Midlife Dimensions


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couple fights with teen presentThere are few relationships that can be more sensitive than a forty something father and his teenage son. Each harbors conscious and unconscious feelings of love and hate for the other. The son is emerging from childhood into young adulthood, and the father is emerging from young adulthood into midlife.

A man has conflicting feelings toward his adolescent children. He is proud of his son, and at the same time he is jealous of his strength, his youth, the newness of life before him. He is also proud of his daughter, glad for her brains and beauty. At the same time he may be very jealous that his daughter is willing to give her affections to another man--who, of course, is not at all worthy of her.

The problems of adolescent children quite often reawaken unresolved problems from a man’s own youth. He may be frightened, thinking that somehow he has passed on to his children his unresolved problems. Talking with his children may help both a man and his teenagers to work through their anxieties.