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When to worry and when not to worry

Our neighbor's teenage daughter came to the door this morning, needing to borrow something.

I asked her when school was out. She said yesterday was the last day.

I then asked if I was right in remembering that next year would be her last year of high school.

“It will,” she said. “And I'm a little scared actually, because I don't know what I'm going to do.”

I assured her that she would figure it out. And I meant it.

Here's The Slice 0-10 Scale of Need to Worry About Teens.

1. Kid believes he or she has the future all mapped out and is certain everything will go exactly according to plan: 5. Obvious reason for concern here, but there's no need to assume the young person won't be able to adapt to the inevitable hurdles and changes along the way.

2. Kid has not given one single thought to his or her future and apparently assumes he or she will spend the rest of his or her life hanging out with underachieving friends: 10. You can launch into another big talk, but there isn't any sign that there's much listening going on. Some advocate hope and prayer.

3. Kid says “I'm a little scared actually, because I don't know what I'm going to do.”: 1. This is a sign that the young person is on top of the need to come up with at least the vague outline of a plan pretty soon. Chances are, it will all work out.

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About this blog

Features writer Paul Turner is a columnist for The Spokesman-Review in the Features department. He writes "The Slice" column, which appears six times a week and produces general features stories for the Today section.

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