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IPFS News Link • Kids

The Epiphanies of Youth

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One one hand, epiphanies – moments of clarity, understanding and insight – are crucially important; they are the muscles and sinews of a passionate and productive life. On the other, this is a season of life especially prone to the over-extension and poor interpretation of epiphanies.

The parent, then, is called upon to do a more or less impossible job: To look inside their child, divine the crux of a revelation they can't very well communicate, and then to either clarify or correct it for them, in a way that they can accept.

But since handling this well is so elusive, most parents fall into two almost binary choices:

?To stand with their personal or family dogmas (religious, political or whatever) and trying to push the child's vision into it.
To evade any reaction, saying, "That's nice," smiling, and changing the subject.
The first choice is counter-productive and the second is an evasion at a crucial juncture. And so, something better is required. But before we get to that, let's back up and see why puberty complicates this.

The Surge of Instinct

There is no greater surge of hormones in a human life than that of puberty. Moreover, this surge occurs while our brains are only partly formed and our experiences are relatively limited. That's a recipe for difficulties.