When I think of my teen years, I mostly remember a dark road. When I turned 15 I got my license and, with a small sum of money my dad gave me after he sold my childhood home, I bought myself a real beater of a car that you could hear coming from blocks away. So I was always driving. My hometown was like that then; I felt like I knew everyone.
Adolescence is no time for substantive catechesis to stop. Every adult knows this, and yet the difficulties of adolescent catechesis drive many religious education program directors to frustration and compromise. Some parishes stop catechesis at adolescence, and hope to keep them in the Church through recreational youth activities until reason again prevails. Many Catholic schools also stop at the crucial eighth grade, abandoning the adolescents of the Church to a very confused public school system. To the wilderness they go, armed with whatever formation that may have been achieved in eight years or so of instruction, and the foundations received in the home.
Every child is unique, and every family deals with different issues. There are some things, however, that many parents deal with around the same time. The way parents choose to deal with these issues has an important impact on how healthy and competent their children grow up to be.
Building on the work of Lawrence Kahlberg moral development and Jean Piaget, cognitive development , Fowler describes the development of faith in six stages. This stage places great emphasis on the importance of God in child's life, especially by parents and family members. Parents serve as a source of authority regarding religious matters. Children ranging in age from four to eight are typically found in this stage.