Finesse

Cover of Perfecting Diamonds

Cover of Perfecting Diamonds

52. Perfecting Diamonds by Rabbi Dovid Kaplan

As a sequel to Polishing Diamonds (discussed here recently), this book is both more general (with a chapter or two discussing rather younger children than the former) and more specific (with about half the book devoted to discussing teenagers, and teenage boys in particular – the author has been a teacher and mentor of teenage boys for many years).

For me teenagers aren’t a particular issue at the moment – DD is just five months old, and I amn’t working in a school any longer, so I don’t come across teenagers except as neighbours/acquaintances/people to interact with just as with any other person. (This may well be a very good way to act with them anyhow. Teenagers, children, even babies are simply people, and not another species!) I tend to find most people are easiest to get on with when you treat them as individuals with their own likes, dislikes and needs, and attempt to allow for those.

Still, this book is useful in pointing out some of the developmental and social pressures teenagers (and children of different ages, and parents) undergo, and how these may well impact upon relationships, both theoretically and practically. As long as one doesn’t assume all young people, or all the older people they come into contact with, are going to react in the same ways, I think knowing what some of the commonly plausible generalisations are can be helpful.

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