A friend shared this great article with me around the worrying trend of a drift toward perpetual adolescence … The author of the article ( Nebraskan Senator Ben Sasse) wants his kids to arrive at adulthood as fully formed, vivacious, appealing, resilient, self-reliant, problem-solving souls … One way of doing this he describes is by “encouraging our children to build lasting connections – some degree of friendship and familiarity – with older people who aren’t members of the family.
“Adolescents acquire vital social skills by interacting with people outside their peer bubble. There are many ways to make these connections. The simplest are activities like taking your children … to volunteer at a senior centre. But the occasional visit isn’t enough.”
Perspective is invaluable: It lets your children hear about previous eras, including those first hard jobs, and gives them a longer view of what it means to struggle with hardships and persevere”.
This is exactly what Heart & Soul Story’s S.T.E.P (Seniors and Teens Empathy Program) is aiming to help achieve.
Sasse also outlines other important ways to resist perpetual adolescence other than connecting across generations, including resisting consumption, embracing the pain of work, traveling meaningfully and becoming truly literate … it’s well worth the read. How to raise an American adult
Image thanks to Jeremey Thomas (Unsplash)