New Studies Say Teens May Be Hardwired for Religion

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"So what's the problem? A significant cause of this "crisis," the commission said, is that children and teens are experiencing "a lack of connectedness ... to other people, and [lack of] deep connections to moral and spiritual meaning."

Such connectedness is critical for developing children, because the report insisted that human beings, from their earliest years, are essentially "hardwired" to form close attachments to other people, beginning with parents, and then expanding to include a wider group of people as the child grows up.

Not surprisingly for Christians who believe that God has designed the human race for this sense of and need for community, the commission noted that this appears to be hardwired into the biology of personhood.

According to Shaw, however, kids are experiencing these connections less and less in modern America. He said, "I believe that the parenting trends that have evolved over the last 30 years promote the development of unattached, uncommunicative, learning-impaired, and uncontrollable children."

Calling these parenting trends "a prescription for disaster," Shaw said the lifestyle choices many parents have made have compromised children's "opportunity for the connections and rituals and nurturing that are so necessary to children's healthy development."

One of the biggest modern parenting mistakes, he said, is: "Not conveying to your child -- through both actions and words -- the moral, ethical, and spiritual values you believe in (or not having moral, ethical, and spiritual values in the first place)."