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Age of social maturity...

I see a lot of posts on here asking questions about how people would react if their children did hideous things... like molest a younger child, detonate a bomb, ask for an abortion, and all sorts of things in the spectrum of upsetting. As a mother of young children I have to imagine that I would forgive my child for anything, try to help support them and guide them - but at the same time there is a transition from childhood where guidance and support is no longer an appropriate reaction. The Boston marathon bomber, the young man who shot up that movie theater, the sandy hook shooter - these young men all had mothers. I'm not asking you how you'd feel or react or whether or not you'd be able to forgive because none of us know how we would feel unless it happened. :-( The question I have is at what point do we stop feeling personally responsible for our children's independent actions? When do we consider them socially mature enough to be held fully accountable for mature decision making?? - like the aforementioned heinous crimes (not saying abortion is a heinous crime because that's another can of worms, but it's still in the spectrum of morally questionable to say the least).

What are your thoughts. If you'd forgive your child, would it be at any age? Or would you be more likely to forgive a misguided mistake of an 11 year old vs. a 21 year old? (for an example)

Answer Question

Asked by ashleyaction at 1:27 PM on May. 7, 2013 in Parenting Debate

Level 16 (2,543 Credits)
Answers (15)
  • I would NEVER support my child if they committed a hideous crime. I will love them because they are my child but I will never support them. That feeling will never go away because as their mother you keep thinking what could I have done different that would have not made him/her to do that? Where did I go wrong?

    There is a HUGE difference between 11 and 21 yr old mind set as well so you cant compare them really.

    Answer by LostSoul88 at 1:31 PM on May. 7, 2013

  • well that's what I'm saying though. People keep asking questions about what people could move past but I wonder what these same people think the cut off between personal accountability and social immaturity really is. Clearly there is a huge difference between a 21 year old and an 11 year old. That's my point. At what point can you really blame a child for an adult act? I know the arbitrary age of 18 defines an adult in this country, I'm just wondering what mom's think.

    Comment by ashleyaction (original poster) at 1:35 PM on May. 7, 2013

  • Once you give birth, you are the Mom forever. I don't think you ever stop trying & helping as much as you can. BUT! I believe people who commit heinous crimes Parents dropped the ball somewhere along the way. Either through lack of guidance or by doing illegal things themselves.

    BTW, I don't think abortion has anything in common with what these Men did at all.


    Answer by ILovemyPaulie at 1:35 PM on May. 7, 2013

  • No matter the age I would be there for my child.

    Answer by virginiamama71 at 1:36 PM on May. 7, 2013

  • I don't either, it was an example because that's another wwyd question that keeps coming up. My principal question is at what point can you really consider your child's actions to be a reflection of their mature character vs. a childhood mistake. Even if you are prochoice I can't imagine that it causes a mother no pain when her child comes to her with an unwanted pregnancy and an impending termination.

    Comment by ashleyaction (original poster) at 1:38 PM on May. 7, 2013

  • I wouldn't walk away from my child at any age. I might be deeply hurt by what he or she has done, and I would do my best to see that he or she had to face the consequences of wrong choices, but even criminals need family support. As to an age, I don't know. It's so different for different kids. I have a teenage stepson; it terrifies me to think of him being seen as an adult in November when he turns eighteen because frankly, he isn't one. He got in trouble for vandalism, and I never would have tried to make excuses for him or get him out of his community service last summer. His dad and I made sure he did his hours, and hopefully that was enough to set him straight. But he has the mind of a 12-year-old really, and I also don't think it's fair that though the damages were minor, some of the neighbors still look at him like he's a hoodlum all this time later. There should be some understanding and forgiveness.

    Answer by Ballad at 1:45 PM on May. 7, 2013

  • Remorse has a lot to do with who we react IMO.
    If my 12 year old DGS shot someone. I would die a hundred deaths. I would support him but not to the point of trying to get him off scot free. His remorse would make a big difference on the action "I" feel necessary (let alone the court) I would have a hard time forgiving myself. Forgiveness for him does not mean not paying the price for his actions. I have worked very hard at being able to forgive and I believe I would forgive him
    Lets say it was my31 year old son. I believe all the above applies just the same.
    I think I would go over ever single thing I could remember to figure out how I raised him to do such a thing. I am smart enough to know that his interactions and experiences with others also played factors. I would wonder why I did not see this in him.
    I hope that I would support him in being their for his trial, though it would kill me. I hope I would have the c

    Answer by Dardenella at 1:49 PM on May. 7, 2013

  • courage and love to visit him in prison.

    Answer by Dardenella at 1:50 PM on May. 7, 2013

  • I don't agree that it's always a parent dropping the ball somewhere that makes someone commit a heinous crime. I have a cousin who is...well, let's just say that he's a horrible person, and I know that his parents didn't drop the ball. They did everything they could to raise him right, and he still just turned out to be an awful person.

    For me, the crime as well as the age would matter. I'd be more forgiving of a 5 yr old shoplifting than a 15 yr old, and more forgiving of a 15 y old than a 25 yr old. I would question where a child's parents were and what they taught their kid if an 11 yr old molested a kid, but if a 21 yr old did it, I would just wonder what the hell is wrong with him/her, I wouldn't really consider their parents unless someone presented something about their parents that was relevant - that Dad molested the 21 yr old, for example, or was right there molesting along with his kid.

    Answer by wendythewriter at 2:06 PM on May. 7, 2013

  • I do not feel personaly reponsable at the legal age of 18. Like my youngest DD got pregnant at age 19. She had acess to free BC. She didn't go to the doctor and get a refill. I am not responsable for that. She is an adult.

    Answer by louise2 at 2:45 PM on May. 7, 2013

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