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What's so magic about the age 18?

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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
Replies (71-80):
radioheid
by Libertarian on Apr. 21, 2013 at 9:44 AM

And I had a job when I was 16 and joined the Air Force at 18. My grandma got married when she was 16. Honestly, I could have got a job and a car at 14 and carried on as an adult---that's how I was raised. Doesn't mean the majority of Americans are ready to take on adult responsibilities at a young age, just because we were.

Quoting Mommy_of_Riley:

Wow. So I shouldn't have owned my own car, gotten married, voted in that years' Presidential election, or leased a home at 18... Why?




Quoting radioheid:

 I personally support raising the age of majority to 20 or 21. 18-year olds are generally immature, whereas most of the 20-year olds I've known were at least starting to transition toward adult behavior.


I do not believe 18-year olds should be allowed to marry, I do not believe they should be allowed to own property, I do not believe they should be allowed to vote, and I do not believe they should be allowed to join the military. I also believe that the age to work and drive should be raised from 16 to 18, unless exceptional circumstances should arise, and a judge gives his or her approval.

 


"Roger that. Over."

R   A   D    I    O    H    E    I    D

meriana
by Platinum Member on Apr. 21, 2013 at 12:09 PM
In the early years of this country, the age of majority for a male was 21 yrs. As times change, so do things like the age at which one can be considered old enough to make their own decisions. The interesting thing is that the age of majority is actually set by the states except for a few things that govern for instance, pornography,the ability of open a credit card account or enter a sweepstakes. Found some interesting reading on the subject: The Credit Card Accountability and Disclosure Act of 2009 prohibits individuals under the age of 21 from opening a credit card unless there is a co-signer or proof of sufficient income The age of majority is a political concept. The primary justification for age-based regulations is to protect minors from the consequences of immature decisionmaking or the abuse of others’ power. The legal foundation for regulating civic life continues to expand; it is important to seek current, accurate information and advice regarding any legal questions http://mrsbrownsparlour.hubpages.com/hub/The-Age-of-Majority-in-America http://contests.about.com/od/sweepstakes101/a/agemajoristate.htm http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Age_of_majority http://www.legislature.mi.gov/documents/mcl/pdf/mcl-act-79-of-1971.pdf
Mommy_of_Riley
by Jes on Apr. 21, 2013 at 1:31 PM
I agree that the majority may not be but I don't want the laws to take my rights away because some people the same age as myself aren't mature yet...
Quoting radioheid:

And I had a job when I was 16 and joined the Air Force at 18. My grandma got married when she was 16. Honestly, I could have got a job and a car at 14 and carried on as an adult---that's how I was raised. Doesn't mean the majority of Americans are ready to take on adult responsibilities at a young age, just because we were.


Quoting Mommy_of_Riley:

Wow. So I shouldn't have owned my own car, gotten married, voted in that years' Presidential election, or leased a home at 18... Why?





Quoting radioheid:


 I personally support raising the age of majority to 20 or 21. 18-year olds are generally immature, whereas most of the 20-year olds I've known were at least starting to transition toward adult behavior.



I do not believe 18-year olds should be allowed to marry, I do not believe they should be allowed to own property, I do not believe they should be allowed to vote, and I do not believe they should be allowed to join the military. I also believe that the age to work and drive should be raised from 16 to 18, unless exceptional circumstances should arise, and a judge gives his or her approval.


 

Posted on CafeMom Mobile
TranquilMind
by Platinum Member on Apr. 21, 2013 at 2:18 PM
1 mom liked this

 18 isn't magical, though it confers some rights.  You are an adult when you are self-supporting and living independently.  Some people aren't adults at 40.

toomanypoodles
by Ruby Member on Apr. 21, 2013 at 7:12 PM

 

Quoting Debmomto2girls:

Asking questions is now judging? Well, than every single person on here is judging. Please quote where I was judging you? Where did I write you were a bad mother or wrong? I am really just curious about your reasoning. I have many conservative christian friends (maybe not as conservative as I thought) and have never heard them censor things in their older teensgers. You have an extreme opinion (and I might not ever get it but I am not judging it) and I curious to your reasoning behind it.

If you do not want people questioning it, than do not post it.


Quoting toomanypoodles:

 My nearly 18 year old is just as crazy and immature as she was at 15.   No way is she ready to be an adult.   Turning 18 is not a magic free pass to go ahead and go for it....my teen daughters BOTH need parental guidance, and I am not  turning them loose yet---they are not ready!


And I get sick of being judged for my views on this one too.  No one knows knows my kids and what they are, or are not capable of or ready for. 

 Every post I've ever written and given input in you've attacked my views.  Good grief, Deb.  You're trying hard to make yourself look innocent here but you've been a snark to me for months.  You don't like me, leave me alone.  Sound good?

Debmomto2girls
by Platinum Member on Apr. 21, 2013 at 7:54 PM
The only time I attacked you, I admit, was the rape meme. I do not normally agree with you but never disliked you. This thread is a clear example of you getting defensive about someone questioning views you put out there. If you read my posts in this thread and the other, I am not judging. I am truly trying to figure out the logic of your view. I learn new opinions and views on here all the time and while I do not always agree, I am not judging.

Quoting toomanypoodles:

 


Quoting Debmomto2girls:

Asking questions is now judging? Well, than every single person on here is judging. Please quote where I was judging you? Where did I write you were a bad mother or wrong? I am really just curious about your reasoning. I have many conservative christian friends (maybe not as conservative as I thought) and have never heard them censor things in their older teensgers. You have an extreme opinion (and I might not ever get it but I am not judging it) and I curious to your reasoning behind it.

If you do not want people questioning it, than do not post it.



Quoting toomanypoodles:


 My nearly 18 year old is just as crazy and immature as she was at 15.   No way is she ready to be an adult.   Turning 18 is not a magic free pass to go ahead and go for it....my teen daughters BOTH need parental guidance, and I am not  turning them loose yet---they are not ready!



And I get sick of being judged for my views on this one too.  No one knows knows my kids and what they are, or are not capable of or ready for. 


 Every post I've ever written and given input in you've attacked my views.  Good grief, Deb.  You're trying hard to make yourself look innocent here but you've been a snark to me for months.  You don't like me, leave me alone.  Sound good?

Posted on the NEW CafeMom Mobile
tambrathegreat
by on Apr. 21, 2013 at 7:57 PM

There has to be a legal age or certain things like voting, entering contracts, joining organizations.  Does that legal age make the person naturally an adult?  Nope, but that's the way things are.  How many of you parents want to have a kid hanging around until they are 21?

cjsbmom
by Lois Lane on Apr. 21, 2013 at 8:02 PM

Some already do. Hell, some parents have kids come back home when they're in their late 20s because they can't find work, etc. 

Quoting tambrathegreat:

There has to be a legal age or certain things like voting, entering contracts, joining organizations.  Does that legal age make the person naturally an adult?  Nope, but that's the way things are.  How many of you parents want to have a kid hanging around until they are 21?



tambrathegreat
by on Apr. 21, 2013 at 8:15 PM

Ack!  I know, but I'm not acknowledging that!  NOPE. 

Quoting cjsbmom:

Some already do. Hell, some parents have kids come back home when they're in their late 20s because they can't find work, etc. 

Quoting tambrathegreat:

There has to be a legal age or certain things like voting, entering contracts, joining organizations.  Does that legal age make the person naturally an adult?  Nope, but that's the way things are.  How many of you parents want to have a kid hanging around until they are 21?




chloedee
by Bronze Member on Apr. 21, 2013 at 8:33 PM

This is what I'm wondering. I was almost done with college and living in a different country by the time I was 21. I was eager and excited to move out at 18 to go to university, my parents were happy to be one step closer to an empty nest, and I think I was of pretty average maturity at that age. If we were to raise the age, would we force these kids to be in high school longer? Or would college seniors living away from home be forced to call mommy every time they needed permission for something? 

Quoting tambrathegreat:

There has to be a legal age or certain things like voting, entering contracts, joining organizations.  Does that legal age make the person naturally an adult?  Nope, but that's the way things are.  How many of you parents want to have a kid hanging around until they are 21?



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