Times have changed and our society is facing a crisis. Young people used to rub shoulders with adults daily, and through that, gained the insight and guidance needed to grow into a healthy young adult.
Up close with positive role-models, kids learned appropriate attitudes, received meaningful encouragement and feedback, and witnessed quality examples.
Over the past decades kids have become increasingly separated from adults, in both natural and programmatic settings. Consider how these have played a role in that reality:
- Growing mobility
- Continued high divorce rates
- Fatherlessness and 40% of births nationally to unwed mothers
- Increased use of social media and online presence
- Lack of multi-generational settings + splitting up young and old for most learning opportunities
- Media’s portrayal of youth rejecting adult presence and guidance
This separation is hurting us all. Young are missing the experience and wisdom of the old. The older are missing the energy and passion found in the young. We’re all losing the joy and learning found in walking alongside someone different than us.
Further, studies show that the age of adolescents is rising, with some researchers saying that it is lasting until their 30’s. We need to look at it this way – when young people don’t “rub shoulders” with adults, they simply are not learning how to become an adult.
It’s a crisis, and we need to address it. FORGE is doing all it can through intentional mentoring and educating communities on the power natural mentoring.