Dr. Peter Marshall
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Dr. Marshall has written for scientific journals, magazines such as Canadian Living and Parent-to-Parent, and newspapers. A list of journal papers is contained in his Curriculum Vitae.
If you would like to read one of his recent articles, please select from the left:



Spoiled Rotten?


A World of Their Own

Cooking for Kids

Work - Does It Build Character?

The Barbeque


A World of Thier Own

  Young children spend very little time on their own. Not only do we watch them carefully, they also have an uncanny ability to appear just when we finally have the time for a quiet cup of coffee or are about to sneak off for a solitary soak in the bathtub. Teens are a different story. They often seem to want to get away from us and will barely acknowledge our presence as they head off for the privacy of their bedrooms. One social scientist estimated that teenagers are alone for one quarter of their waking hours. So what are they doing?

  Believe it or not, a major pursuit seems to be constructive thinking. I am sure all of us can recall occasions when our lives have seemed particularly confusing or challenging; finding the time to reflect, analyse and plan becomes a priority during such periods.

  Adolescents are in much the same position - probably even more so as they are in a period of rapid and far- reaching change. They need to explore different ways of behaving. As one psychologist put it, adolescents need time to integrate the rapid changes occurring in their bodies and minds into a unified sense of identity. Sounds like heavy and time-consuming work- and it is.

  I concede that it is hard to know if someone lying on a bed with a glazed expression is in the throws of an existential dilemma or is simply goofing off. Most adolescents will indulge in both extremes. But unless the teen's wish for more privacy seems associated with a more general withdrawal form life, it can be seen as healthy rather than a sign that something is wrong.

What should you do?
How about putting on the coffee AND running a bath.


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