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Byron Shire
June 7, 2023

Appreciating adolescence

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Thank you to Alora Varty for sharing with us what it is like to be a teenager dealing with the ‘binge culture’ (Letters, October 9). Much appreciated. Thank you to The Echo for providing a forum for the young to speak up.

In some traditional native societies, special attention and appreciation was given to their adolescents. They were seen as scouts of the collective soul and harbingers of the times ahead. The elders listened to them for gaining insight into the future and developing guidance for their communities.

As a father of a teenager I agree with Alora that we as parents have to lift our game. For starters maybe turn off our emails, smart phone, TV, 24-hour movie, sports and news channel, MTV, PC, laptop, MacBook, iTunes, Twitter, Google, Facebook, eBay, Amazon, YouTube, Skype, mp3, iPod, iPad, Kindle, Blackberry, Wii box, X-Box and satnav.

I readily admit that I’m a sucker for emails, ABC and SBS news and current affairs programs. I’m working on it. Maybe it would help to make more time and listen with compassion to what they have to say?

Compassion is a unique human trait and can help maintain successful relationships. Nowadays it is sadly undervalued and underdeveloped in some sections of our community. ‘Blaming and public shaming’ is the name of the game instead. No wonder some of our youth are feeling demoralised.

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