Youths’ independence and control over self mean helping them develop a sense of self-governance, responsibility, independence and decision making. It is a very vital requirement for proper youthful development. The essence of this is to help them develop a sense of autonomy.

Autonomy here refers to an adolescent’s (youth’s) growing ability to think, feel, make decision and act on his/her own. It is a continuous process that even transcends into the adult life. It continually surface when one is faced with challenges to act with new level of self-reliance.

Youths' independence

It gives the youths the benefit of being unique, capable and independent personality with less dependence on adult. The independence of the youths would mean that they are capable of handling things on their own.

Helping them attain independence is part of making them autonomous. With this they are able to think, feel and make moral decisions that are truly theirs rather than following along what others believe.

It gives them the ability to govern their own behavior so they can develop a healthy self-governance which include

  1. Decision making
  2. Self reliance
  3. Conformity

They can develop these through their relationship with peers, parents and other adults.

Types Of Autonomy

There are three (3) types of autonomy which are necessary in the development of youths’ independence

  1. Emotional autonomy – relates to emotions, personal feeling and how we relate to others around us. It gives the youths the enablement to look for their own solution in terms of problems (emotional problems) rather than rely solely on parents
  2. Value autonomy – means having independent attitudes and beliefs regarding spirituality, politics and morals. Their ability to think in the abstract helps them see the differences between general and specific situations and to make judgement using higher-level-thinking. It gives them the ability to consider their own value system.
  3. Behavioural autonomy – is related to behavior. It refers to ability to make decisions independently and to follow through on these decision with actions.


However, the development and the process of autonomy could result to family turmoil and rebellion from the youths especially if not properly guided.

In other to avoid this, there is need for parents and guidance to;

  1. Set clear and consistent expectation
  2. Communicate openly about rules and values
  3. Discourage rebellion – Explain to them the changes they are experiencing and what it means.
  4. Listen carefully to them and understand their point of view and respond in ways that shows you care and appreciate them.
  5. Help them see the result that rebellion can bring and the good or benefit conformity will produce.
  6. Stay calm – Don’t be overly worried about their conformity. Let your disposition portray composure and from it they will learn.
  7. Involve them in decision making – Don’t make them feel alienated when it comes to making decision especially that relating to their welfare

Understanding the changes that the youth face will allow parent to help them become happy and productive. The development of independence and control over self which invariable imply autonomy for the youths is fundamental and beneficial to proper youthful development.

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