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"How To Tell If Your Child Is a Potential Hippie and What You Can Do About It"

by Jacqueline Himelstein

Your son or daughter may be flashing warning signals that he or she will soon
drop out of society and join the "hippie" movement. If you know what to look
for, you may be able to prevent it.

Four leading psychiatrists, Dr. Jean Rosenbaum of Santa Fe, New Mexico; Dr.
Jack Leedy of New York City; Dr. Robert Bussell of Chicago and Dr. Norman R.
Schakne of Detroit, agree that a combination of the following signs spells
possible trouble for the parent as well as the child...

1. A sudden interest in a cult, rather than an accepted religion.

2. The inability to sustain a personal love relationship -- drawn more to
"group" experiences.

3. A tendency to talk in vague philosophical terms, never to the point.

4. A demanding attitude about money but reluctance to work for it.

5. An intense, "far-out" interest in poetry and art.

6. Constant ridiculing of any form of organized government.

7. A righteous attitude, never admitting any personal faults.

8. An increasing absentee record at school.

9. The emergence of a devious nature, manipulating people for personal gain.

10. A tendency to date only members of different races and creeds.

"Naturally, some of these signs may be observed in perfectly normal
adolescents, but it is when the majority of the traits are present that the
child is on the way to becoming a 'hippie,'" Dr. Rosenbaum said.

"There are also the fairly obvious signs like shaggy hair and mod clothing.
But those alone do not make a 'hippie.' Sometimes it's just a fad."

Each of the psychiatrists offered advice to parents who are worried about the
possibility of their child's becoming a "hippie."

Dr. Rosenbaum: "There must be a reconstruction of the family unit, with much
expression of love. Parents should work and play with these young people to
show that all the family members care about one another."

"There must be a great deal of dialogue -- sometimes very painful dialogue --
to establish a new position of belief for the young people. They will deny
they're hostile until their last breath."

"Until that underlying hostility is brought out, the children will be keyed
to rebel."

Dr. Leedy: "Family therapy is one ideal approach. Develop similar interests
and hobbies. It's usually too late for the usual disciplinary measures when
the child begins showing the 'hippie' signs. Discipline at that point might
make him more hostile."

Dr. Bussell: "Have a good understanding and be more tolerant. Adolescence is
at best and extremely disturbing time."

Dr. Schakne: "Learn to say 'no' when you have to. But explain your reasoning
so that you maintain a communication link."

"The time to shape your child is in the pre-teen years. When your child
reaches the teen-age level, the die has already been cast."

- from Twenty Minute Fandangos and Forever Changes: A Rock Bazaar, ed. by
Jonathan Eisen (New York: Random House, 1971).

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