Reading this monologue, my heart really goes out to Chelsea. Fourteen can be a tough age. We know that the teenage years are full of strong emotions, and Chelsea is not unusual in being totally consumed by these feelings of love for a guy she has never even talked to.
My dad and I get into so many stupid little fights its not funny. Sometimes I feel like I'm nothing but a punching bag for him to take out his anger on. My mom and I get along great but sometimes it gets a little ugly, but we work it out. With my dad, I can hold a grudge forever. My mom tells me that his parents were really strict and hard on him, but I don't think he should take it out on me.
Amanda, 13 1/2, is not one of the "in" kids whom everyone wants to sit next to. "What's wrong with me," she's wondering, "and how will I deal with the anxiety of the first day?" I always hate the first day of school. Not the shopping part - that I like. It's fun to get new clothes and shoes. And I love wrapping all my books so everything looks perfect, and getting all the new notebooks and pens, and cool erasers. But I hate thinking about who I'm gonna sit near.
Dean, age 17, is having trouble with his family. He feels that they are stifling his freedom, and he wishes they would leave him alone.
We moved across country two years ago and our 16-year-old daughter still hasn't forgiven us for it. She blames us for uprooting her and she misses her friends terribly. Because she was very attached to her friends, we promised her before we came that she could go back summers. As the summer approaches and she prepares to leave, the pain of separation from her old friends seems to surface even more. She has good friends here but she seems fixated on the fact that we've uprooted her. I want to let her express her feelings, but I feel she becomes abusive. Is it a mistake to keep sending her back? How can we help her resolve this painful issue?
Losing a parent, at any age, is difficult and painful. It clearly marks the "end of innocence" for us as children. Our aloneness and vulnerability become painfully clear. Most of us face this emptiness as a natural consequence of our own aging process. Usually the tragedy and loss of one's parent is forestalled until such a time as we have created alternate sources for our unconditional love, which often help us to put the pain into some sort of 'acceptable' perspective.
My friend Elaine is 36 years old but she has not yet learned to sit. She can stand, occasionally, but generally, she's in motion. She is chasing her two-year-old, wiping chocolate off her four-year-old daughter's lovely face, or teaching her seven-year-old to ride a bike or her nine-year-old to jump rope. She is outside with them all afternoon, or inside, baking or doing projects. When the kids go to sleep, Elaine cleans or paints something. Thursday nights, she cooks two full meals (feasts, really) for her frequent weekend guests.
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"The Battle of Parents and Teens"