The maturity argument
Dennis Prager, a syndicated radio talk show host has addressed this “maturity argument” many times. Dr. Prager states things like “marriage breeds maturity” and “after marriage having children breeds even more maturity” and he is absolutely right.
In addition to the fact that marriage does mature people, and so does having children, he talks about the need for people to get married younger and have children younger as they used to in the pre-modern era.
I would add to what he has said that as parents in the 20th and 21st centuries we have messed up (myself include in some ways). Each generation of parents over the last century has grown softer and softer on our children.
We hear people say things like, “we have to let children be children”, which basically means that our children have little to no real life responsibility until they reach 18, besides keeping up with their schooling in most cases. Even then we extend the childhood years with college, where they can party and have more fun for about 4 years before they graduate at 22 and are forced for the first time in their life to take on the full responsibilities of being an adult.
In pre-modern times, the idea of a child hood experience with absolutely no responsibility was a very short period. By the time children were 6 or 7 they were being taught the realities of life.
Boys hunted with their dads at a very young age, and girls learned to cook and make clothing at a very young age. By the time most children reached the age of 10, they knew what a hard day’s work was, the boys knew about hunting, farming and fighting, and the girls knew about caring for infants (helping their mother, or cousins or aunts) and they had seen many births. These girls were excited about the day when they would have their first period, and they were excited about when they would be able to marry and have children (usually around 13 or 14).