Maturity

Discussion in 'Countryside Families' started by Wendy, Dec 15, 2006.

  1. Wendy

    Wendy Well-Known Member

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    I didn't want to get the other thread off topic so I started a new one. This quote was from the other thread.


    I am just curious as to why 16 year olds today are not as mature as years ago? Is it because parents coddle them too much & do not expect them to be mature & responsible? Don't mean to start a war or debate, just really curious as to why it seems kids are not mature at 16 like they used to be. Most kids are maturing sexually (at least girls it seems) earlier than they did 100 years ago. Like starting their periods earlier & such.

    Would love to hear others thoughts. I know when I was 16 I could have easily married & settled into that with no problems. Yet my 16 year old is not near as responsible as I was at that age. Part of that is because of her being blind & I admit I do not expect her to do quite as many things as I did at that age. At 16 I was working a weekend job & also doing numerous chores at home. Paid my own insurance & gas, & also paid for my own car. Bought my own clothes, paid my phone bill, & paid $15 a week rent. A lot of people may think that is a lot to expect of a 16 year old, but I am glad my parents expected that of me. I think it made me a more responsible person who was aware of what things actually cost.

    IMO kids today are given too much & not expected to contribute financially until they are out of college. I know too many kids that have a car given to them, their insurance is paid by mom & dad, they care given gas money & money for clothes & just for going out with friends. Parents pay for their college & they basically are not expected to do much or pay much until out of college.

    I am not saying all kids are like that because I know a few that aren't. But I do think a lot of kids have been spoiled by their parents & that has a lot to do with their maturity level & how responisible they are.

    Once again, I am not pointing fingers at anyone on this board & I do not want this to turn into a big flame war. Just curious as to what you had to do as a child versus what you have your kids do. I am trying my best to give my kids a good work ethic & they also know that money does not grow on trees. I want them to become responsible people that know how to work for what they have or want. Even now they have to save up their own money if there is something they want to buy. I think kids appreciate things a lot more when they have to work for & pay for it.
     
  2. tinknal

    tinknal Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Childhood that extends into the late teens is a fairly recent concept. Years back the average teen was responsible for the family livestock, or held an outside job. Modern culture has extended the period of minimal responsibilty far into the teens, to the detriment of society IMO.
     

  3. Cindy in NY

    Cindy in NY Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I agree Wendy. 16 year olds today are generally not as reponsible as they were when I was growing up. I started babysitting at 12 and by 16 could have had a job doing that every night and every weekend.

    The kids around us seem to be given everything and are asked for nothing in return. Most have no jobs, not even chores to do at home. Yet whatever they want they get - the latest electronic gadget, cars to race around in, whatever clothes they want. We were given gifts twice a year - Christmas and birthdays. If we wanted "stuff" other times, we needed to have our own money to get it and we did not get an allowance.

    Too many kids are being treated as babies till well into their teens. The future looks dim!
     
  4. willow_girl

    willow_girl Very Dairy

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    Couple reasons, off the top of my head:

    1. Parents grew up hard, and want their kids to have an easier time of it than they did ... ignoring the fact their kids won't learn the same important lessons they did.

    2. Parents are concerned about what the neighbors will think if Johnny or Suzy makes a mistake (and, perhaps, how it might affect their own social standing in their community or church) so they try to prevent their kids from exercising any decision-making in instances where it could lead to an embarrassing failure.

    3. Parents feel guilty about not spending enough time with their kids, so they shower them with expensive gifts to make up for it, and show leniency in order to be 'popular' with their children.

    My parents taught me not to fear hard work. I worked full-time and lived on my own for most of my last year of high school. It wasn't easy, but at graduation, I had an old beater car, a checking account, and a savings account with a couple grand in it. A month after graduation, I had my first apartment, rented in my name, along with utility bills, etc. I did OK. :)

    From the time I was about 14, my parents let me go my own way, make my own decisions and conduct my life pretty much as I saw fit. Did I make mistakes (including some embarrassing public ones?) -- YES! But I survived and quickly discovered that actions have consequences. The converse of that is when you do something good, NOT because your parents are prodding you, but on your own initiative, you get to reap the rewards! So I experienced both sides of the coin, good and bad, success and failure, and lived and learned accordingly.

    My parents didn't protect me from some things they probably should have, but all in all, I have to say their approach was pretty solid. I have always been able to support myself, and have built a pretty nice life for myself after a few false starts. :)
     
  5. Wildwood Flower

    Wildwood Flower Halfway, OR & Wagoner, OK

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    Just an aside thought: One thing that seems puzzling is that young people are really pushed by the media especially into earlier and earlier sexual knowledge, dressing, behavior, etc.

    And yet, people are horrified at the thought of expecting them to be responsible for their actions in that regard (sexually). It just seems ironic to me.

    I think in days gone by kids were exposed to the realities of life at a younger age. They took care of farm animals, and spent a great deal of their time working around adults, and observing their behavior.

    Kids nowadays spend a great deal of time isolated in schools or in sports teams with their peers--who offer little in the area of good mature examples.

    Young people in previous generations had lots of support in their community and family and everybody was on the same page. The entire community and whatever media there was (very little) was not in opposition to a general moral code of ethics. Nowadays there are so many conflicting messages to teens and young people.

    Actually, many parents themselves are quite confused it seems.
     
  6. Peacock

    Peacock writing some wrongs Supporter

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    I remember reading once in one of those "parent advice" columns (which are usually full of hooey) that in his opinion, teens shouldn't have jobs or be expected to do too many chores at home because *school is their job.* And along with school comes extracurriculars like sports, clubs, etc. because those things help them get into college. Which is also supposed to be their "job", since they're not supposed to be expected to work after they graduate HS either. Summer job? Oh NO, that might interfere with sports or that social life that is so essential to the development of a well-rounded young person.

    See, the way our society is set up nowadays, kids are supposed to stay kids well into their 20's, at least until they graduate from college. Mom and dad are still supposed to pay their way, provide a car, clothing, food, luxuries, etc. so they won't be pressured by such needs and can focus full-time on enriching their minds in preparation for their futures.

    Even teens from lower-income families get the message that they're supposed to focus on school instead of earning an income...heck, even their parents don't bother with that pesky little "income" thing most of the time. That's what welfare is for, right?

    (Note...I am not referring to any of YOU. :rolleyes: I realize there ARE lower income people with excellent work ethics, and yes, I am stereotyping. Move on.)

    Yet...there do exist teens who have jobs, play sports, get good grades and are well-liked by peers. Are they exceptionally intelligent? Doubt it. They have parents who expect a lot from them. That's all too rare.

    Now, I sort of agree with the "school is their job" point of view...but...I do think that work experience is vital too. Which is why I will expect my kids to get jobs and work from their 16th birthday onward. Doesn't have to be 30 hours a week -- it can be 10 hours a week or even less. But they have to DO it, get there on time, do good work, and manage their income. That's enough to teach them the real-world skills they need, I think, and a decent work ethic.

    The world IS a different place than when we were kids. I think that a lot of kids who "grow up too fast" due to peer pressure and media exposure are kids with too much time on their hands. Keep them busy. If they're too busy with school and sports to work, then they're too busy to uh, get busy in the backseat or do drugs.

    I got my work permit at 16 and worked 3 hours M-F after school and 5 on Saturday. Earned $60 a week. It didn't make me "mature" enough not to do my share of stupid things, but it sure helped me understand what "be at work on time" and "pay your bills on time" meant!
     
  7. vallyfarm

    vallyfarm Well-Known Member

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    I feel parents aren't allowed to raise their kids like when we were young. At 16 I was up at 5:00 to feed the cows (beefers) and then go to school, and feed the caow, clean the barn, etc. Then do homework. If I EVER came home with a "C" on the report card...sorry, just got a cold chill up my back. Today that is called abuse. If the Principal ever called home about me...sorry, another chill. Today the kid plays Nintendo all day and gets new $100 sneakers..remember when they were called that? If the kid acts up now, the first thing most parents do is get a lawyer to sue the school for hurting little Billy' self esteme. No wonder we are where we are today...having the Chineese feed and clothe us so we can get a good lease on a new BMW! God help the NEXT generation. Mike
     
  8. Terri

    Terri Singletree & Weight Loss & Permaculture Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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    I think that 16 year olds are every BIT as mature as they were 40 years ago! They are simply being taught different things.

    Modern teens are taught very little about family, and much about employement. They are quick to get a job, but, help around the house??????
     
  9. Wendy

    Wendy Well-Known Member

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    See, I don't understand that at all. I have a nephew that was working for my dad on & off. Dad & 2 of my brothers have a sawmill business. Anyway, whatever they had him doing one day he decided it was too hot & dad caught him sitting int he house. So, he was promptly fired. My dad will not put up with slackers. My brother (nephew's dad) said he is worthless. Can't get him to do anything around the house, etc. I just don't get that. My kids do it! I do not give them a choice. In my nephews case, the kid would not be in football or have any other fun until the work at home is done. Period. End of sentence! I get so tired of hearing a few of my family members complain that their kids don't do anything. I want to smack them so they wake up & then tell them it is their fault the kids do nothing. My kids all have chores & they are expected to be done every night no mater what. This week I spent 3 days in the hospital with my youngest son & I knew the work would get done. I didn't even have to call & tell them to do it. They all knew what would happen if they neglected their chores & I am grateful that they know to do them whether I am here or not. Their dad worked late both nights I was gone so he wasn't here either to make sure it was done. I was so proud of all of them & told them so. Like my parents, I do not tolerate slackers. Sometimes I feel maybe I am too hard on the kids, but when I see how responsible they are in cases such as this week, I know I am doing something right. I want kids that I can count on to help out when needed. Not kids that sit & do nothing. I think the biggest problem is parents not following through with whatever discipline they threaten. They get tired of telling Johnny & just do it themselves. Johnny soon learns if he puts it off long enough, his parents will do it for him & he gets by with doing nothing. Wrong way to teach a kid responsibility.
     
  10. Peacock

    Peacock writing some wrongs Supporter

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    I gripe all the time about how "nobody in this family ever does a thing." Nobody picks up anything, washes anything, feeds the animals, etc., etc. And that includes the husband! They are terribly spoiled. BUT they KNOW HOW to do these things and will most certainly do them and do them well when it is required.

    I'm certain that if I had a medical crisis or other reason to be away for a while, everyone would pitch in and manage beautifully in my absence.

    And go right back to being helpless when I returned. ;)
     
  11. mpillow

    mpillow Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I agree that most are very immature.....and I think television and keeping up with the Jones' type of attitudes has alt to do with it. TV provides a visual of everything you have to have and how cool it is and its very sexualized these days.....so indulge...indulge...indulge.....they do in Hollywood and dont get so much as a slap on the wrist.....

    My kids have been hanging laundry, vacuuming and peeling potatoes since about 2yo....boy can run a tractor since 8yo better than Daddy and flew a plane at age 11 and surprised his uncle at his skills. I want him to like girls but I also want him to know that that girl has a Daddy that will HURT him for mistreating/violating his daughter. And if the Daddy dont do him in---I might.

    My daughters are taught not to let anyone touch them...one has a "condition" that is genetic and likely will keep her from any sexual relations until a later age...my adopted daughter will require the utmost supervision as she is a little "flirty" at age 5.... :help: Princess Syndrome and she looks like Paris Hilton to boot!

    You cant just have kids, go to work, send the kids to school and expect them to learn about responsibility thru osmosis....they have to practice and start practicing and contributing to the family at a very young age.

    "We work together in all kinds of weather".....
     
  12. Maura

    Maura Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I don't think kids today are less mature than they were when I was growing up. I'm 52. I think we notice it more. When I grew up, plenty of kids did not have chores, and/or were allowed to talk back to their parents, and/or thought money grew on trees. Today, plenty of kids have chores around the house, are not allowed to be disrespectful, and are learning about handling money. If you had chores growing up, of course you probably thought everyone did. As an adult, you see that not every kid has chores, helps with younger kids, has a curfew, etc. You are looking through different eyes.

    Now, if you go back a hundred years, when school went to the 8th grade and people had larger families, I think you will probably see more of a difference.
     
  13. painterswife

    painterswife Sock puppet reinstated Supporter

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    Sorry, I don't believe they are any less mature. Different lifestyles and expectations maybe.

    Parents with more money can give more but their are just as many parents that don't have and can't give. There have lways been the better off kids who get as well as the kids who earn everything for them selves. We even had it in our own family. My sister and I being older paid fro everything ourselves. Our younger siblings got more because our parents got more.
    Did not make them less mature just less resposible for their own needs.

    There are all levels of maturity and resposiblity in todays youth, just as their has always been. Life experience is different and depends on circumstance.