According to the media, the current high-supervision child-rearing style in the US became popular among the well-educated middle class around a generation before it became popular among the other classes. You may be able to exploit this to dissect statistics to separate causation between high-supervision child-rearing and other social changes.

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After reading over this post, I think you might have meant something different from what comes across with your use of the word "freedom." Maybe... supervision? I don't really know what you mean, because it seems like you set up to say very weird things, which leave me saying "But being a dropout and going to live like an illiterate farm hand should be legal, but it's not" and then you tell us it's great to have a role model who just dropped out of school and became a farmer who had never seen revolving doors.

> If teenagers, or any group of people has too much freedom, anarchy will ensue. It will be the rule of the strongest and everyone else will be their victims.

In my experience, "too much freedom" for teens usually entails the ability to drink, watch adult shows on a large screen, have a cell phone, hang around with strange friends, or skip/go to church. Nobody, except perhaps for the most extreme libertarians, believes there should be no protection from predators.

> Also, if people are free to be entirely hedonistic, they might see their friends die from drug overdoses and accidents and violence. Too much freedom doesn't make people optimally happy. Especially not immature people like teenagers.

Or maybe they'll just wait until they grow up and then kill themselves afterwards, the way more than one of my friends did? Smart teens are often more mature than their adult supervisors, and even presuming your idea of a happiness-freedom curve holds true, their curves will be shifted to the right of their peers'.

> Anders said I shouldn't use Kaleb Cooper as an example, because Americans don't know who he is.

Well Tove, I think the very fact that I didn't know Kaleb Cooper gave you a good, solid justification for telling me about him. Now I know! He's a bit like the real-life version of Letterkenny's Wayne: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=raeE8Amt8s8

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>In his book The World According to Kaleb (2022)


He seems like a showman to me.

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May 27·edited May 27

This is a tricky topic to decipher. I do like the theory that teenage loneliness is the big underlying issue. Teens used to get together more, in groups, and that made them feel better. But also, when they were alone together they sometimes drank too much or smoked some weed or had some unprotected sex. Such is life. So in this theory (which is consistent with survey data on loneliness) the drop in "bad" behavior is really a drop in hanging out. This overlaps a lot with what you are saying, I think. (But not necessarily the title of your post, as the causality line is slightly different.)

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Nicely written. Your point about Kaleb at the end points up the deeper problem, though, which is that teenagers are free only to do things that don't matter and won't turn out well for them. Few young men have the opportunity to become farmhands or get fiancees, at least among those who show up on the census and get surveyed. We import our farmhands, and even their children (who have to attend school while their young cousins back in the old country are learning to be farmhands, and perhaps will be imported soon) don't have that opportunity.

Now of course there's more wrong than our inability to train farmhands, but it's a good example of the lack of options -- and there's small choice in rotten apples.

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The US used to have the CCC (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Civilian_Conservation_Corps). I wonder what would happen if there were a Permaculture Conservation Corps, which could serve as a pipeline for people who want to gain the skills needed to live an agrarian lifestyle or just connect with nature. No more waiting around to take part in society; I think it's not only good behavior that's the problem, but the need to have it sustained over a long period of time (not to mention at a time when hormones and growing desires for independence are peaking) when the payoff seems increasingly uncertain (social contagion of the idea of late-stage capitalism/anti-work/etc).

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