Affection, Autonomy and the Needs of Teenagers

My older son used to caress my upper arm absent-mindedly when I nursed him, and later when I’d read his bedtime story. Today, when I hug him, it’s like trying to hug a cigar store Indian or the Tin Man.

Until a year ago, my younger son wanted me at his side each night as he fell asleep. Now that he’s almost 13, he does an evasive ninja move when I try to show him affection.

What happened? They turned into teenagers is what happened. Teenaged people who are comprised of odors and elbows and anxiety.