There are so many angles to write about teenagers: the parenting angle, the shalom bayis angle, the body image angle. I want to write about the human angle: the similarities we have to teenagers and the humanity that we both share.

I am working with a 16 yr. old girl, and I am constantly amazed that her struggles are no different than mine or my 40 or 50 yr. old clients. They are just dressed in different clothing.

Insecurity, caring what other’s think about her, over-thinking and over-analyzing everything, trouble eating, sleeping or even wanting to show up in life some days.

And then I think, what a gift if is that she is learning about the human condition at an early age. Although there is no quick fix to anything, learning that:

  • thoughts and feelings are nothing to be afraid of
  • our experience of life is coming from within us rather than at us
  • insecurity and over-thinking isn’t a problem, just a human experience

provides her with psychological freedom, emotional well-being and a living emunah. This experiential knowledge has the capacity to shape the way she understands where her experiences are coming from for the rest of her life

If we as parents aren’t afraid of our own highs and lows, our own intensity of emotions, we will be able to handle, hold and help our teenagers learn to be OK and accepting of their own.

Feeling normal and believing we are OK no matter what are gifts we can give our teenagers and ourselves via understanding the human condition.

Ride The Wave

By Aviva Barnett, MSW

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with peace of mind.

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