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Artificial Maturity: Helping Kids Meet the Challenge of Becoming Authentic Adults

ISBN: 978-1-118-25806-4
272 pages
June 2012, Jossey-Bass
Artificial Maturity: Helping Kids Meet the Challenge of Becoming Authentic Adults (1118258061) cover image


How to raise kids who can handle the real world

Today's Generation iY (teens brought up with the Internet) and Homelanders (children born after 9/11) are overexposed to information at an earlier age than ever and paradoxically are underexposed to meaningful relationships and real-life experiences. Artificial Maturity addresses the problem of what to do when parents and teachers mistake children's superficial knowledge for real maturity. The book is filled with practical steps that adults can take to furnish the experiences kids need to balance their abilities with authentic maturity.

  • Shows how to identify the problem of artificial maturity in Generation iY and Homelanders
  • Reveals what to do to help children balance autonomy, responsibility, and information
  • Includes a down-to-earth model for coaching and guiding youth to true maturity

Artificial Maturity gives parents, teachers, and others who work with youth a manual for understanding and practicing the leadership kids so desperately need to mature in a healthy fashion.

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Table of Contents

Before You Read Anything Else . . . v

1 What Is Artificial Maturity? 1

2 We Didn’t See It Coming 15

3 Who Is Generation iY? 33

4 A Balancing Act 49

5 The Problem of Atrophy 65

6 The Problem with Talent 83

7 The Pull to Be a Karaoke Parent or Teacher 97

8 Turning Artificial Maturity into Authentic Maturity 116

9 The Future of Parenting and Education 132

10 What Will Kids Look Like in the Future? 152

11 Correcting and Connecting 166

12 Becoming a Soul Provider 186

13 The Big Picture 205

14 Passing the Baton 219

Notes 233

Acknowledgments 243

About the Author 245

About Growing Leaders 247

Index 249

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Author Information

Dr. Tim Elmore is the founder and president of Growing Leaders. Through Growing Leaders, Elmore and his team teach middle school, high school, and college students the skills they need to become authentic leaders. He has shared his insights in more than thirty countries and has written more than twenty-five books, including Habitudes: Images That Form Leadership Habits and Attitudes and Generation iY: Our Last Chance to Save Their Future.
Discover more at www.GrowingLeaders.com
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Press Release

June 03, 2012
Artificial Maturity: Helping Kids Meet the Challenge of Becoming Authentic Adults

 Best-Selling Author, Tim Elmore, Reveals Information and Ideas About Why We Desperately Need Kids to Grow Up and How We Help Them Do That

ATLANTA/SAN FRANCISCO (May 17, 2012) – They grow up so fast, don’t they? “My seven-year-old taught me how to download music.” “My fifth grader wants a tattoo.” But how about this perspective? “My college grad wants me to call his boss.” “My 30-year old won’t move out of the house.” The pervasive lamenting about how kids today seem older at an earlier age is being counteracted with the fact that they don’t seem to want (or aren’t able) to grow up. Adolescence is expanding in both directions—starting earlier and ending later.

Best-selling author and international leadership expert, Tim Elmore, talks about the tremendous impact this is having on society in his latest book, ARTIFICIAL MATURITY: Helping Kids Meet the Challenge of Becoming Authentic Adults (Jossey-Bass, June 2012, ISBN: 978-1-1182-5806-4, $24.95/Cloth/e-book). Artificial maturity is the idea that children are consuming such a large amount of information every day that they think they are mature, fostering over-confidence and often arrogance among them. In reality, they lack the self-awareness, real life experience and emotional maturity that allow them to cope with the world around them.

“Artificial maturity can look remarkably real because kids know so much, but they haven’t experienced enough that gives them context of how to process that information,” says Elmore “Information comes to them easily and readily through many channels, but we are mistaking one area of advanced development for overall maturity. It’s a kind of ‘Google reflex.’ Healthy, mature young adults are ones who have developed intellectually, volitionally, emotionally, socially and spiritually.”

Significant impact awaits if our children do not rise to their place in society as leaders, teachers, mentors, parents and generally responsible adults. The signs are already there. Influences of artificial maturity can be seen within aspects of Corporate America, national education and healthcare systems, college and professional sports, even national security.

So how do we move forward? By rethinking the way we lead, teach and manage children today. “Kids are over protected and under challenged,” continues Elmore. “While a parent’s focus on safety is understandable, it disables the child from taking calculated risks and learning to fail, both of which help people mature.  The activities we provide are important, but too monitored. Kids often don’t know what to do with free time. They fail to learn to resolve conflict, think for themselves or do real-life problem solving.”

In this book and hands-on guide, Elmore leads the reader to understand what authentic maturity looks like, how it impacts society, and how to create a balanced environment that enables children to lead themselves well and influence others in a positive way. He offers at the end of each chapter discussion questions and real-life ideas that have worked for parents and educators across the country.

To find out more about Artificial Maturity: Helping Kids Meet the Challenge of Becoming Authentic Adults, visit our web site at www.growingleaders.com.

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