August 27, 2011


1) ‘Helping Children Survive Divorce: The Myth of the Tough Boyby Joseph Nowinski, discusses disruption of the attachment process for children and young people from families where parents separate. 

“...Separation and divorce hold the potential to undermine or disrupt attachments that are either being formed or have been formed. If that is allowed to happen, the result can be long-term insecurity and a fear of exploring the world. On the other hand, if divorcing parents understand the process of attachment and act in ways to preserve a child's existing attachments while promoting new ones, there is no reason why that child need be irrevocably harmed by divorce.

If their initial attachments are successful, children will be able to form additional attachments to significant others later on, with peers as well as with other influential adults in their lives, such as babysitters and day-care workers and, even later, teachers and coaches. Many psychologists believe that healthy attachments in childhood set the stage for satisfying, committed adult relationships.
Children also become attached to things, such as stuffed animals and blankets. They use these things as supplemental attachment objects; they represent additional sources of comfort and companionship, particularly when human attachment figures are not readily available...”

2)” Falling Through the Cracks: Coming Soon to a Teenager Near You” by Mark Goulston, discusses anxiety of young people as they enter early adulthood and their struggle with independence.
“...Traversing the psychological terrain between teenage dependence and young adult independence is fraught with anxiety, confusion and fear.  Doing it successfully means letting go of your dependence upon your parents to becoming independent.  The more you need your parents, the less independent and more ashamed you feel.  Such shame begets irritability and that can cause you to snap at them if they say something and snap at them if they say nothing.  That can be very scary to you and chilling to your parents.  Such a "no win" relationship with your parents requires an empathic understanding that goal oriented, project managing type parents find particularly difficult to muster.

....Frequently associated with this is a deeply painful and increasingly dark despair...

.......So what is the cure? What hopeless, meaningless, worthless, pointless and useless have in common is “less” as in without hope, help, meaning, worth, a point to go on.  The key to helping these teens is to give them a “with” experience....”

3) "Adolescence and shyness' by Carl E. Pickhardt, discusses challenges adolescents face while battling shyness , peer pressure and  the need to try to fit in.

“..There are all kinds of new situational discomforts. For example, during early adolescence, effects of puberty create a vulnerability to being teased about physical appearance that can create reluctance to interact with peers. Or, simply comparing themselves unfavorably to others, young people who "hate" how they look can keep to themselves to avoid being looked at by others. Or, ill at ease with her or his bodily changes, a sixth grade girl or boy may truly dread publicly dressing out for physical education at school. Shyness often arises from painful self-consciousness. 

In addition, many adolescents tend to be shyer around adults than they were as children because grownups have now become the operating standard for acting more mature. Now it's easy to shy away from adults because one feels diminished and inhibited in their company......”

4) “When adolescents want to quit by Carl E. Pickhardt talks about the complexity of quitting and how adolescents need to learn to find a balance.

“..Quitting is far more complex than it first appears. In the heat of momentary impatience or unhappiness, it can seem like a good idea. However, it often risks unanticipated costs.
Quitting can provide relief from duress, but it can also cause regret over what was left behind. Quitting can create new freedom, but it can also sacrifice past investment. Quitting can stop what is unworkable, but it can also start a pattern of giving up when work gets hard......
..... There are important times when it takes determination or even courage to quit. In these situations, adolescents who can't quit, or have been taught never to quit, can be at a serious disadvantage. To stick with a bad decision because on principle you refuse to quit is rarely a good idea. Sometimes pride makes it hard to quit because that means admitting one has made a mistake. You want your teenager to have sense enough to quit when keeping at it becomes truly pointless, harmful, or keeps the young person from productively moving on..”

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