Teenagers and What is Wrong with America: 4 Root Causes
Social and Moral Development in Adolescence
21 dead in Uvalde, Texas. It happened again. And by a teenager again. I think everyone knows why it happened and what politicians like to refer to as the ‘root causes’ of social phenomena. So let’s approach 4 root causes: it is American culture and its relationship to teenagers.
1. No social integration - To what degree is our society united by shared values and other social bonds? To what degree do we have a shared consciousness? To what degree do we have a sense of community so that we share common feelings and thoughts about life? These are the attributes that come from smaller and simpler communities rather than the specialized, diverse and complex communities of the modern world. And, it seems to be lost especially among adolescents. Seems we have little connection with teenagers. In smaller communities we have more quality personal ties and lifelong relationships. But today, yes, we are still involved with the young, we interact with each other as adults but not to teenagers. A teenager can attend a high school of 1K, 2K or 3K and never even speak to an adult. Cut off from social integration.
1 Corinthians 1: 10 ” I appeal to you, brothers and sisters, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another in what you say and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly united in mind and thought.”
2. No social development - Our modern complex societies expect individuals to know their personal purposes, how they can contribute to the whole of society. What part or cog in the machine are we? And where have all the long-term relationships gone, replaced by short term relationships? I miss my 3 generational Italian family. My parents and grandparents are gone. Sometimes I wished I had never gone away to college; it is where this disconnection began. And, I am closer in age to 80 than to 70. Teenagers not only feel alienated from purpose and mission, but live lives alienated from their own family and community through long distance residency, family employment change, larger more impersonal educational institutions and of course divorce, the greatest social disconnect.
2 Peter3: 18 “But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen.”
How else but through and in the home of a family connected and grounded in their faith.
3. No moral development - How are teenagers supposed to know the difference between right and wrong? Where do they learn it? If so disconnected from church and family, young people will look to others their age and share misinformation. They develop an alternate morality since it hasn’t been communicated to them. Since there are no social or familial restraints on behavior, sub cultural groups will establish rules or norms opposed to the outside world. They become anti-social. This may include assault, vandalism, drugs, bullying, running away from home, so much more. No strong family environment, no positive moral development. The family environment is the foundation for moral development and where a strong positive attachment serves as a barrier to delinquency and anti-social behaviors. No moral development, no development of conscience and moral reasoning.
1 Corinthians 15:33 “Do not be deceived: Bad company corrupts good morals.”
Proverbs 22: 6 “Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.”
4. No religion in society - Adolescents are confused and seek identity, their most powerful motivation. They go through a process of inner soul searching. They seek out role models and groups that they believe will help define them and give them some direction. Positive identity status brings along with it psychological well-being. So, along come the public schools telling students who come from not so religious and broken families, they can choose their sexuality. Need I say more.
Psalm 33:8-12 “Let all the earth fear the Lord; let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of him! For he spoke, and it came to be; he commanded, and it stood firm. The Lord brings the counsel of the nations to nothing; he frustrates the plans of the peoples. The counsel of the Lord stands forever, the plans of his heart to all generations. Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord, the people whom he has chosen as his heritage!”
God’s way for our families, nation and world, not their way. And one more thing - get your kids out of the public schools and into Catholic schools, charter schools, or other Christian schools. Another article is coming.