‘There’s got to be more to life than this.’ Or, ‘Is this as good as it gets?’ It’s a feeling most people have had at some point. It poses questions: If there is more, what is it? Where is it? How do I get there?
There’s no better time to ask epic questions than adolescence. The complexity of life dawns vividly. Horizons widen. The questions multiply: Who am I? Is this me or not-me? What do I want my life to be? What is my purpose? Is there meaning to life?
Sometimes we are impatient with teenagers when they can be so egotistical, but they are doing important ego-sorting-out. Their career dreams can be unrealistic, but they are trying things on. In the big clothes shop of life with so many choices they don’t always know what suits them.
The eminent psychologist Erik Erikson said the crisis for teens is Identity versus Role Confusion. As they emerge into early adulthood we want to see them confident in themselves (but not selfish) and developing a sense of where they fit and what will make life satisfying.
This task of individuation impacts all areas of a teenager’s life, including the spiritual.
The spiritual quest itself touches many aspects: intellectual (philosophy, theology), emotional (hunger to be part of something more), relational (looking to feel totally embraced and accepted), and physical (in the body and in nature).
The challenge is in connecting head and heart, with no part of the self remaining split-off or hidden or shameful.
The questions are there. They might be prompted by a taste of adult suffering, or just arise anyway. Does your child voice them? And how should you answer when they ask ‘What’s the point?’
For parents/carers this can be challenging. Big questions are not satisfied by small answers. In a materialistic culture, questions about meaning don’t get much attention. They’re easy to dismiss or sidestep.
Often with teenagers the questions are disguised, wrapped in defiance, or depression, or substance abuse. But tune in and you will hear them.
The Cool Kids and Adolescent Health Program is designed for children aged 7 to 17 years who are experiencing recurring somatic health complaints (e.g., recurring headaches and/or stomach-aches) and who are also reporting stress or low mood. The program is individually based and involves 10 x 1 hour weekly therapy sessions held either in-person at the Centre for Emotional Health (CEH) Clinic at Macquarie University or via Skype or telephone. Information on 9850 4082 or at https://tiny.cc/ckhealth.
CCSS Solo Parent Services are holding two sessions for our Seminar on “Understanding Family Law”. The seminars on the following dates will cover the topics below:
Wednesday 20th July – Understanding the Family Law Act – Focus on Divorce/Separation and Children’s needs.
Wednesday 27th July – Understanding the Family Law Act – Focus on Property /Settlements.
Venue for both Seminars: DAC, 1-5 Marion St Blacktown Time: 7.30pm – 9.30pm Cost: $7.00 per session. Registration Essential: Solo Parent Services - Rita - PH: 8822 2222 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Younger Widowed Support Group
CCSS Solo Parent Services’ Younger Widowed Support Group is held on the 3rd Tuesday of each month. The Support Group is for men and women widowed at a younger age whether you are a parent or not. Next gathering: Tuesday 21st June. Please note new Venue: DAC, 1-5 Marion St, Blacktown. Time: 7pm – 9pm Cost: $5.00. Registration: Rita Ph. 8822 2222 or Email: email@example.com