The thought is often expressed among parents and teachers that children at the high-school age are more difficult to manage than at any other period. Those who have not been well disciplined up to this time often follow wild or extravagant impulses which lead to distressing consequences, while even those who have hitherto been amenable, frequently become restive under authority, yielding themselves temporarily to some undesirable influence. There is an explanation for this. Mortal mind would lay a great burden upon young people of this age. During the years immediately preceding maturity they are blindly conscious of developments and desires wholly new to them, and unless the right kind of self-control has been taught from early childhood, they are thrown off their mental balance by the strangeness of the experience.

We have all been through what is called "the awkward age" of rapid physical growth. This is explained by physicists as due to the fact that the center of gravity is changing daily, so that the child must constantly "find himself" anew. Repeated tumbles result, calling forth less sympathy than criticism, since mortal mind is notoriously short of patience with its own manifestations. In the same way it might be said that the center of mental equilibrium is constantly changing, in those approaching maturity. The false laws of mortal mind, delegating supposed powers, privileges, pleasures, and penalties, all press fast and with seeming authority upon the boy or girl.

Much indeed is required of both parent and teacher at this time. A wise, steadfast, and patient discernment of the real, on the part of Christian Scientists, and a quiet insistence upon its recognition by the one who is going through the ordeal, is most necessary. To say "young people must have their day," and to disown responsibility, is to take a most unscientific attitude. The need of young people to be understood and helped to understand themselves is so great that it makes a piteous appeal to the truly loving heart.

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May 4, 1912

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