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IN THE latest edition of the Express Masterclass, at St Columba’s School, Delhi, on November 25, Gloria Burrett, an integrative psychotherapist, talked about some challenging facets of parenting adolescents (aged 11 to 17 years) like privacy and sexuality.
In a section called “Not So Good News”, Burrett spoke about depression, suicide, vulnerability and their indicators. In “The Good News”, she talked about how adolescence is a phase that is exciting, creative, energetic and challenging.
Participants were asked to walk around a room where various questions on paper were pinned on the walls— do you know the adolescent’s favourite music? What seeds do you water in your adolescents? Based on the questions, Burrett asked them to write their child a letter and pour their hearts out.
She asked them to give the letters to their children back home and to them to write to them in turn, telling them what they would want their parents to do differently, what they found the most difficult to talk to their parents about and what they counted among their proudest achievements. Burrett also addressed concerns parents had about their children.
Many of them worried about what they saw as their children’s lack of vision, interest in their future or studies. Some of the complaints could be attributed to a generation gap — such as differing preferences over a hairstyle or music. Burrett had some advice for the parents. “If they are not going to find a dissenting voice with you, they are never going to dissent later. You need to take that as a compliment. It means she/he is developing a mind of her/his own,” she said.