Adolescence Is Hard

by Rick on May 28, 2019

The path is never straight,
and the parenting is rarely easy.

Susan (19) hates Columbia.
Wants to drop out,
Considered suicide.
Hates therapy
and her therapist.
Her mother says:
“She’s always had trouble making friends.
“As a baby, she could not be consoled.
“She would stop crying, when I put her down!”

But last week everything changed.
Susan texted: “Camp is where I’m my best self.”
Text#2: “They put me in charge of the new recruits.”
Text#3: “Decided to stay at Columbia,”

Adolescence is hard;
the path is never straight,
and it’s never in our hands.

As Robert Sapolski says in
Dude, Where is My Fontal Lobe?:
“After all, adolescence is the time of life
when someone is most likely to:
join a cult,
be killed,
invent an art form,
care for the needy,
transform physics,
help overthrow a dictator,
ethnically cleanse a village,
adopt a hideous fashion style,
commit to God,
and be convinced that all the forces of history have converged to make this moment the most consequential ever, fraught with peril and promise.”

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Patricia Lathrom May 28, 2019 at 9:44 pm

Very Nice. Very true. Thank you.

Peter Barry May 29, 2019 at 3:00 pm

Wow, how special is this! After 19 busy and bumpy years of work and play, the *Susan Genius Evolution Team* – daughter, parents and supporters – has hit pay-dirt, achieving THREE stellar wins – concurrently! … Susan located her “best self” AND became a leader of her peers AND resolved to be a gung-ho student at Columbia! … I swear, I can hear the cheering up here in Toronto!
Oh sure; observers note the tortuousness, burden-filled difficulties of the route but the path taken by the participants provided their conscious and subconscious / DNA memories with a goldmine of knowledge, experience and strength that will surely be paid forward. Besides, the angst of all of that difficult stuff will fade as Susan finds her new feet and explores the open green fields of her new passions.
Rick, good that you included the Robert Sapolski quote. Very sobering; a numbing list that we all recognize – and add to without much effort. Sure, Susan’s team had a hard road to row but just think of these other parents and what they must be going through! Certainly, each one got through it, or did not; some tell their story so as to help others and others may be persuaded to. But, other than turning to God and leaving things in His hands, what are the bedrock principles that guided the survivors and tips on their use? … Anyone have any ideas? …

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