The problem with kids today

The country would be in better shape if your kids were shipped off to the field to detassel corn, Nebraska Sen. Ben Sasse suggests in the New York Times’ Sunday review op-ed.

The typically insufferable judgment of an entire generation begins with a flawed premise: There’s something wrong with kids today.

When he became a college president, he says he noticed that fewer kids arrived at school each year ever having done hard physical work.

Adolescence is a great thing, but we’ve made it too long. It’s supposed to be a protected space in which kids who’ve become biologically adult are not obligated to immediately become emotionally, morally and financially adult. Done right, adolescence is a greenhouse phase, but adolescence should not be an escape from adulthood; it should be when we learn how to become adults.

We’re parenting too much, too long. Our efforts to protect our kids from hurt feelings, tedious chores, money worries and the like are well intentioned. But many of us, perhaps especially middle-class parents, are unwittingly enabling many of our kids to not grow up.

What can we do about it — especially during these long summer months when our kids expect to be entertained? What’s the modern equivalent of detasseling corn?

These kids today with their music and clothes and wild hair.

Related: Memories Of Toiling In The Minnesota Cornfields (MN Prairie Roots)