Summer is approaching, and many teenagers will be freed up from the structures and restrictions of school. What will now come to the forefront for them? What’s at the core of their lives? Reality TV? The summer concert scene? Life at the malls? Sun and sand at the beach? Chatting and texting? Sports? Some may think this covers the list. But those that do are giving teenagers far too little credit.
The late Rachael Kessler spent a great deal of time talking to and working with adolescents. Her special interest was how deal with what she referred to as life transitions and “passages.” Some are large, like leaving high school, starting a job or starting college, leaving college, living on one’s own, and coping with the impact of family trauma such as severe illness, death, or divorce. Some are linked with religion, such as Bar or Bat Mitzvah or Confirmation.
Rachael found that these passages are pivotal moments in the lives of both teens and their families. How are they handled?
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