Lancaster farming. (Lancaster, Pa., etc.) 1955-current, February 19, 2000, Image 43

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    I often hear parents talk about
their children “changing” around
the age of ten. It is not only the
outward physical changes that
they are noticing, but there is
definitely an emotional change
that is going on inside their
child. The frustrating thing is
that it almost seems as though
this wonderful child just woke
up one morning with an “atti
tude.” If you are a parent of an
adolescent, you know what I am
talking about.
Some of the new characteris
tics that often accompany the
adolescent stage are increased
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It's very reassuring to know that Morton's 50 year snow load warranty
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Gettysburg, PA 717-624-3331 Meadvilie, PA 814-336-5083
Mt. Pleasant, PA 724-542-7930 Phillipsburg, N J 908-454-7900
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moodiness and sensitivity (girls
cry for seemingly little reason),
arguing (they feel they are being
perfectly logical-you on the
other hand think they are “talk
ing back”), explosive with anger,
self-centered, resists doing house
hold chores, and goes to ex
tremes with emotions-loves or
hates, worries about appear
ance, needs privacy, and feeling
that “no one understands.”
Not all adolescents will expe
rience all of these characteris
tics nor will they experience
them all at one time. As a moth
er of three who has gone
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P. O. Box 399, Morton, IL 61550
© 1999 Morton Buildings. Inc
through this stage three times, I
can attest that each child
exhibits different characteristics
in their own timeline. Just when
you think you have them figured
out, they’ll change and begin a
new behavior. (Isn’t parenting
wonderful!) Many children will
start this developmental process
at the age of nine; others may
never exhibit any of these quali
As parents, there are certain
survival skills that we have to
follow for everyone to successful
ly get through this stage of
development. First of all, it usu
ally hits us at one of our most
vulnerable times in life. We are
in the stage of “getting older” as
well. Think about it-most of us
have just hit midlife! All of a sud
den life seems to be moving too
fast. I find myself looking at my
youngest son, who will be 16 in
two months, wondering where
all the years went by. It seems as
though he was just beginning
kindergarten yesterday-now he
wants to buy a car and critiques
my driving skills.
Todd & Cecil Irvin
Cecil J. Irvin and Son
State College, Pennsylvania
Lancaster Farming, Saturday, February 19, 2000-B3
On the other end of the life
line are my parents who are cel
ebrating their 51st wedding an
niversary this month. As par
ents, at this stage we are some
times referred to as the “sand
wich” generation. You not only
have to deal with your children
being adults in training wheels,
but your parents are nearing the
age where you may need to care
for them as well. Forget your
midlife crisis, you don’t really
have the time or energy to deal
with it. You must move with the
direction your family is going.
There is a certain reality
about life at this point that
impacts you as a parent that you
may have experienced before.
Retirement planning becomes a
tool that really should be consid
ered, physical activity and nutri
tious eating habits need to be
addressed, women are faced
with the end of their reproduc
tive years, and questions like,
“Have I fulfilled my dreams jpid
goals in life?” often cross our
FRI, 8-B.SAT. &-12 BART, PA 17503
Taking all of this into consid
eration, no wonder it bothers us
so much that this wonderful
mild mannered child of yester
day is now staring us in the face
and stating in no uncertain
terms that he can make his own
decisions and is no longer a
child. Maybe we parents should
cry, “No fair!” After all, we are
going through developmental
changes too!
Regardless, the bottom line is
that we are the parents, and we
too shall get through this stage
keeping the family intact How
do you do this? Patience, perse
verance, and communication.
Recognizing what is happening
and exploring all the options as
best you can will help everyone
through this challenging stage
of your family’s life. Under
standing what happens at cer
tain ages can help parents guide
their children more effectively
as they turn into those happy,
independent adults we all want
them to be. Welcome to the stage
of adolescence!
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