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What's so magic about the age 18?

Posted by on Apr. 20, 2013 at 10:52 AM
  • 80 Replies

The other post about censorship (and the reason it was started) got me to thinking. 

What is so magical about the age of 18 that suddenly turns a formerly immature 17-year-old teenager into an instant adult? The "he or she is 18" argument gets used a lot, so it prompted to me explore the question. 

While I'm sure there are some very mature 18 year olds out there, they are the exception to the rule in my experience. I often hear the justification that at 18, "kids" should be allowed to do X, Y or Z, even if they still live under their parents' roof and still are in high school. It's like that magic number has suddenly turned them into rational human beings able to make complex decisions without any help from anyone. 

Personally, I have a family member who is a very (and I mean very) immature 19 year old. She's so immature that I don't really look at her and consider her an adult capable of making her own decisions. 

So I ask, what is it about 18 that makes you (general) think that person is suddenly capable of making solid decisions and no longer needing the help of a parent? 



by on Apr. 20, 2013 at 10:52 AM
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Replies (1-10):
desertlvn
by Silver Member on Apr. 20, 2013 at 10:55 AM

I don't. I was an immature 18 yr old. I didn't start my period until I was 18, so physically I was immature as well. However, I demanded freedom from my parents. I don't think I was making sound adult decisions until I turned 21. 

ashellbell
by shellbark on Apr. 20, 2013 at 10:55 AM
1 mom liked this
You got me. I think 18-21 are still just kids. I have an unpopular opinion, I know.
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desertlvn
by Silver Member on Apr. 20, 2013 at 10:57 AM
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I do think that legally there has to be a line though, know what I mean?

Debmomto2girls
by Platinum Member on Apr. 20, 2013 at 11:00 AM
I do not think 18 is a magical age at all. I think sheltering a teenager and not allowing them to make their own decisions will make for an adult who cannot think for themselves.

I was just blown away (and maybe it is just me) that anyone would tell an 18 year old what movie the can watch or book they can read. I think 16 is unbelievable also. At what age do they become repsonsibke enough? When they can pay their own bills? That makes them
Suddenly mature enough?

I am just not getting it.


Quoting cjsbmom:

The other post about censorship (and the reason it was started) got me to thinking. 

What is so magical about the age of 18 that suddenly turns a formerly immature 17-year-old teenager into an instant adult? The "he or she is 18" argument gets used a lot, so it prompted to me explore the question. 

While I'm sure there are some very mature 18 year olds out there, they are the exception to the rule in my experience. I often hear the justification that at 18, "kids" should be allowed to do X, Y or Z, even if they still live under their parents' roof and still are in high school. It's like that magic number has suddenly turned them into rational human beings able to make complex decisions without any help from anyone. 

Personally, I have a family member who is a very (and I mean very) immature 19 year old. She's so immature that I don't really look at her and consider her an adult capable of making her own decisions. 

So I ask, what is it about 18 that makes you (general) think that person is suddenly capable of making solid decisions and no longer needing the help of a parent? 


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coolmommy2x
by Gold Member on Apr. 20, 2013 at 11:02 AM
I agree, it's more of a legal thing. Generally at 18 you're a high school grad and can be on your own. You can vote and go into the military.


Quoting desertlvn:

I do think that legally there has to be a line though, know what I mean?

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talia-mom
by Gold Member on Apr. 20, 2013 at 11:04 AM
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When you can pay your bills, then you can set your rules.

18 is the legal age we have. We need one and I think it is the best age to do it.
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desertlvn
by Silver Member on Apr. 20, 2013 at 11:04 AM


Siunds like a chicken or egg delimma. Were the kids immature which caused mom to be over-protective, or was her over-protectivness what caused the immaturity?

Quoting Debmomto2girls:

I do not think 18 is a magical age at all. I think sheltering a teenager and not allowing them to make their own decisions will make for an adult who cannot think for themselves.

I was just blown away (and maybe it is just me) that anyone would tell an 18 year old what movie the can watch or book they can read. I think 16 is unbelievable also. At what age do they become repsonsibke enough? When they can pay their own bills? That makes them
Suddenly mature enough?

I am just not getting it.


Quoting cjsbmom:

The other post about censorship (and the reason it was started) got me to thinking. 

What is so magical about the age of 18 that suddenly turns a formerly immature 17-year-old teenager into an instant adult? The "he or she is 18" argument gets used a lot, so it prompted to me explore the question. 

While I'm sure there are some very mature 18 year olds out there, they are the exception to the rule in my experience. I often hear the justification that at 18, "kids" should be allowed to do X, Y or Z, even if they still live under their parents' roof and still are in high school. It's like that magic number has suddenly turned them into rational human beings able to make complex decisions without any help from anyone. 

Personally, I have a family member who is a very (and I mean very) immature 19 year old. She's so immature that I don't really look at her and consider her an adult capable of making her own decisions. 

So I ask, what is it about 18 that makes you (general) think that person is suddenly capable of making solid decisions and no longer needing the help of a parent? 




Debmomto2girls
by Platinum Member on Apr. 20, 2013 at 11:11 AM
True. I guess it can go either way.

Quoting desertlvn:


Siunds like a chicken or egg delimma. Were the kids immature which caused mom to be over-protective, or was her over-protectivness what caused the immaturity?


Quoting Debmomto2girls:

I do not think 18 is a magical age at all. I think sheltering a teenager and not allowing them to make their own decisions will make for an adult who cannot think for themselves.



I was just blown away (and maybe it is just me) that anyone would tell an 18 year old what movie the can watch or book they can read. I think 16 is unbelievable also. At what age do they become repsonsibke enough? When they can pay their own bills? That makes them

Suddenly mature enough?



I am just not getting it.




Quoting cjsbmom:

The other post about censorship (and the reason it was started) got me to thinking. 

What is so magical about the age of 18 that suddenly turns a formerly immature 17-year-old teenager into an instant adult? The "he or she is 18" argument gets used a lot, so it prompted to me explore the question. 

While I'm sure there are some very mature 18 year olds out there, they are the exception to the rule in my experience. I often hear the justification that at 18, "kids" should be allowed to do X, Y or Z, even if they still live under their parents' roof and still are in high school. It's like that magic number has suddenly turned them into rational human beings able to make complex decisions without any help from anyone. 

Personally, I have a family member who is a very (and I mean very) immature 19 year old. She's so immature that I don't really look at her and consider her an adult capable of making her own decisions. 

So I ask, what is it about 18 that makes you (general) think that person is suddenly capable of making solid decisions and no longer needing the help of a parent? 





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Carmel63
by Bronze Member on Apr. 20, 2013 at 11:36 AM

While I agree that 18 is still a kid, they are also a legal adult.  New boundaries are formed.  My teenaged daughter will turn 18 after her high school graduation.  I will no longer have access to her medical records. Certain aspects of her life no longer become my business.  She still needs to follow house rules, pitch in around around the home, and show respect to all living in the home.  

Mommy_of_Riley
by Jes on Apr. 20, 2013 at 11:41 AM
Maturity doesn't have a magical age.

I know plenty of mature 17 year olds, and plenty of immature 30 year olds.

For myself, I was emancipated at 16 and living on my own. I was married at 18 & we will celebrate our 10 year anniversary next year. :-)
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