Like Dew Your Youth – Chapter 2

Chapter 2 – “I’ll Dress the Way I Want!”
“Adolescence is the time when we become ourselves…Adolescents are involved, nearly full-time, in discovering who they are” (11). Peterson rightly notes that this causes anxiety in parents. This process inserts itself into areas where before we are able to severely curtail the exercise of free will in our children. Decisions we once made for are children quickly become the decisions they make and want to make. Peterson goes on to say that identity is the product of decision. We can all agree when he says for teens that this is not a smooth process. But consider this: “Youths often practice defining themselves by demonstrating what they are not: they are not, for instance, what their parents say they are. They provide evidence in hair and clothing styles that differ from what parents choose…But if parents let this kind of conflict dominate the relationship, youths will conclude that the parents are not concerned with the deeper developments stirring beneath the surface, but only with what others are going to say or think” (13). We would call that producing Pharisees. I don’t think that parents of children of any age are immune from being too concerned about these outward matters. In a store, I overreacted to Ethan’s bad behavior (and he was disobeying) because I was more concerned about what a fellow shopper thought of me as a parent, then I cared about my son’s obedience at that moment. I’ll come back to this chapter and Peterson’s discussion of 1 Samuel 3 as it relates to adolescence.

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