Recently, I spent some time with some great educators from Shelby County, AL. I spoke to principals, assistant principals and teacher-leaders about how to connect with and equip Generation iY (the students born since 1990). After my second day, a principal approached me with what he called: cognitive dissonance. He agreed with everything I said about the challenges of teaching these

The following article is a taste of my new book, Artificial Maturity: Helping Kids Meet the Challenge of Becoming Authentic Adults. It is a sequel to Generation iY: Our Last Chance to Save Their Future, and is literally a solution book for the challenges we face as we teach, lead and raise kids. I cannot tell you how excited I am about this book. It pinpoints the reason kids can’t seem to grow up, and every chapter provides ideas to meet the challenge…ideas which came in from all over the world. The book will be released in June. Enjoy. Artificial Maturity California, the Golden State, was home to me for most of my life. It’s likely called the Golden State for a number of reasons—not the least of which is the gold rush that started on January 24, 1848. The part of this story most people forget is the large number of people whose expectations were dashed when they found nothing—or worse, when they discovered "Blotite," or "fool’s gold." It’s just another name for iron pyrite, a naturally occurring mineral often mistaken for gold. Many "fools" thought they had struck it rich in that rush, only to find out their "gold" was actually worthless. In many ways, we have another gold rush today. This time, the gold we hunt for is mature teens. By this, I mean young people who are mature for their age—kids who experience “authentic maturity,” growing up not merely in one facet of their lives, but physically, emotionally, intellectually, socially and spiritually. This is what parents hope for in their kids. It’s what teachers dream of in their students; it’s what coaches look for in their athletes; it’s what employers need in their young team members. That maturity is what we saw in many young people a hundred years ago—but alas, it is rare today. Something in our culture has shifted.