Autonomy Essay

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Read: Read this story of a college freshman—let’s call him Raul—who moves back in with his parents for the summer after attending his first year of college out of state. Even though he feels close to his parents and wants and needs their support, he is also used to having more autonomy than they are used to giving him. (Perhaps your students will be able to relate to the predicament.) That situation activates the autonomy-connectedness dialectical tension for Raul. Instruction: After reading the story again generate eight different approaches Raul might take to dealing with the tension that correspond to the eight strategies identified by researchers: 1) denial: Raul thinks that his current situation is not as bad as it seems, because his parents are being his parents. Every other college student experiences the same thing and what he is experiencing from moving back home is normal. 2) disorientation: Raul is confused because after 9 months of being away from home learning how to make his own decisions, becoming independent and more responsible with his money. Returning home, has lead him to feel like he’s regressed back to a high school kid again; however, with constant tension with his parents of allowing him to make his own decision but at the same time treating him like a kid again—rather than the adult he feels that he has become. 3) Alternation: Raul thinks he needs to change his behavior to adjust to his parents wishes and desire to be a kid again. 4) Segmentation: Raul thinks he should separate himself from his parents and considering moving away from home permanently rather than returning home for the summer. 5) balance: Raul wants to have a discussion with his parents and explain to them that he is used to making his own decisions. He hopes to find a balance where he will respect his parents rules and house but still be allowed to make his

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