Karen and Deb's Story
One of my yoga students Deb, had a 15 year old daughter called Karen. After a happy childhood, including a closeness between them, Karen had grown into her teen years by absorbing the popular culture around her.
Deb's own adolescence was characterised by an inability to discuss issues about sexuality and fertility with her own mother. She had battled through her teen years, figuring it out alone, and upon reaching adult-hood, considered that she had made it through pretty well. She married in her early 20's, and had 3 children without any conception, pregnancy or birthing difficulties. But as she saw her eldest daughter approaching puberty, Deb found herself locked into the same reticence to talk about teenage growth that she had experienced at the same age.
Like most parents, Deb did not want her children to become caught up in the detrimental aspects of adolescence and after being involved with yoga for about 10 years, she also wanted them to share the spiritual understanding of life that she had since gained.
Not wanting to restrict Karen's freedom, or be seen as out of touch with her needs, Deb watched mutely as Karen's adolescence became increasingly guided by the glossy teenage mags and popular mindsets of her peers. Deb reasoned - "Karen's a smart girl. She'll work it out OK, and if she needs to know anything, I'm sure she'll come and ask".
Although they both considered they had a good relationship, as time went on, there was a growing distance between them, and gradually there became more and more areas they were both reticent to discuss.
When they both came to stay with me for a few days, I had the op-portunity of talking with them about the growing generation gap Deb was feeling at the time.
Karen explained - "Much of my information about sex issues has came from community health nurses who visit our school from time to time. I also learn a lot from my friends and the magazines we read like Cleo, Dolly and Cosmo. If I had problems, I took them to my friends. I'm sure mum would have been understanding and knowledgeable too, but I thought I could just deal with them in my own way, alone".
On one occasion Karen stated that she already knew all there was to know about human sexual relations, and Deb really believed that Karen knew all about it! When asked what she knew about natural, non-