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I was reading a teacher's blog just now. This is his second year teaching and he commented how hard it was, seeing his previous year's students under another teacher's management. He still felt the attachment to them, and when they came running to him to hug him and share their summer's adventures, he had to send them back to their new teacher.

It got me wondering. I wonder if some of the alienation and inability to form deep and lasting bonds that people in our society experience is due to early experience in school with single-year relationships. Teachers and students become deeply involved with each other. Often young students will call a teacher "Mom" or "Dad". And teachers spend more waking hours with the children than their parents do.

It all ends in June. And in September starts all over again with a new teacher. Soon the child learns to be more sophisticated, able to form a relationship that is more superficial and hurts less when it ends. Loneliness is preferable to the wrenching pain of loss, and students turn away from admitting any need for long term relationships.

By the time they reach secondary school, attachments are not only a single year long, they are also only an hour long each day. Talk about fragmented.

So friendships with adults are impossible; it is not surprising that kids bond more closely with other kids and not intergenerationally. Nor is it hard to see that adults' difficulties with intimacy may stem in part from early childhood experiences with interrupted relationships. Factor in frequent moves made by the family to new homes and towns and schools and you have a perfect scenario for lonely, maladjusted teens and adults.

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