International Journal of Integrative Humanism Vol. 10 No. 2, December 2018.
ISSN: 2026 – 6286
Adolescence is a time of adventure, inquisitiveness, self-discovery and self-assertion. This first quest for independence, especially from the first authority figure of the parents, often generates tensions within the home. The flare for adventure often opens the youth to currents of thoughts and experiences that sometimes, maybe conflicting and too surging to process. These often create anxiety within the person of the youth and generate conflicts between the adolescent and the authority figure of the parents. These are experiences that may make or mar the adolescent in his or her exuberance. The responses of parents to these challenges are pivotal to the formative inputs of the emerging youth. The attitude of parents to the child’s desire for separation when reciprocal may lead to alienation and so to the danger of self-destruction or un-moderated peer group influence. Biblical accounts about relationship between parents and children offer insights on confronting these challenges. This work uses the qualitative method of research, and in the context of child-parent psychology undertakes a narrative exegesis of Luke 2:41-52. It discovers in this analysis, the biblical invitation to parents to employ restraint in managing the rebellion of their adolescents. The text also encourages in the context of self-assertiveness an overarching obedience on the part of adolescents towards their parents. It concludes that Jesus’ actions at the temple are his youthful assertions of adolescent independence. The disposition of his mother denotes positive parental responses to the incomprehension that often surround the emergence of adolescence. It recommends flexibility and dialogue as necessary dispositions of parents in their confrontation with the emerging adults in the home.
Keywords: Adolescence, Biblical Exegesis, Children, Family, Parenthood, Luke’s Gospel.