S/O of the pregnant teen thread in parenting: is your teen an adult? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 41 Old 11-09-2008, 05:31 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I don't want to derail the OT, but this is getting me wondering.

I suggested in this thread that one of my initial reactions would probably be something along the lines of wow, you're an adult now. Whilst I'm appreciating that there's more subtle ways of wording it, how DO you perceive your mid-teenagers? Your 16 and 17yos? Do you think they're adults, with adult rights and adult responsibilities? Do you use the same strategies to share information with them that you would with one of your peers? Do you give more, or less, information?
My perspective is probably highly skewed by the fact that I was well-sheltered and under-nurtured as a teenager, and did about 15 years worth of maturing in the year that I had my DS1 (21). At the same time, I'd always expected that my teenagers are going to need a substantial amount of loving guidance and really, you know, not quite be the finished article yet. Based on the teenagers I see in person, a lot of them are doing quite cringeably stupid things (you know, like walking over the top of someone else's car, lying in the middle of the road, a little wanton vandalism) and, well, don't look like adults either. What do you do? How does it work in your lives?

Oh, and for the record, my eldest is nearly 10, and is most definitely not an adult.

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#2 of 41 Old 11-09-2008, 04:41 PM
 
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My eldest is 10, and she is in some respects very much an adult and others not so much. At 16 - 17 they are not 100% adult, but they are IMO at least 95% adult. My dad treated my like an adult from about 15 on and while I did some dumb things (who doesn't) I was for the most part very much responsible. I knew that in the end I would have to clean up any messes I made, so to speak and that made me think a little more about what I was wanting to do. I can't really see treating an old teen as a child as beneficial. I see the same thing the OP sees with teens. I also see and remember how some teens are treated by their parents, not maliciously just as if they are incapable of making rational descions or being mature, and I really do feel that is what contributes to the problem. There have been quite a few studies that show people behave the way they are expected to behave. IMO that means if you treat your teen like a child, they will be more likely to act like one.

Also, as in the other thread, I don't think that having a child makes you and adult. There are too many variables. Teens like me (even more babymomma who has been an "adult" since she was about 13 for no other reason then it's who she is, she did one dumb thing in high school and that's it) are adults before society sees them as adults, adults who are still very much lacking in the maturity department even when they have children, and everything in between.

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#3 of 41 Old 11-09-2008, 09:11 PM
 
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I do not see my 17 years and 8 months old teen as an adult. I do recognize how mature he is. Regardless of how individually responsible he may (and I'm not saying he is ), legally he's not considered an adult with all the rights of adults. I don't treat him as a child, either. It all just kind of depends. With some situations, he's perfectly fine on his own. With others, he needs a lot of my guidance or help. I try to let him do his own thing as much possible and just be available if he wants or needs me for anything. I'm getting closer and closer to 39 but I still need guidance, advice and opinions from my parents sometimes.

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#4 of 41 Old 11-10-2008, 03:49 PM
 
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I once watched a Dr. Phil show where he commented on the show that a child between the ages of 12-21 still is very immature in their thinking and their ability to make wise decisions in life. That comment has always stuck with me. Then last week I saw a Dr. Phil show where he had girls on there that got pregnant at 16. One girl commented that she no longer wanted her two little girls that she had before the age of 19 and the other girl murdered her newly born infant in her bathroom at home as soon as she delivered it.

I do not consider any child an adult before 21. I know of several girls when I was young that had abortions. I have a personal friend in her 40's that now has emotional issues due to two abortions she had as a teenager simply because her boyfriend forced her to do them and because she couldn't let her family know she was pregnant. I can only imagine what she feels like. Teens have this idea in their mind that it will be the end of the world if they do something bad and will do things to hide it and then there are those kids on the other side of the coin that think they are invincible and will do anything. There is still a lot of growing for a teenager even if they are 16-19 yrs old.

I would let my children make their own choices at 18 but I will always keep in mind that they are still very immature and their minds are still growing until they are older and always be there for them to offer my opinion and help. I've seen mistakes and bad things happen with many, many children that think they are old enough to make adult decisions along the years and they regretted them later in life, myself included. I won't allow that to happen to my children if I can possibly keep it from happening.

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#5 of 41 Old 11-10-2008, 04:56 PM
 
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I realized this was better said in a PM
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#6 of 41 Old 11-10-2008, 05:45 PM
 
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I have an 18 year old son, lives at home, attends cc-he has grown a lot but still needs a lot of encouragment and support. He has come a long way in the last year. Like today, he on his own arragned for tire change and haircut and got himeself up and out for class. A year oag, he needed more guidance. It is gradual.
My 15.5 dd resists guidance and needs it a lot. She wants no limits, lotss of freedom and makes choices that put her indanger, unlike brother. Like last night, she took off without permisson to indieclub and did not tell me where she was goign or who she was with. We have a tracer phone so found out. She never came home or called and called at 1:15 PM. I calmly asked "How was the show?" and she hung up. She is way over her head in many areas like alcohol and sex and I do my best to offer other form sof guidance like thapy and 12 step meetings. I do love her. snd try to offer respect and acceptance. Currently, the "guidance" is stuff like locking keys and credit cards in the safes so she does not steal our cars and money to go party. It is getting her on birth conrol. It is not allowing cigs, alcholol at our house.This is not what I had inmind as a AP parent. I think she is unusal though. My son and his freinds are good kids, outof the box does not bother me but bascially i still see my son needing me a lto for encourment, to listen to him and to feed him alot!!! Sallie
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#7 of 41 Old 11-10-2008, 06:24 PM
 
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I can see both sides of this one. I was a very responsible young adult, worked 2 and 3 jobs, paid all my bills, etc., but when I look back I can see there have been some changes as far as impulsive decision making.

When I was 18 to 21 I hated to hear people call me a kid when I was doing adult things, but as an older adult, I look back and view myself as a kid who thought I was an adult.

There are exceptional teens, but generally, I see a big difference in the maturity of a 25 year old and an 18 year old, even a 30 year old and a 25 year old...you learn so much during those years.

So, no, I would not see my children at 15-18 as adults. I also realize this is highly hypocritical considering the way I feel about juveniles and the law. I ought to think they're adults across the board if they're adult enough to know right from wrong, right? But it doesn't seem that simple to me. And when I see some of the behavior from so-called adults, it really isn't that simple.

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#8 of 41 Old 11-10-2008, 06:42 PM
 
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I once watched a Dr. Phil show where he commented on the show that a child between the ages of 12-21 still is very immature in their thinking and their ability to make wise decisions in life.

I do not consider any child an adult before 21. I know of several girls when I was young that had abortions. I have a personal friend in her 40's that now has emotional issues due to two abortions she had as a teenager simply because her boyfriend forced her to do them and because she couldn't let her family know she was pregnant. I can only imagine what she feels like. Teens have this idea in their mind that it will be the end of the world if they do something bad and will do things to hide it and then there are those kids on the other side of the coin that think they are invincible and will do anything. There is still a lot of growing for a teenager even if they are 16-19 yrs old.

I would let my children make their own choices at 18 but I will always keep in mind that they are still very immature and their minds are still growing until they are older and always be there for them to offer my opinion and help. I've seen mistakes and bad things happen with many, many children that think they are old enough to make adult decisions along the years and they regretted them later in life, myself included. I won't allow that to happen to my children if I can possibly keep it from happening.
I don't have much respect for Dr. Phil. He doesn't seem to me like the type of person who respects individuals, especially minors, much.

Additionally, I wonder how many of those "troubled" or immature teens were raised in an AP environment. Not many, I'd bet. There's a huge difference between kids with parents who are conventional and those who treat their children with the respect they deserve. If you control every aspect of your child's life, once they get any freedom they will make lots of mistakes.That's why you see so many college freshman go completely wild when they go off to college. If you allow your child the freedom to make responsible decisions when they are younger and in a safe place, by the time they are older teens they can be pretty responsible.

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#9 of 41 Old 11-10-2008, 06:45 PM
 
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I don't have much respect for Dr. Phil. He doesn't seem to me like the type of person who respects individuals, especially minors, much.

Additionally, I wonder how many of those "troubled" or immature teens were raised in an AP environment. Not many, I'd bet. There's a huge difference between kids with parents who are conventional and those who treat their children with the respect they deserve. If you control every aspect of your child's life, once they get any freedom they will make lots of mistakes.That's why you see so many college freshman go completely wild when they go off to college. If you allow your child the freedom to make responsible decisions when they are younger and in a safe place, by the time they are older teens they can be pretty responsible.
Not to mention our Good Ol' Dr Phil says it's not possible for a 15 yo to know their sexual orentation... Stopped watching after that cause... well, I was 15 when I started dating DH.

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#10 of 41 Old 11-10-2008, 07:58 PM
 
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Not to mention our Good Ol' Dr Phil says it's not possible for a 15 yo to know their sexual orentation... Stopped watching after that cause... well, I was 15 when I started dating DH.
Yeah, if a 3 or 4yo can know he's straight, why can't he also know he's gay? I stopped watching when he got all negative with a couple fighting over having a baby in their bed. Dr. Phil said it just wasn't right. I heard he also treated Dr. Sears pretty badly on his show. He's not AP friendly at all.

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#11 of 41 Old 11-10-2008, 08:01 PM
 
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Not to mention our Good Ol' Dr Phil says it's not possible for a 15 yo to know their sexual orentation... Stopped watching after that cause... well, I was 15 when I started dating DH.
Wow. I know I have G/L friends who say they knew when they were very young (say 4 or 5) that they weren't straight. Does 'Dr.' Phil not know any G/L people IRL?

ETA-I see I cross posted with marinewife. It's not just me, is it?

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#12 of 41 Old 11-10-2008, 08:06 PM
 
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Wow. I know I have G/L friends who say they knew when they were very young (say 4 or 5) that they weren't straight. Does 'Dr.' Phil not know any G/L people IRL?

ETA-I see I cross posted with marinewife. It's not just me, is it?
Nope. I don't even know any G/L people irl but I figure if my dses start showing an interest in girls at 4, if they were gay, they'd show an interest in boys.

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#13 of 41 Old 11-10-2008, 10:31 PM
 
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Does anybody have a youtube video or anything where I can see the episode of Dr. Phil? Or just that segment?

I'm curious.
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#14 of 41 Old 11-10-2008, 10:52 PM
 
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Hmmm... interesting. I know that there's been various opinions displayed so I figured I'd throw one more in. It seems to me that it truely varies from person to person. I just don't think you can really put this topic in a box. I think most of us have seen both ends of the extreme and probably everything in between. I personally was married and a mama at 18. I wouldn't generally recommend that however, I lived a life that caused me to grow up very quickly. I made a choice to dedicate myself at that age to being a wife and mother... it was not easy but I did it. They say hindsight is 20/20- I've never heard wiser words. I'll be 30 this year and I can certainly say I wish I knew then what I know now. I can look back and see quite easily where I wasn't as grown up as I thought I was even WITH the good choices I made. It's a tough call.

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#15 of 41 Old 11-10-2008, 11:10 PM
 
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Exactly. I have one dc right now who sometimes gives the illusion of maturity, but is in reality very immature if you have a discussion and find out what she thinks about things. She had some experiences that on the surface seemed to make her grow up fast, but in reality she sort of disassociated and got stuck at age 5 in some instances.

I see a similar thing with my own growing up, I was 'mature' in that I paid my bills, worked, and was outwardly responsible, but in so many ways emotionally immature and clueless.

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#16 of 41 Old 11-10-2008, 11:33 PM
 
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Nope. I don't even know any G/L people irl but I figure if my dses start showing an interest in girls at 4, if they were gay, they'd show an interest in boys.
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Wow. I know I have G/L friends who say they knew when they were very young (say 4 or 5) that they weren't straight. Does 'Dr.' Phil not know any G/L people IRL?

ETA-I see I cross posted with marinewife. It's not just me, is it?
WEll I didn't show an interest in anyone at 4, but I know someone who declared he wanted to marry his best (male) friend at five, when told boy marry girls only he said "fine I'll wont marry then!" And that hasn't changed since (well except the legalization of gay marriage, so now he does plan on getting married.)

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#17 of 41 Old 11-11-2008, 08:33 AM
 
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WEll I didn't show an interest in anyone at 4, but I know someone who declared he wanted to marry his best (male) friend at five, when told boy marry girls only he said "fine I'll wont marry then!" And that hasn't changed since (well except the legalization of gay marriage, so now he does plan on getting married.)
It's not really so much an interest as it is the beginning of a recognition that boys and girls are different and feeling different toward each. My 4yo ds has noticed "pretty" girls, like the 16yo girl next door.

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#18 of 41 Old 11-11-2008, 08:34 AM
 
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Hmmm... interesting. I know that there's been various opinions displayed so I figured I'd throw one more in. It seems to me that it truely varies from person to person. I just don't think you can really put this topic in a box. I think most of us have seen both ends of the extreme and probably everything in between. I personally was married and a mama at 18. I wouldn't generally recommend that however, I lived a life that caused me to grow up very quickly. I made a choice to dedicate myself at that age to being a wife and mother... it was not easy but I did it. They say hindsight is 20/20- I've never heard wiser words. I'll be 30 this year and I can certainly say I wish I knew then what I know now. I can look back and see quite easily where I wasn't as grown up as I thought I was even WITH the good choices I made. It's a tough call.
I didn't say I've "never" met anyone under 18 that was mature enough to handle any life decision. I realize all people are different. BUT a teenager can make life decisions and feel they are the right decisions even when they are not. You just can't tell sometimes until twenty years down the road when you look back on life and see your mistakes. So someone that is still in their 20's now can't really say for sure (sometimes) until they've lived a bit longer.

And if you read my earlier post I said I would trust my 18 yr old to make decisions alone when the time comes - but I would still be there for them because I feel that is very young to be able to do so. I only wish my parents would have been there for me when I was 18 and especially when I was 15 and having sex already with the wrong guy who made me think he loved me and this was back in the early 80's. Having sex early is all too familiar of a situation for a lot of young people. And I think I (along with some others) have sex early on like that because our mind hasn't matured enough to make the right decisions yet, so we do what everyone else is doing or do what feels good. I see nothing wrong with me pointing that out. We're all adults here and should be able to discuss the topic.

Why even start a topic like this if you don't want honest to goodness opinions on the matter? Just curious. I've been there/done that in soooo many situations in my life including having sex young myself, making silly decisions even when I was 20 that I never should have been making on my own but I thought my parents knew nothing so I did it all alone and now regret some things. I even worked for an organization that helped young moms (ages 12-18) and saw so much during my time there. Some of those teen moms were great but most were not.

And yes, Dr. Phil did make a comment regarding the maturity of a child ages 12-21. He said it on a show regarding a topic with children and it's been several months ago. I don't remember the episode and don't feel I need proof of a slight comment the man made. But what he said made total sense at the time. He didn't mean all children and he meant that something in a child's brain hadn't matured enough until they are college-aged and the way he commented on it made a lot of sense.

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#19 of 41 Old 11-11-2008, 08:37 AM
 
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I don't have much respect for Dr. Phil. He doesn't seem to me like the type of person who respects individuals, especially minors, much.

Additionally, I wonder how many of those "troubled" or immature teens were raised in an AP environment. Not many, I'd bet. There's a huge difference between kids with parents who are conventional and those who treat their children with the respect they deserve. If you control every aspect of your child's life, once they get any freedom they will make lots of mistakes.That's why you see so many college freshman go completely wild when they go off to college. If you allow your child the freedom to make responsible decisions when they are younger and in a safe place, by the time they are older teens they can be pretty responsible.
Who cares? This is your opinion. I don't truly care for Dr. Phil either. I'm not an avid watcher of the man's show. But the time that I DID watch his show and heard this comment he made did make total sense to me. But I'm over 40 years old, I've worked in situations very closely with young, teen mothers and I could see where he was coming from.

I said nothing about gay people or sexual orientation. Perhaps that's another thread regarding Dr. Phil, who knows. But I simply said I heard him make one comment and I agreed with him. I didn't bring it up in order to start a feud about a man I could seriously care less about. Geez.

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#20 of 41 Old 11-11-2008, 08:53 AM
 
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Exactly. I have one dc right now who sometimes gives the illusion of maturity, but is in reality very immature if you have a discussion and find out what she thinks about things. She had some experiences that on the surface seemed to make her grow up fast, but in reality she sort of disassociated and got stuck at age 5 in some instances.

I see a similar thing with my own growing up, I was 'mature' in that I paid my bills, worked, and was outwardly responsible, but in so many ways emotionally immature and clueless.
Well, I wouldn't expect an 18 or 19yo to have the same level of maturity as a 30yo. They haven't had the same amount of life experience. That doesn't mean that the 18-19yo isn't mature enough to be considered an adult. I can certainly look back on my life and see how my thinking has changed from 15 to 20 to 25 to 30 and so on. At 38, I'm much more "mature" then I was at 20 when I had my first child. That doesn't mean I wasn't capable of being an adult or mother at 20. It just means time has passed and I've changed some. Also, at 38 I'm not as mature as my mom and dad.

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#21 of 41 Old 11-11-2008, 08:59 AM
 
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Who cares? This is your opinion. I don't truly care for Dr. Phil either. I'm not an avid watcher of the man's show. But the time that I DID watch his show and heard this comment he made did make total sense to me. But I'm over 40 years old, I've worked in situations very closely with young, teen mothers and I could see where he was coming from.

I said nothing about gay people or sexual orientation. Perhaps that's another thread regarding Dr. Phil, who knows. But I simply said I heard him make one comment and I agreed with him. I didn't bring it up in order to start a feud about a man I could seriously care less about. Geez.
Um...ok. Who was starting a feud? I was stating my opinion. Like you said, that's what we're doing here. I care about my opinion. No one said you have to. I can disagree with you. It's all good. It's not a personal attack and you don't need to get defensive.

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#22 of 41 Old 11-11-2008, 09:28 AM
 
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BUT a teenager can make life decisions and feel they are the right decisions even when they are not.
<snip> from mommy68 above. </snip>

Isn't this true of anyone? I'm going to be turning 35 on Saturday (yay me!) and can honestly say I still make mistakes! I certainly don't make mistakes on purpose (because wouldn't that make them not mistakes?) and I am still learning and growing every day. I hope I always will. I make decisions with the information I have in front of me, and it isn't always the right decision, and sometimes I find out much later that it was the wrong choice. Such is the nature of life, in my opinion.

I have two teens, the oldest being 16.5 (ds) and a dd who is newly 13. They are two completely different personalities and the same approach does not work with both. I treat ds much like an adult, but this is fairly recent in development. I get child support from his dad, and ds keeps the card (it's accessible through a debit card thingy) and budgets his money for the month accordingly. He is responsible for his car insurance, repairs, gas, etc., and if he has activities he wants to do or things he wants to buy, he pays for that himself out of that money. It isn't exactly working for a living, but he is learning about budgeting and that money isn't as much as he thought it was. He does still have limitations, but I do treat him like I would a peer rather than a little kid and will continue to do so as long as he shows the level of responsibility that he has.

I kind of think that it is an individual response, and if my teen is acting more like an adult then I'll probably treat him more like an adult. My dd is more immature and naive than ds was at her age, and she just isn't interested in being an adult just yet.

I was a teen mother and it is hard for me to realize that I was pg with ds when I was his age!
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#23 of 41 Old 11-11-2008, 12:09 PM
 
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I think a lot of it depends how they're raised.

If you're sheltering your kids, making their decisions for them, and giving them very little in the way of independence or freedom, then they're not going to be responsible teens who are just as capable as adults. But if you give them as much freedom and independence as is safely possible for their ages -- starting at birth -- they should be responsible, capable teens.

I was not sheltered and was always treated very much like an adult, and by the time I was 16 or 17, I might as well have been 26 or 27. I was responsible, capable of handling my own affairs, and prepared for living independently and caring for myself and others.

I'm raising my kids the same way, and I expect that by 16 or 17, I will consider them adults. I think infantilizing teens is very much a social problem, and I will not do it.

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#24 of 41 Old 11-11-2008, 04:22 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Jessy1019 View Post
I was not sheltered and was always treated very much like an adult, and by the time I was 16 or 17, I might as well have been 26 or 27. I was responsible, capable of handling my own affairs, and prepared for living independently and caring for myself and others.

I'm raising my kids the same way, and I expect that by 16 or 17, I will consider them adults. I think infantilizing teens is very much a social problem, and I will not do it.
I think that's a great point. My parents always treated me like I was incapable of doing anything on my own, and while I went out and worked and did everything myself, I made a lot of impulsive decisions that were probably very much I can do whatever the hell I want so there. And I had to learn everything the hard way because they didn't teach me anything.

My dh is great for that, he has to remind me every now and then when I turn into my mother and start to do something for the kids that they should be doing for themselves. I look at my brothers and how helpless they are when it comes to some things, and I know exactly how it happened.

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#25 of 41 Old 11-11-2008, 04:31 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Jessy1019 View Post
I think a lot of it depends how they're raised.

If you're sheltering your kids, making their decisions for them, and giving them very little in the way of independence or freedom, then they're not going to be responsible teens who are just as capable as adults. But if you give them as much freedom and independence as is safely possible for their ages -- starting at birth -- they should be responsible, capable teens.

I was not sheltered and was always treated very much like an adult, and by the time I was 16 or 17, I might as well have been 26 or 27. I was responsible, capable of handling my own affairs, and prepared for living independently and caring for myself and others.

I'm raising my kids the same way, and I expect that by 16 or 17, I will consider them adults. I think infantilizing teens is very much a social problem, and I will not do it.
I totally agree. I was living alone, supporting myself and sending money home at 18, so I guess I don't think an 18 yr old deserves kudos for getting himself up for class.

My sister totally infantalized her teens. Her 26 yr old still calls her to ask for directions, expects her to take care of all his paperwork like filing taxes, make doctors appointments etc. It's pathetic. I think she likes it because it makes her feel needed and like she is still "Mom".

I think I will still feel like Mom without creating an age-inappropriate dependence in my kids.
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#26 of 41 Old 11-11-2008, 04:44 PM
 
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Bolding mine
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Originally Posted by mommy68 View Post
I didn't say I've "never" met anyone under 18 that was mature enough to handle any life decision. I realize all people are different. BUT a teenager can make life decisions and feel they are the right decisions even when they are not. You just can't tell sometimes until twenty years down the road when you look back on life and see your mistakes. So someone that is still in their 20's now can't really say for sure (sometimes) until they've lived a bit longer.

And if you read my earlier post I said I would trust my 18 yr old to make decisions alone when the time comes - but I would still be there for them because I feel that is very young to be able to do so. I only wish my parents would have been there for me when I was 18 and especially when I was 15 and having sex already with the wrong guy who made me think he loved me and this was back in the early 80's. Having sex early is all too familiar of a situation for a lot of young people. And I think I (along with some others) have sex early on like that because our mind hasn't matured enough to make the right decisions yet, so we do what everyone else is doing or do what feels good. I see nothing wrong with me pointing that out. We're all adults here and should be able to discuss the topic.

Why even start a topic like this if you don't want honest to goodness opinions on the matter? Just curious. I've been there/done that in soooo many situations in my life including having sex young myself, making silly decisions even when I was 20 that I never should have been making on my own but I thought my parents knew nothing so I did it all alone and now regret some things. I even worked for an organization that helped young moms (ages 12-18) and saw so much during my time there. Some of those teen moms were great but most were not.

And yes, Dr. Phil did make a comment regarding the maturity of a child ages 12-21. He said it on a show regarding a topic with children and it's been several months ago. I don't remember the episode and don't feel I need proof of a slight comment the man made. But what he said made total sense at the time. He didn't mean all children and he meant that something in a child's brain hadn't matured enough until they are college-aged and the way he commented on it made a lot of sense.
To the first part... as an adult I hope I still make mistakes. It's how we learn. When I stop making mistakes then I stop learning which is not something I want to do. My dad is older even then MarineWife and he still makes mistakes. Big ones! For instance, he just got married for the fifth time this year...
If you judge adults based on the ability to not make a mistake, then there isn't one person in the world who would ever be an adult. Being an adult isn't about not making mistakes it's about how you handle the mistakes you do make.

Second part... A discussion is a back and forth. It's not much of a discussion if everyone just states their opinion and leaves it at that. If that is what you desire then that is what you can do.

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Who cares? This is your opinion. I don't truly care for Dr. Phil either. I'm not an avid watcher of the man's show. But the time that I DID watch his show and heard this comment he made did make total sense to me. But I'm over 40 years old, I've worked in situations very closely with young, teen mothers and I could see where he was coming from.

[/b]I said nothing about gay people or sexual orientation.[/b] Perhaps that's another thread regarding Dr. Phil, who knows. But I simply said I heard him make one comment and I agreed with him. I didn't bring it up in order to start a feud about a man I could seriously care less about. Geez.
I mentioned it to illustrate my opinion that Dr. Phil does not have as much understanding of teens as he would like you to believe, or he would like to believe himself.

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#27 of 41 Old 11-11-2008, 04:49 PM
 
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I think that's a great point. My parents always treated me like I was incapable of doing anything on my own, and while I went out and worked and did everything myself, I made a lot of impulsive decisions that were probably very much I can do whatever the hell I want so there. And I had to learn everything the hard way because they didn't teach me anything.

My dh is great for that, he has to remind me every now and then when I turn into my mother and start to do something for the kids that they should be doing for themselves. I look at my brothers and how helpless they are when it comes to some things, and I know exactly how it happened.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jessy1019 View Post
I think a lot of it depends how they're raised.

If you're sheltering your kids, making their decisions for them, and giving them very little in the way of independence or freedom, then they're not going to be responsible teens who are just as capable as adults. But if you give them as much freedom and independence as is safely possible for their ages -- starting at birth -- they should be responsible, capable teens.

I was not sheltered and was always treated very much like an adult, and by the time I was 16 or 17, I might as well have been 26 or 27. I was responsible, capable of handling my own affairs, and prepared for living independently and caring for myself and others.

I'm raising my kids the same way, and I expect that by 16 or 17, I will consider them adults. I think infantilizing teens is very much a social problem, and I will not do it.
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Originally Posted by choli View Post
I totally agree. I was living alone, supporting myself and sending money home at 18, so I guess I don't think an 18 yr old deserves kudos for getting himself up for class.

My sister totally infantalized her teens. Her 26 yr old still calls her to ask for directions, expects her to take care of all his paperwork like filing taxes, make doctors appointments etc. It's pathetic. I think she likes it because it makes her feel needed and like she is still "Mom".

I think I will still feel like Mom without creating an age-inappropriate dependence in my kids.

My mom did that to my brother. Finally at 19 he started coming to me for help because he wanted to deal with things himself but didn't know how, and mom would have just done all the work herself. I have been worried ever since that my brother will be the first "teen" (he's 20 now) that I mess up. So far so good though.

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#28 of 41 Old 11-11-2008, 05:07 PM
 
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I only wish my parents would have been there for me when I was 18 and especially when I was 15 and having sex already with the wrong guy who made me think he loved me and this was back in the early 80's. Having sex early is all too familiar of a situation for a lot of young people. And I think I (along with some others) have sex early on like that because our mind hasn't matured enough to make the right decisions yet, so we do what everyone else is doing or do what feels good. I see nothing wrong with me pointing that out. We're all adults here and should be able to discuss the topic.
Ok so if your parents had been there for you when you were 15 and having sex what would they have done? tell you not to? would you listen to them?

I also had sex early and do not think it was a bad decision. I liked it very much. My mom was there for me, she told me not to... I just left town. Now maybe that was not the most "mature" decision to make ... but I was 15 ... I learned - that is how we learn. And you know one of the things that I learned is that I want to give my kids the opportunity to make their mistakes within the confines of my home and with the freedom to come to me for advice and comfort.

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#29 of 41 Old 11-12-2008, 11:33 AM - Thread Starter
 
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if my parents had been there for me when I was entering upon a sexual relationship, they'd have talked about emotions. Vulnerability. None of which were words that came easily to either of my parents : You know how some friendships go deep into feelings and emotions and you can learn a lot about yourself from these relationships? THAT's what I want from my parenting relationship with my kids, and hopefully, what I want for them to take with them on their journey.
Thankyou for your input, everyone. I have been reading, just didn't feel I had anything relevant to add.

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#30 of 41 Old 11-12-2008, 12:31 PM
 
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If a child is developing typically, they aren't fully mature until their early 20s. But not all children are typical. Some mature more quickly, others more slowly.

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