The Role of Parental Involvement in Adolescent Development; How Much Is Too Much?

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LIBERTY UNIVERSITY THE ROLE OF PARENTAL INVOLVEMENT IN ADOLESCENT DEVELOPMENT; HOW MUCH IS TOO MUCH? SUBMITTED TO PROFESSOR JOY MWENDWA, MA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE COURSE CHRISTIAN COUNSELING FOR MARRIAGE & FAMILY CCOU 301-B12 BY Joe Student Somewhereville, South Texas MARCH 8, 2014 INTRODUCTION In the western industrialized nations parents seem to be withdrawing from being actively involved in the lives of their children as their children enter into adolescence. Somehow, it seems that in the interest of trying to give their children all that they never had and to give their kids the privacy that they yearned for as children; parents seem to be confused about what the role of a parent should be during the adolescent journey of their children. This shift is happening in a time where technological advances in social media and electronic messaging have afforded adolescents more autonomy than ever before. As a youth pastor I am continually confronted by parents who are desperate to understand their teenage student and shocked to find out what their children have become involved in. When asked, most do not have access to their children’s social media accounts or their cell phones. Many do not even know that their child has a social media account or with whom their children are interacting with on a regular basis. At some point most have stumbled across an email or other such electronic message that has opened their eyes to the idea that there may be a problem. Still others have endured a conversation with me explaining that their child is having some emotional problems and are in need of counseling. This begs the question of how important is parental involvement in the development of the western adolescent and what, if any; boundaries to that involvement would be beneficial to the development of emotionally

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