Raising teenage boys? Stop screaming and start enjoying the ride ;-)


From Susie’s Little Creations

 

“Whenever I asked boys about planning, their immediate response was to assert that they don’t plan. ‘We don’t plan because plans never work anyway.” “Life’s a roller-coaster, so there’s no point in planning.”

“Girls plan a lot, don’t they?”

“Yeah, but they change their minds, don’t they?”

“Yes, I guess they do.”

“See, waste of time making the decision at the first place!”

“Do you think you’ll ever have a life plan?”

“No”

“So how will your life sort itself out?”

“Oh, that’s easy. I’ll be about 25 and some gorgeous-looking chick will walk past. She’ll have a great plan, so I’ll just hook onto her.”

From http://www.rachelobeauty.com

One question I always asked as we moved towards a discussion about how they managed their academic workloads: if they were given an assignment that was due to be handed in on, say, Tuesday morning, when would they do it?Regardless of academic ability and/or socio-economic status, the answer at this point was invariably “Monday night”, with the occasional “Tuesday morning” thrown in. …

It was a source of great amusement to me when, on some occasions, I pushed a little harder with the students and suggested that if they only did the assignment the night before anyway, regardless of when it was handed out, perhaps the best idea would be to ask their teachers to adopt the practice of giving out assignments overnight, working to the idea that they would have only one night to get it done. It seemed a very logical step to me and one that would mean a significant reduction in levels of stress for those parents who spend their lives trying to compel their sons to start work on the assignment due next week.

Whenever I suggested this idea, however, looks of absolute consternation would cross the faces of the boys. “No, you can’t do that.”

“Why not?”

“Because we need time to think about it!”

From http://lh4.ggpht.com

This unwillingness to plan isn’t all bad news, however. A story told to me by one teacher challenges the view that adolescent males will reach their potential in the classroom only through planning and organised work.

This teacher described the time when he’d explained to a group of senior students that they had only five days left in which to complete their art folios and that if they didn’t manage to do so within that timeframe, they would lose the opportunity to take art the following year…

These were boys who were quite academically capable, but who had shown themselves to be fairly normal adolescent males by working at about 5 per cent of their potential through the year. The teacher had previously taught adolescent girls, who, in his view, tended to work at about 90 per cent of their potential throughout the school year.

Once the teacher had delivered the news of the impending deadline, the boys seemed to accept the challenge and immediately got to work. They literally lived and breathed their art folios for the following five days, spending every hour at the school, taking only occasional breaks to eat and sleep while getting on with the work. In the teacher’s words they went from their previous 5 per cent effort to about 250 per cent. Everything else in their lives fell away and nothing else mattered until their folios were complete. …

From http://www.funnyism.com

The boys also seemed to have been changed for the better and to have become more confident as a result of the experience. They’d been tempered by the challenge and had learned a bit more about who they were and what they were capable of.

So, here’s a thought worthy of consideration at this point: is it possible that this learning might not have occurred and the high standard of work not been reached had they chosen instead to work steadily throughout the year? Is it possible that the inertia frequently displayed by adolescent boys occurs because the challenges being put in front of them aren’t of sufficient depth to merit a real response?… Have we made education a series of relatively small steps because we think that’s what works, when what boys actually want and need are fewer, much bigger steps?”

From ‘He’ll be OK: Growing gorgeous boys into good men
by Celia Lashlie


From http://www.fashionforacure.org

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Lemon Beauty

Anger2
From http://www.zdorovieinfo.ru

“Do you have any lemons?” asked Victoria reading one of the popular women’s magazines.

“Lemons? In the middle of Russian winter? What do you need lemons for?” I wondered.

“Not me, but you. You always were more adventurous. Let’s trial this on you first.”

“Me? Trial what?”

“The best beautifying detox treatment”

“Beautifying you say? Then you need milk not lemons.”

“Why milk?”

“Don’t you remember – Cleopatra used to beautify herself by bathing in milk. I wonder what my folks will think if they spot me in a bathtub full of milk,” I giggled.

From http://www.care2.com

“No, no. Milk is out of fashion now. Besides, how are you going to get so much milk to your bathtub, without even mentioning the cost? Lemons are the way to go now … and apple vinegar,” said Victoria with authority in her voice.

“So are you expecting me to bathe in a bathtub full of apple vinegar juggling lemons?” I laughed.

“No, no. You don’t need a bathtub at all – you can stay in bed watching TV.”

“That sounds better. What about lemons and vinegar?”

“It is very simple – we’ll get you wrapped in a sheet soaked in vinegar, then will cover you with lots of warm blankets. You’ll need to stay like that for a few hours drinking a cup of hot lemon drink every ten minutes. I’ll get the drinks ready for you.”

“You must be joking! Where did you get these crazy ideas from?” I laughed.

“Not crazy at all. Look at this article – all Hollywood stars are doing that.”

“They must be growing lots of lemons in Hollywood then!”

“Come on. You try that first and then I’ll have a go,” said Victoria.

From http://janasjournal.com

I completely forgot about this conversation, when Victoria came to my place with a bag of lemons.

“Look, I’ve spent all my monthly income on these lemons. You surely can’t say no to such sacrifice. No one else is at home – perfect timing. You go first. Where do you have spare sheets?”

“That’s not my cup of tea, Victoria,” I tried to object.

“What tea? You won’t be getting any tea – only lemon drinks. Come on, it won’t take long – only a few hours.”

Ignoring my objections, Victoria pulled out an old sheet and soaked it in apple vinegar. Five minutes later I was all naked, wrapped in the stinky wet sheet, trying to warm up under a pile of blankets. Victoria turned the TV on.

“Enjoy while I get the first lemon drink ready,” she said disappearing in the kitchen.

“Enjoy! Do you really think it is enjoyable to be wrapped in that stinky sheet?” I shouted to her.

“Beauty requires sacrifices,” responded Victoria with authority in her voice, bringing me the first cup of hot lemon drink.

From http://www.coconutmagic.com

Lemon drink was nice and it did help me to warm up a bit. The second drink was OK. After the third cup I had enough.

“Look, I had enough of these lemon drinks.”

“Beauty requires sacrifices,” repeated Victoria. “Still 10 more cups to go”.

“Ten more cups!!!”

“Yep, wait here, I’ll make another cup of lemon drink,” she said disappearing in the kitchen.

After three more cups I could not tolerate this any longer.

“Victoria, I can’t drink it anymore. I’m bursting.”

“Hm, that’s a bit of a problem. This article does not say anything about that. You’ve done one hour only. You need to wait for another hour. Beauty requires sacrifices,” she said disappearing in the kitchen.

девушка с лимономFrom http://krasotavnytri.ru

After three more cups I could not wait any longer. As soon as Victoria disappeared in the kitchen to make another cup of lemon drink, I jumped out of bed and, still wrapped in the wet sheet, rushed into the hall to get to the toilet.

To my horror, right at that moment the front door flew open and my brother came in with all his mates from engineering Uni. Without a word, I dashed past them into the bathroom and locked the door. A few minutes later the whole flat burst with roaring laughter: the lads discovered the copy of the women’s magazine with that ‘beautifying’ article….


From http://heavenonearthindia.wordpress.com

That night dad joined us for dinner.

“You look particularly beautiful tonight,” he said to me with a wink, “Would you like another lemon?” he asked, taking a lemon out of his pocket…

I could not stand lemons for the rest of the year and women’s magazines – for the rest of my life after that day.

From http://pikabu.ru

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Raising Teen Daughters: Empathy vs Sympathy

From http://www.buzzle.com

Can we ever understand teenage girls if even such experienced psychologist Nigel Latta openly admitted in his Politically Incorrect Guide to Teenagers, that he “didn’t understand the physics of the Girl-niverse”? “If a boy goes off the rail,” continues Latta, “he generally drinks alcohol, takes some drugs, gets into some petty crime and hits a few people. When girls go off the rails, they have a capacity to create degrees of chaos that are hard to believe. When girls go off the rails, the earth shifts on its axis”.

From http://lifetoheryears.com/50rules

So how can fathers help their daughters to go through that complicated stage in life? How can fathers understand their teenage daughters, those beautiful fairy princesses who suddenly turn into demonic uncontrollable monsters?

A few days ago I came across a story that touched my heart: a story of a father, who not only made an effort to understand his teenage daughter, but possibly rescued his troubled daughter from years of despair and near suicide. This story is provided below.


From http://www.ufunk.net

“I know of a couple with three grown children. This is a good family… The father did a good deal of traveling for his work while his daughter and two boys were growing up His relationship with them was sound and safe, but he just wasn’t around very much. Everything was fine until his teenage daughter started having behavioral problems at school and then with the law.

Each time she got in trouble, her anxious, time-conscious father would sit down with her and try to talk through the problem. They would go around on the same issues every time: “I’m too fat, I’m too ugly.” “No, you are not, you’re beautiful to me.” “You have to say that, you’re my dad.” “I wouldn’t say it if it wasn’t true.” “Yes, you would” “Do you think I’d lie to you?” And the discussion would turn to the question of the father’s honesty. Or he would tell her a story from his own youth, like the one about how he grew up with skinny arms and shoulders and everyone made fun of him. “Is that supposed to make me feel better?” she would say.

From http://www.dongallagherllc.com

Things would calm down, he’d leave town, and the cycle would start again. He was on a trip when his wife rang him to say their daughter had disappeared. Frantically, he caught a plane home and the family fretted for days while the search went on. At last she turned up in a runaway shelter in another city, and the parents collected her.

That night he and his wife talked things through. “I do not know what to do about her,” he confessed. His wife replied, “You might try listening to her.” “What do you mean? I listen to her constantly.”

His wife gave him a half smile. “Go and listen to her. Don’t talk. Don’t talk. Just listen.”

mate preferenceFrom http://www.huffingtonpost.com

He sat down with his daughter, who was still silent, and asked her, “Would you like to talk?” She shook her head, but he stayed where he was, silent as well. It was getting dark before she finally spoke. “I just don’t want to live anymore.”

Alarmed, he fought the urge to protest this and said softly, “You don’t want to live anymore.” This was followed by about five minutes of silence – the longest five minutes in his life, he later said.

“I’m just not happy, Dad. I don’t like anything about myself. I want it to be over.”

“You’re not happy at all,” he breathed.

The girl began to cry. In fact, she began to sob intensely, trying to talk at the same time, words flowing like a flood. It was as if a dam had burst. She talked into the early morning hours, he said hardly ten words, and the next day things looked hopeful. Where before he was giving her only sympathy, at last he had discovered empathy.

From http://www.gurl.com

This was only the first “psychological airing” of many over the next few hard adolescent years, but the young girl is now a woman, calm and confident in herself and her father’s love for her. That he would seek her out, that he would value the outpourings of her heart instead of imposing his version of reality on her, helped give her a robust foundation for life.

From http://www.sheknows.com

When tensions are high and confidence is low, when the next step doesn’t look clear at all, when a wall has gone up, try an experiment with empathy.

  • Go to the other side and say, “You see things differently. I need to listen to you.”
  • Give full attention. Don’t multitask while you’re listening. Don’t judge, evaluate, analyse, advise, toss in your footnotes, critique, or quarrel.
  • Be quiet. You don’t have to provide an answer, a verdict, a solution, or a “fix”. Free yourself from all that pressure. Just sit back and listen.
  • Speak only to keep the flow going. Say things like “Tell me more,” or “ Go on.”
  • Pay close attention to emotions. Affirm feelings.
  • Remember, you are listening to a story. When you go to a movie, you don’t interrupt and argue with the story and talk back to the screen. You’re involved, your sense of reality is suspended, you’re almost is a trance.
  • Be ready to learn. If you’re open, you’ll gain insights that will lighten up your own mind and complement your own perspective.
  • Show some gratitude. It’s a great compliment to be invited into the mind and heart of another human being…”

From “The 3rd alternative” by Stephen R Covey

Related posts:

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Parenting Teenagers: Finding Sense in Nonsense

Teens
From http://www.motivationalplus.com

‘The Politically Incorrect Guide to Teenagers” by Nigel Latta is one of my favourite books on parenting teenagers. I’ve read this book together with my teenager and it helped both of us to understand each other better. However there are a few points in Nigel’s book that do not feel right to me. One of them is about ‘trivializing the nonsense which comes from many kid’s mouths as they’re trying to find their own way in the world.’

I can partially share that view when it comes to emotional outbursts caused my tiredness or hormonal changes. However I would not ‘trivialize’ teenagers’ attempts to question everything around them and come up with their own way of thinking, no matter how ‘nonsensical’ it might seem. I would not be scared to get into a debate. 😉


From http://www.motivationalplus.com

As an example, if a teenage girl comes up with an idea, that running away at 16 and having a baby would make her life more ‘independent’ and ‘enjoyable’, I would not ‘trivialize’ or ‘dismiss’ that. Instead, I would attempt to have a good chat with her, trying to understand why she is feeling like that and discuss the potential consequences. If a teenager comes up with something like that, there must be a ‘trigger’ in the environment she lives in. Lack of attention or understanding at home? Too much control or complete lack of it? Anything else?


From http://www.aynla.org

Similarly,  if a teenage girl is thinking of becoming a prostitute or porno star for glamorous lifestyle or to pay her University fees, rolling eyes, dismissing or ignoring that ‘idea’ won’t help. Try to investigate why she is thinking that way. Was it the story of a Duke University Porno Star that made her think that way? Or an article in a mainstream publication describing the ‘pleasurable’ side of that trade? Or one of the many blog posts that calls for prostitutes and porno stars to be ‘respected’ for their ‘pleasurable’ trade. Why would not they be respected by the society for something they ‘absolutely love’ doing? After all, we all know by now that girls do enjoy sex and sex work is now legally recognized in some parts of the world. What’s wrong then with earning money by doing something so ‘enjoyable’ and ‘pleasurable’?


From http://www.newyorkdailysun.com/brazil-drops-prostitute-promotion/

Once we know the source of the ‘ideas’, it is time to do some research on whether that option is really ‘that glamorous’ and ‘pleasurable’ as your teenager might think.

First of all, let’s find out whether sex workers do ‘enjoy’ their trade. As Google kindly points out, we are not the only ones wondering about that. Below are a few responses from Yahoo!Answers-UK:

  • ‘Who cares about THEM?’
  • ‘No, they’re just after the money’
  • ‘Most of them are man-haters’
  • ‘Few are like ‘Belle de Jour’. Most are in highly dangerous situations on the streets selling themselves for a piitance to feed their drug habit.’
  • ‘no one enjoys HAVING to service loads of guys they don’t like, don’t find attractive, probably treat them like rubbish, and probably are too stinky/wierd/inadequate to be able to have sex with a regular woman without paying for it!’
  • ‘Most prostitutes don’t do it for the sex, but as a way of making fast money. Usually a life of abuse behind them, they lose any sense of self worth’
  • ‘You would be surprised if you knew how much prostitutes hated their clients.’

From http://www.vice.com

The majority of responses on Yahoo!Answers-international is pretty similar:

  • ‘Very few do. It’s a grind, just like any other job, except there is always the danger of running into a maniac trick. Most prostitutes just do their best to block out the act and pray the guy climaxes quickly. Think about it: would you enjoy a stinky, slobbery, drunken inebriate all over you?’
  • ‘Nope, most of them actually become numb to it. They begin to view sex as a very emotionless thing. Most prostitutes will do anything but kiss on the mouth.’

Poverty and Sin - The Prostitute #1From http://napkindad.com

OK, it looks like there is not much ‘enjoyment’ for most workers in that trade. How about respect? As reflected in some answers provided above, the majority of sex workers do not seem to get much respect either. Even their clients often treat them like  ‘rubbish’ in spite of all their ‘hard work’. Why is that?

To answer that question, let’s have a closer look at Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs:

Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs Chart
From http://timvandevall.com

Maslow’s hierarchy of needs is often represented as a pyramid, with the lowest or most fundamental needs at the bottom. He distinguished 5 types of needs:

  1. Physiological needs such as food, water and sleep
  2. Safety needs such as security of the body, health and property
  3. Social needs such as friendship, family, belonging and identity
  4. Esteem needs such as recognition, self-esteem, confidence, justice and respect
  5. Growth or self-actualization needs such as creativity, problem solving, art, beauty, personal fulfilment and freedom.

The assumption of the hierarchy is that the lower needs have to be met first, and are preconditions for the realization of the higher needs, although a temporary insufficiency in the lower levels will not undo the aspirations of the higher levels.

Sex is one of our basic physiological needs, like food, water, sleep, breathing and excretion. Meeting our physiological needs is important for our survival. If we are starving, can’t breath or are bursting to go to the toilet, all the other needs will be temporarily put on hold. However do we ‘respect’ the air we breath or the water we drink? Do we ‘respect’ the toilet bowl we are using? Sex trade clearly fits into that category and therefore sex workers usually get no more respect than toilet bowls.


From http://www.beachcitieshomesblog.com

However sexual intimacy with a loving partner is much higher up the hierarchy, on the same level with friendship, family, love. This level is about belonging, being accepted, loved and cared about. If we are looking for enjoyment  and respect in sex, we should be able to find it on that level. Not surprisingly, sexual intimacy with a loving and understanding partner is often rated much higher on the ‘enjoyment’ scale, then casual sex, as illustrated by a few comments from Reddit provided below:

  • ‘Over time we come to learn how to push one another’s buttons in just the right way (something that does not happen in casual relationship)’
  • ‘Being in love adds a layer of intimacy that can really intensify sex. It transforms the act from fun sweaty exercise to an expression of love, all tangled up in all the emotions inherent in a loving relationship’
  • ‘I think it’s an undeniable fact that sex is better with romantic chemistry’
  • ‘I’ve had sex with near-strangers, and it’s kind of awkward.’ While ‘Sex with someone you love is transcendent. Sometimes, in the middle I think: “Wow, this is really happening. I’m not hallucinating, this is really happening and to me.’

Angel5
From www.photosight.ru

If a teenager is still not convinced, let her read a few stories from the life of prostitutes, such as:

And get ready for many more debates to come while your young people are going through crucial teenage years 😉

Teenagers! i like to have humor cause i am raising one right now

 From http://www.pinterest.com 

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Are You Micromanaging Your Teen?

From http://www.examiner.com

Do you find yourself micromanaging your teenager’s life? It goes something like this: “Did you take a shower?” “Did you study for your Spanish test?” “Have you figured out whether you’re going to the concert this weekend?” “Do I have to get the concert tickets for you?” “Shouldn’t you have left by now?”

When you have a deadline at work, who is responsible for meeting that deadline? When you have a meeting you need to attend, who is responsible for getting you to that meeting? How did you learn how to meet your deadlines and get to your meetings on time?

From http://news.byu.edu/

It is no different for our teenagers. If they don’t have a reminder to take a shower, they will get stinky and their friends will make fun of them. When that happens, chances are they won’t forget (or neglect out of spite) to take a shower again.

If your teenager doesn’t make the necessary phone calls she needs to make to see if everyone’s going to the concert over the weekend, she’ll probably end up sitting home bored to death while all of her friends are out having fun. Chances are, next time her friends start discussing an upcoming concert, she’ll be on top of the planning.

From http://www.lafayettecountyhealth.org

As Wendy Sheppard points out, a teenager’s job is to learn how to be independent – how to do things for himself. His job is to find the resources to figure things out if he can’t do it himself.

Our job is to support him through this process and help him with things he truly isn’t ready for.

Therefore, instead of hovering like a helicopter over your teen, try ‘submarine parenting’. As Todd Kestin explains, submarine parenting means staying out of sight under the surface letting the kids manage their lives as things come up. It’s keeping the proverbial periscope up, so parents are aware how things are going with their teens, how their decisions are turning out, and being available to step in as needed. By maintaining this stance in their teens’ lives, parents empower them to work their way out of problems, issues, decision-making, etc.

Make a periscopeFrom http://www.planet-science.com

Submarine parents practice “parenting with intention.” Purposely backing off but keeping a hidden eye on their kids’ progress. Purposely giving them the room they need to succeed and to fail and bounce back again.

So what are some ways to use “submarine parenting” with your own kids? Here are five ways to take action with your teen by parenting with intention:

1. Back off on purpose.

2. Let your teen make his own decisions.

3. Talk to your teen with respect,

4. Model healthy behavior for your teen to follow.

5. Let go of the power struggle.

 Be More Independent As a Teen Girl Step 1.jpgFrom http://www.wikihow.com

Lippincott and Deutsch, authors of 7 Things Your Teenager Won’t Tell You, urge parents to simplify their expectations into three “rules of play:”

1. Stay Safe
2. Show Respect
3. Keep in Touch

What happens in a teen’s life – from violating curfew to doing homework to confronting drugs and alcohol – can fall under the above-mentioned three “rules of play.


From http://studentcareercoach.wordpress.com

As Mike Duran points out, “Teenagers / Young Adults require CONSULTATION and ADVICE – This is the stage where our kids are (or should be) full-fledged managers of their own lives. By now, they should understand moral parameters and societal obligations. We respect their growing independence by posturing ourselves as consultants and advisers, not managers. As such, they are free to take or leave our advice. (Of course, this does not let them off the hook regarding behavior or responsibility, but it affirms their autonomy and our waning authority.)”


From http://www.southbaytreatment.com

And if you still find yourself micromanaging your teen, lighten up and get your own life 😉

From http://www.petebarrett.com

Resources:

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Giggling your way to your teens

“They may push you away, but deep down your kids still need to know you love them. So don’t get hurt — get closer by learning these teen-friendly ways to show you care.”

Sarah Mahoney

dad-and-daighter
From How Fathers Influence Daughters

When your kids are little, parenthood is pretty much a contact sport — a nonstop marathon of smooching and snuggling. Fast-forward to their teen years, and it’s an entirely different story. Take my 14-year-old, for example. I used to put his sweet little baby toes in my mouth just to make him giggle. Now he not only has a pair of huge hairy man feet, but all of our tender moments — including those times he rests his chin on the top of my head, just to show how tall he is-happen entirely on his terms. And what about his 16-year-old sister? Sure, she’ll occasionally play footsie with me while we watch House. But if I hug her uninvited, she turns into a human surfboard.

Experts say we shouldn’t let those cold shoulders fool us. Kids not only want us to reach out to them, but also need constant reminders that we care…

When your kid starts insisting you keep your distance — in my house, that involves eye rolling, mock gagging or the ultra-offensive “eww, get away from me!” — relax. You can show your teens you love them while still giving them space.

1. Find affection alternatives. Kashurba suggests parents, especially dads, modify the ways they show affection to their teens. Hugging daughters can become embarrassing. Chances are you’ve already figured out that rumpling her hair is out of the question, so experiment. Try an occasional back scratch while she’s at the computer. Games — whether it’s touch football or flicking each other with wet dishrags — offer parents a chance to stay physical with both boys and girls.

2. Chill their way. Flop down on the couch next to your teen, even if it means you have to endure MTV’s “The Hills”. You might not be able to hug it out, but sitting shoulder-to-shoulder and sharing a laugh can be the next best thing.

3. Pick your moments. Your teen may brush off most of your overtures, but there are always unexpected times when she feels especially vulnerable — overwhelmed by calculus, for example, or after a fight with her best friend. Seize the moment. She might not ask for it, but she’d really love a reassuring arm around the shoulder.

4. Remember, showing up matters most. When raising teens, “being actively engaged in their daily lives trumps everything,” says Cauffman. That means rooting from the bleachers at basketball games, eating dinner together most nights, and really listening — on their terms, not yours — without judgment.

5.  Get your sense of humour back and share lots of giggles. In  “He’ll be OK: Growing gorgeous boys into good men” Celia Lashlie noted that a common theme of the conversations she had with many of the students was their lack of what they considered a real relationship with their dads. “What’s the one thing about your dad you would change if you could?’ she asked the students.

“Time and again the answer came: ‘He’d get his sense of humour back.’

Not “He’d get a sense of humour’ but ‘He’d get his sense of humour back‘.  … You’re great with your little fellows: you roll around on the floor, you fight, you have a lot of fun. And then the moment comes when a wee switch goes down in the back of the male brain, and you say to yourselves, ‘OK, I need to be a proper father now.’

So you stand up ready and willing to be a proper father and meanwhile your teen is looking around thinking, ‘I wonder where my dad went, because this grumpy old bastard sure isn’t him.’…”

(From 7 Ways to Get Closer to Your Teen and “He’ll be OK: Growing gorgeous boys into good men” )

father_daughter_momentsFrom The Dad Effect on Teen Self Esteem 

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