新概念英语Lesson 42 Journey Through Adolescence青少年旅程

Parents are often upset when their children praise the Homes
of their friends and regard it as a slur on their own cooking,
or cleaning, or furniture, and often are foolish enough to let
the adolescents see that they are annoyed. They may even
accuse them of disloyalty, or make some spiteful remark about the friends' parents. Such a loss of
dignity and descent into childish behaviour on the part of the adults deeply shocks the adolescents,
and makes them resolve that in future they will not talk to their parents about the places or people
they visit. Before very long the parents will be complaining that the child is so secretive and never
tells them anything, but they seldom realize that they have brought this on themselves.
Disillusionment with the parents, however good and adequate they may be both as parents and as
individuals, is to some degree inevitable. Most children have such a high ideal of their parents,
unless the parents themselves have been unsatisfactory, that it ca hardly hope to stand up to a
realistic evaluation. Parents would be greatly surprised and deeply touched if they realize how much
belief their children usually have in their character and infallibility, and how much this faith means
to a child. If parents were prepared for this adolescent reaction, and realized that it was a sign that
the child was growing up and developing valuable powers of observation and independent
judgement, they would not be so hurt, and therefore would not drive the child into opposition by
resenting and resisting it.
The adolescent, with his passion for sincerity,always respects a parent whoadmits that he is wrong,
or ignorant, or even that he has been unfair or unjust.What the child cannot forgive is the parents'
refusal to admit these charges if thechild knows them to be true.
Victorian parents believed that they kept their dignity by retreating behind an unreasoning
authoritarian attitude; in fact hey did nothing of the kind, but children were then too cowed to let
them know how they really felt. Today we tend to go to the other extreme, but on the whole this is a
healthier attitude both for the child and the parent. It is always wiser and safer to face up to reality,
however painful it may be at the moment.