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When I was teaching high school, I saw this all the time. I still see it constantly with teenagers (and more than a few 20 somethings I know). I have been calling it an inherent cultural hedonism. But this idea that people view life as having no happy medium, there is either an idyllic life or drudgery, gives me a lot more patience with those who ignore responsibility. (Not enough to be okay with it indefinitely, but enough to see where it comes from).

Debra Atkisson Kowalski, M.D.

Thanks for your comment. I think that helping teens find that things do not have to be at extremes ( having a life of drudgery or bliss) can help them learn how to truly be content with life.

C. Dwayne Shafer, MD, PhD

Try to work with joy, and have fun without restraint of laughter. When you struggle, don't be afraid to let them see part of it, but always leave them with the confidence, that while a challenge, it is under control. I believe this helps them build respect for you, and "what it takes to make a dollar," and when you play leave the troubles behind.

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