Prolonged adolescence is caused by too much privilege and not enough responsibility.
“As parents, we’re great at creating environments for our children to succeed rather than teaching them to succeed in environments they can’t control. We need to prepare and launch them. ”
The term “adolescence” was created in 1904. From that point forward, there was a gap in between childhood and adulthood. Pastor Ted Cunningham says it can be a dangerous mindset to develop.
“I don’t argue too much against adolescence but I do argue against prolonged adolescence. We’ve taken this gap between childhood and adulthood and we just let it grow.”
Ted shares five major milestones in the transition from adolescence to adulthood.
• Leave home
• Finish school or apprenticeship
• Get a job
• Get married
• Start a family
For many today, the five major milestones of becoming an adult are delayed.
“Those five milestones have been the same in every generation. The difference between my grandparents’ generation and my generation is my grandparents completed those five milestones in a very short period of time if not in the same week. It was fast. We stretch them out to 10, 15 or 20 years, telling our kids that there is no rush in growing up.”
The habits and training start at home. Ted is committed to training his children to lead responsible, God-focused lives and challenges us to do the same. The phases of individualizing and separating from parents is placed in children by God. When parents try to slow that down, the results can be disastrous.
“When they feel that child beginning to separate from them, when they feel that child developing their own thoughts and opinions, and choosing their own friends and clothes, Mom and Dad start to move from accelerating childhood milestones to delaying adulthood milestones.”
Key Scriptures: Hebrews 13:4
Featured Songs: Echoes of Eden by Steven Curtis Chapman; We Belong Together (Tarzan & Jane) by Steven Curtis Chapman; Have a Little Talk With Jesus by Bart Millard