Recently the topic of teenagers, and how awful they are, came up in a Twitter conversation I involved myself in. While I’ve mentioned the topic in the past, I thought I’d write a bit more on them here.
Adolescence is a modern invention/perversion. Until about the 1800s or so, a person of about the age 13 was considered an adult. Since about that time, better nutrition has led to puberty occurring earlier (in the 1800s it occurred at about 15-16, it now occurs at about 12-13), but at the same time independence has also decreased. A teenager is a biological adult. (Mentally, a person continues maturing until sometime in their mid-20s).
The problem of rebellious or destructive teenagers is not a fault of the teenagers, but rather a fault of society. A teenager is an adult being treated as a child. A 14-year-old should be learning independence and self-sufficiency by going out into the world on his own (on an apprenticeship, to college, to his own shack on the family farm, etc.) and should be looking for a wife shortly therefore after. Instead, in our modern world teenagers live under the dominion of their parents as a child.
Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. (Genesis 2:24 ESV)
Of course teenagers rebel, any adult treated as child will rebel against being infantilized. They lash out because they know at some level that their parents having dominion over them is wrong, because an adult still under their parents is against the natural order. It is not teenagers that are the problem, it is the parents and the society.
Now of course, teenagers are not always going to make the best decisions because they are new at being adults and are learning the basics of adulthood, but in our current order, instead of learning about adulthood at age 15 so they are responsible adults by their 20s, people are now making the same failings in their early-20s and sometimes even their late-20s/early-30s, so your average person is not a responsible adult until their 30s.
Despite this, most modern teenagers would probably break is left on their own. This is, again, not the fault of the teenagers, but most children nowadays are so thoroughly over-protected and over-controlled by their parents and infantilized by the school system that they have never been learning the kinds of independence a healthy adult needs.
Children nowadays are being raised to learn a horrible combination of lack of freedom and lack of discipline. A child learning both will be the most self-actualized and most successful. A child with freedom but no discipline will generally pick up some level of discipline through trial and error, and a child of of discipline but no freedom will usually be able to survive although possibly not thrive, but one with neither will drown.
Ideally, we should start training our children to become adults when they should do so, in their mid-teens.
This is not going to happen on a society wide scale because infantalized adults are useful for the long march.
Adolescence gives the public school system an extra 4-6 years (8-12 extra if he goes to university) to condition a person to the docility and obedience necessary to get a man to be willing to work in a cubicle or factory for 3-4 decades of his life. It conditions a man to accept schooling and academics as being the primary measures of worth, so that he is willing to feed his mind, time, and money into the progressive college system. It prevents early family formation and helps keep the squeeze on the family so the state can continue to interject itself. It conditions dependence and a slave mentality in a man so he is more likely to see dependence on the state as normal. Adolescence is just another case of how its all related; the long march continues.