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
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.....