Hudson Valley Parent

HVP March 2016

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Page 26 of 39 n Hudson Valley Parent 27 blogs. American psychologist Harry Stack Sullivan believed that peer group social acceptance was literally a precursor of healthy self-esteem and identity formation for adoles- cents, but he didn't foresee having hundreds of cyber "friends" without experiencing the intimacy many theorists believe necessary for the development of mature adult rela- tionships. The new "me" generation Today's youth also seemingly come fully equipped with a well-en- trenched sense of entitlement that permeates all aspects of their lives. Many professionals believe this exaggerated sense of their self-im- portance stems from past years of child-rearing practices and pop culture messages where everyone is "special." Couple this hallmark- ing "look at me" as the highest goal attainable and the combination seems to have germinated a group of adolescents who feel that everyone needs to be there for them, IMME- DIATELY, and without hesitation. If not, they tantrum. Adolescent relationships have also evolved. My generation may have ushered in the sexual revolution, but today's adolescents have brought this to a new and very different level. There are many professionals who believe that this new and different definition of sexuality leave adoles- cents ill-equipped for future mature, intimate, adult relationships. There is plenty of good news regarding today's youth as well. Cigarette smoking is down among today's youth as well as the use of most drugs and alcohol. The inci- dence of teen pregnancy and sexual- ly transmitted diseases is also lower. They might be a consummately self-absorbed group, but they are also the most well-informed genera- tion in history. So roll your eyes after talking with your adolescent just as our parents did. Their path is different from ours - as it should be. But just as we did, they will find their way to a healthy adulthood. Paul Schwartz, Ph.D., is Professor of Psychology and Chairperson of the Division of Social Sciences at Mount Saint Mary College in New - burgh. Upload a photo of your pet and vote for the Cutest Pet in the Hudson Valley! CUTEST PET LookING FOR The Hudson Valley's Sponsored by: Submissions begin March 9th

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