| By Dr. Gelasia Marquez

My son "unfriended" me. I am hurt.

My 22-year-son, who is away at college, “unfriended” me on Facebook because he didn’t want me reading his posts. I am really hurt and feel as if perhaps I should stop helping financially. What do I do?

Your son appears to be going through a “rite of passage” from being an adolescent who needs supervision to becoming a secure, independent young adult. This period involves different tasks, among them they learn to speak up for themselves, develop social confidence in establishing and maintaining social relationships, and how to regulate their emotions. These three elements will contribute to his sense of autonomy in life.

I have no doubt that your son is beginning to exercise his rights of privacy, own respect and independence by creating a boundary between him, his friends and you. Acknowledge this fact as a positive step and let him know your appreciation for this sign of maturity and growth. Proverbs 22:6 offers some wisdom, “Train the young in the way they should go.”  It’s not always easy but, “even when old, they will not swerve from it.”

Dr. Gelasia Marquez is a psychologist and family counselor.