One of the main tasks of adolescence is to achieve an identity--not necessarily a knowledge of who we are, but a clarification ofthe range of what we might become, a set of self-references by which we can make sense of our responses, and justify our decisions and goals.

— Terri E Apter

The most satisfaction Terri E Apter quotes that are easy to memorize and remember

When a mother quarrels with a daughter, she has a double dose of unhappiness-hers from the conflict, and empathy with her daughter's from the conflict with her. Throughout her life a mother retains this special need to maintain a good relationship with her daughter.

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The adolescent does not develop her identity and individuality by moving outside her family. She is not triggered by some magic unconscious dynamic whereby she rejects her family in favour of her peers or of a larger society.... She continues to develop in relation to her parents. Her mother continues to have more influence over her than either her father or her friends.

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We may be aware of small increments of getting older;

we may meet an increasing number of people who make us uneasy with their youth; but the fact of being old ourselves comes as a surprise, and is often accompanied by the belief that there has been some mistake.

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Adolescents, for all their self-involvement, are emerging from the self-centeredness of childhood. Their perception of other people has more depth. They are better equipped at appreciating others' reasons for action, or the basis of others' emotions. But this maturity functions in a piecemeal fashion. They show more understanding of their friends, but not of their teachers.

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Adolescents do get very angry with their parents, and acknowledging this anger is part of acknowledging them. If the anger is notacknowledged then its expression is increased. The parent seems super-strong. The adolescent tries to become the super-attacker.

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The myth of independence from the mother is abandoned in mid- life as women learn new routes around the mother--both the mother without and the mother within. A mid-life daughter may reengage with a mother or put new controls on care and set limits to love. But whatever she does, her child's history is never finished.

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Preoccupied with her self, the adolescent sees enormous changes, whereas the parent sees the child she knew all along. For the parent, new developments are superficial and evanescent. For the adolescent, they are thrilling and profound.

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Old age is a strange country, and most of us enter it unwillingly.

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The family is constantly changing, as each member changes.

Some changes we recognize as developments, and the pleasure they bringusually makes us more adaptable. Some changes threaten, or disappoint other members, who may try to resist the change, or punish someone for changing.

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Parenting can be established as a time-share job, but mothers are less good "switching off" their parent identity and turning to something else. Many women envy the father's ability to set clear boundaries between home and work, between being an on-duty and an off-duty parent.... Women work very hard to maintain a closeness to their child. Father's value intimacy with a child, but often do not know how to work to maintain it.

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Sexual activity, for women, has a history of vulnerability, in a way it simply does not have for men. The mother has to teach thishidden text to her daughter. The mother's warnings, her attempts to halt sexual development in her daughter, are not so much signs of disapproval or envy, but of fear.

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Adolescents swing from euphoric self-confidence and a kind of narcissistic strength in which they feel invulnerable and even immortal, to despair, self-emptiness, self-deprecation. At the same time they seem to see an emerging self that is unique and wonderful, they suffer an intense envy which tears narcissism into shreds, and makes other people's qualities hit them like an attack of lasers.

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About Terri E Apter

Quotes 18 sayings
Profession Writer
Birthday February 28, 1949

Adolescence has been recognised as a stage of human development since medieval times--long, long before the industrial revolution--and, as it is now, has long been seen as a phase which centers on the fusion of sexual and social maturity. Indeed, adolescence as a concept has as long a history as that of puberty, which is sometimes considered more concrete, and hence much easier to name and to recognize.

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Adolescent girls were fighting a mother's interference because they wanted her to acknowledge their independence. Whatever resentment they had was not towards a mother's excessive concern, or even excessive control, but towards her inability to see, and appreciate, their maturing identity.

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Parents are never forgiven for not giving just the right response at the appropriate moment. Or, rather, there are particular times in the adolescent's or young adult's life, when a certain response is needed, and this need is not met, and the failure to meet this need is forever remembered, and is never forgiven.

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Insults from an adolescent daughter are more painful, because they are seen as coming not from a child who lashes out impulsively,who has moments of intense anger and of negative feelings which are not integrated into that large body of responses, impressions and emotions we call 'our feelings for someone,' but instead they are coming from someone who is seen to know what she does.

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This is the hope of many adolescent girls--to capture a parent's heart with love for them as they are, as people. They reject thenotion of being loved just because they are the child of the parent. They want the parent to fall in love with them all over again, because being new, they deserve a new love.

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