Christianity was supposed to be about becoming like Jesus. We went in the wrong direction.
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Chapter 17 - Working with children

One problem with age segregated societies and smaller families is that children often have little exposure to other children outside their particular age group. Unless called upon for child care, young people are often deficient in skills dealing with children, adults, or the elderly. This deficiency can result in an amplification of the natural selfishness of young people.

It has been said that the cure for the “disease” of adolescence is parenthood. One reason is that when one is forced by circumstances to deal with various ages, one learns much more in the way of useful social skills as opposed to classifying people as either within one’s cohort or as alien.

Because churches have to rely on their own members to work in various capacities for the various programs they have, youth are sometimes drafted to help out. While administering a scripted activity may not be as instructive as more open interaction, it is better than having no interaction.

In a social situation children who were raised in age segregated environments tend to talk only with others their same age and often talk about themselves. Children who were raised with greater exposure to others of different ages are more often comfortable approaching those who are older or younger and often ask more about others than feel compelled to talk about themselves.

Having exposure to small children often teaches older children to see the residual selfishness in themselves. Being able to see oneself in a line of continuity gives a context to life such that a perpetuated adolescence can seem less desirable.

My parents were the first of their families to be what would later be called “teenagers”. By this it is meant young people excluded from contact with those who would actually help them mature.


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