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Friends from our childhood or adolescence are special, no matter how much time has elapsed between visits. These compelling connections are the result of shared roots during the formative years. Our childhood friends and teenage sweethearts experienced with us all the wonderful, horrible, boring, and embarrassing moments that helped to make us who we are today.

Yet, when children are young, parents may regard these relationships as insignificant. If the family must move to a new community and the children's close friends must be left behind, so what? They will make new friends, the parents assure them. But, is a friend as interchangeable as a new toy for an old one, or is there more to friendship than that? Why are we so elated to rediscover long lost friends in our adult years if, as some parents believe, they were so dispensable to us as children?

Even more belittled by many parents is a teenager's love for a boyfriend or girlfriend. Adults refer to these relationships with demeaning language, calling them "just puppy love," and these romantic bonds are not taken seriously. Parents question the ability of teenagers to know what love is, yet they accept their teenagers' statements, "I love you, Mom & Dad," with full appreciation and at face value. If adults accept that teenagers can love parents truly, then shouldn't they also accept that teen romances are real love.....

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