Sen. Ben Sasse: Kids today are more “insulated from work” than any time in history

Ben SasseHow do we raise our kids better in an era of perpetual adolescence? Because that’s the new thing, right?

Adolescence is a gift, the idea that you have a kind of greenhouse stage as you transition from the dependency of early childhood to the independence of adulthood.

But perpetual adolescence is a danger. We should be able to distinguish between 10- and 15- and 20- and 25-year-olds. And it’s increasingly difficult to do that. It’s a very new thing.

A bunch of causes. One is, we live at the richest time in the richest nation in all of human history. And so our kids have largely been insulated from necessity.

I think the most fundamental thing to say about teen years right now, compared to, say, 40, or 50, or 60 years ago — and, again, this is not beating up on millennials.

This is the environment in which they’re growing up because of our societal-wide riches.… They’re insulated from work in ways that has never been — that have never been before.

So, most kids used to grow up going from 8 to 10 to 12 to 14 years old, across human history and across nations, being around their parents’ work. Our kids aren’t.

—Sen. Ben Sasse (R–NE)

,  State of the Union (CNN), July 2, 2017

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