Busy Growing Up

douglas - the robe

A couple of weeks ago I picked up a copy of The Robe – a very old book (1942) that my dad was reading.  The opening line caught my attention…

Because she was only fifteen and busy with her growing up, Lucia’s periods of reflection were brief and infrequent; but this morning she felt weighted with responsibility.

It seems teenagers may not have changed that much during the past 60-odd years!

It’s interesting that, at the time the book was written, the term ‘teenager’ was not in common use (that happened a few years later), yet the author sums up so much of what was, and still is, a teenagers life.

busy growing up‘.  We must remember that our adolescents are on a journey to maturity.  We cannot expect them to be all at the same stage or even consistent in their ‘growing up’ from day to day.  There is so much that impacts their lives and development.  I do love the use of the word ‘busy’ and I trust I’m never guilty of stopping a teen in their busyness of growing, journeying, processing and maturing.

periods of reflection‘.  Teens have a lot going on in their head and not all of it is structured and organised.  The fact that there are ‘periods’ of reflection is so true.  ‘Brain today and gone tomorrow’ might well describe many adolescents.  But the reality remains: when the mood arrives, their ability to reflect and think is outstanding.  I trust I never assume a teen’s ability to process or not, but always support and encourage, and celebrate the times of success.

weighed with responsibility‘.  There is such truth in that statement.  Teens are caught in the flux between seeing responsibility and wanting maturing, and struggling to grasp adequate experiential breadth to deal with either.  We also see it in the rates of anxiety and depression in adolescents.  I believe there is a degree of negative mental health that occurs because teen are thrust into aspects of the ‘adult’ world before they are ready.  It is my goal to meet an adolescent where they are and to be understanding of the weight of responsibility they may carry.



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