immediately before puberty, make it known that the teen years are often accompanied by a massive assault on self-worth; where everybody seems to feel ugly and unintelligent and useless.


But also explain that this is a temporary experience, like going through a tunnel from which you will inevitably emerge. It would also be wise in this twilight of childhood to discuss the sexual awakening that’s about to occur, including how the body will change and how to use this new experience responsibly and morally.


To not do it is to leave the child to cope alone with the terrors of menstruation or other physical transformations.


So much can be done to prepare kids for the coming crisis in adolescence if we just give a little thought to the task. 


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