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.