Adolescence is a time when parental ties need to be loosened in favor of peers, but the question remains “how loose?” Adolescents have a sense of “invulnerability,” that is, nothing bad will happen to them. When parents try too hard to protect them from harm, adolescents tend to pull away – and perhaps try to prove their parents wrong. When parents just let adolescents do whatever they please, the results can also be negative. Where is the line of enough parental participation, but not too much? Consider the parent-adolescent relationship compared with peer relationships, the importance of attachment, and dating relationships.
Prepare to engage in discussion that addresses the following points.
How can parents balance their ability to continue to play an important part in the adolescent’s life and yet realize that peers are becoming more and more important?
Realizing the importance of “fitting in” for adolescents, how can parents, teachers, pastors, etc. help adolescents make healthy choices when it comes to participating in peer activities?
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