Age of Majority

Lacye - posted on 01/19/2011 ( 20 moms have responded )

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The age of majority is the threshold of adulthood as it is conceptualized (and recognized or declared) in law.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Age_of_majo...

What do you think should be the age of majority when children are considered adult? Are 16 year olds mature enough to make adult decisions that involves their lives?

I'm asking because on some of the posts on this community and on Debating Moms have been about teens and whether or not they can make some life altering decisions. In the link above, close to the bottom, there is a list of countries and their age of majority. In some countries, 14 year old children are considered adults and able to do for themselves.

Where I live, in Mississippi USA, you have to be 21 years old or married before you are considered to be an adult. I agree with this. To me, any younger than 20 is just not mature enough most of the time. I have seen so many childish people that were 18 or 19 years old. Hell let me be honest, I've seen childish people older than that but not as many.

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LaCi - posted on 01/20/2011

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Maturity develops with responsibility. There is no magic number that defines adulthood. A 25 year old who has been coddled his/her entire life is likely to be significantly less mature than a 16 year old that is fairly self sufficient. I've been doing my own thing since I was about 15.



Teenager is a relatively new concept. One's ability to make responsible decisions and behave in a way we would say is "adult" is dependent on how adult they are allowed to behave. If you are treated as a child you will behave as a child.

Meghan - posted on 01/19/2011

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I hear ya! The thing that baffles me is how they find the energy to go out! When my son is with his Dad I get invited to go out and it always seems like a good time. Then I realize I am SO tired, haven't washed my hair in two days, the last 50 bucks should be saved in case *god forbid* J gets sick with something I have to pay extra for, or my car starts acting up..AGAIN. 99% of the time curling up in bed with my mom and watching Dexter seems more fun than getting hammered and waisting money and being hungover and bitchy...how's that for under developed rational Dr. Phil :P

Merry - posted on 01/23/2011

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My 32 and 28 and 24 yr old friends all told me that I'm more mature then they were at my age, but I'm interested to see if anything does change when I'm late twenties or thirties.
Although I don't know what could change, I've never smoked, never been drunk, never been to a club, or a bar, never been to a concert, lol I haven't been a 'teen' per say. I married my first boyfriend, the first guy I kissed, I've had a job since I was 16, been married since 18 and a mom for two years now!
Idk, maybe my brain will get better, maybe not. I guess I'm not too dedicated to getting the laundry done and the vacuuming..... Maybe that will come in time! :)

Merry - posted on 01/20/2011

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I think it's more a question of when they have been adequately prepared to be an adult. Some parents have strong methods of raising their kids to be respectful, smart, decisive adults and their kids are quite mature by 14,16,18 years old! Other parents don't do much of anything to prepare their kids to be responsible adults and they are still struggling to be self sufficient at 30!

It's not as much age, it's how well prepared they are.

Myself, I was 16 when I became engaged, and 18 when I married, and 20 when I had my son. But by ten years old I was trained by my mom how to care for my baby brother, and by 15 when my mom died I was the main caregiver for my then 5 year old brother. I had a lot of training on child raising at a young age with our foster babies that we had 25 in the span of time I was 6-12 so I was well prepared to be a mom by 20!

Meghan - posted on 01/19/2011

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The part of the brain that understands rationality and impulse control in regards to risky behavior isn't fully developed until 25.
With that being said, I am 24. I moved out at 17, got married and had my son at 21 and was separated by 22. HA! I made some stupid choices but I am a good person and a great mom. I have my moments of immaturity BUT I DO know right from wrong. I was raised with very strong and respectable morals. I am lucky to have a lot of great people in my life who help guide me in my moments of stupidity.
Kids graduated high school at 17/18 and then are thrown into the world and expected to work and be responsible adults. If at 18 we expect that kids become adults and enter the world, we have to allow them all the "perks" that go with it, such as voting, driving, drinking etc. and hope that we have raised them well enough to know their limits or ask for help when they need it. I think 18/19 (which is the legal age for most things in Canada) is a perfect age and that we as parents and the community that they are supposed to contribute to need to offer as much guidance and support as we can.

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Hannah - posted on 03/12/2012

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I believe it should be raised to 18 in the uk, it would help to prevent people grooming school kids and hopefully lower teen pregnancy rates. When I was at school there was a dodgy teacher who used to flirt with the sixteen year old girls then date them as soon as the holidays started. One ended up pregnant and missed out on going to college (high school). This guy was also married! Just think it's best to leave some things until you've left school.



Also the age of driving here is 18, so you can be a parent at 16 but not drive until 18? Drinkling at 18 is ok though, I think the pubs and bars would go out of business if it was 21! Also a lot of the bad drinking behaviour is carried out by over 21's so I think it's an attitude thing not so much to do with age.



By the way I got married at 20 and my parents were not happy about it! But I had a bad relationship with them due to my father being abusive so to be honest I'm a lot happier now and glad they couldn't say no. I've been married for 5 years and am still very happy.

Charlie - posted on 01/23/2011

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Erin said : I would never want to see the age of consent lowered from 18! I was a mature kid and teenager, and thought I had everything sorted. WRONG!! You do a shitload of growing up between the late teens and mid-20s. I know my opinions on things changed dramatically through my life experiences during that time. I am now nearly 30, and can honestly say I didn't finish 'growing up' and stop making impulsive, stupid mistakes until I was around 24-25 (which is coincidentally when scientists say that part of our brain finishes developing).

Though I do agree that the discrepancy between voting, drinking and enlisting in some places is odd. In Australia, it's 18 for everything. And I'm ok with that. "

And I absolutely agree ...

Erin - posted on 01/22/2011

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I would never want to see the age of consent lowered from 18! I was a mature kid and teenager, and thought I had everything sorted. WRONG!! You do a shitload of growing up between the late teens and mid-20s. I know my opinions on things changed dramatically through my life experiences during that time. I am now nearly 30, and can honestly say I didn't finish 'growing up' and stop making impulsive, stupid mistakes until I was around 24-25 (which is coincidentally when scientists say that part of our brain finishes developing).

Though I do agree that the discrepancy between voting, drinking and enlisting in some places is odd. In Australia, it's 18 for everything. And I'm ok with that.

LaCi - posted on 01/22/2011

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Actually mississippi is the only state in the US in which you have to get parental consent for marriage if you're under 21. And, In my opinion, thats completely fucktarded. If you are old enough to join the military, go off to war, risk your life for your country, you are an adult. Also the reason I don't agree with 21 being the age you can legally drink. As for rental cars, that's all about insurance, not maturity.

Lacye - posted on 01/22/2011

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I live in one of the few states in the United States that you have to be 21 before you are considered legally an adult. You can't get married, you have to have parental signature if you want a major surgery. But I think that it was a good thing because I was not a mature 18/19 year old. I was a silly twit to be perfectly honest. Now not all people are like that but most of them are.

[deleted account]

Your a teenager until there isn't a teen as part of your age. I'm 24 and honestly I haven't met many others my age who are mature enough to be called adults.

I think I'll go with the car rental idea... 25. That's when the brain is completely developed.

Jodi - posted on 01/22/2011

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Crap, I don't know if I made any sense - we all had 2 bottles of real;y nice wine over dinner :D

Jodi - posted on 01/22/2011

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In Australia, the legal age is 18.



I had an interesting discussion with my step-daughter tonight over dinner, pretty much about this exact thing. She is 18, and about to embark on some of the biggest decisions in her life - the ones that will determine the initial path of her future. And she is really SCARED.



They were her words. She is terrified that she will make the wrong choices, she is worried that the choice she makes right now she won't be happy with in 6 months.



Listening to her, I realised what a HUGE decision this is for an 18 year old. Just the fact she sees this dilemma tells me she is ready to take on an adult role.



I then related to her that at this time after I graduated school, I actually moved out of home (necessity - I lived in a tiny country town, no university, no jobs), and set up house, found a job in a large city, no friend, I was just thrust into the real world. THAT was scary.



We talked about mistakes, and choices. How we ALL make bad choices sometimes, but we need to learn that even the bad choices we make shape who we are.



Anyway, amongst my ramble, I can honestly say that after that conversation I had with my 18 year old step-daughter, I think 18 is ok. Yep, she will make some bad choices. However, I think making the bad choices AND the good choices, and dealing with our OWN choices as a whole is what helps us mature. We can legislate to take those choices away from our children, and we only delay the inevitable.

Sherri - posted on 01/21/2011

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I think 21 is a great age. Younger than that is still a child in my book.

Laura - posted on 01/21/2011

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There's actually two discussions going one here: Legal status and physiological/mental maturity. The legal age of majority (adult status) has often been determined by both cultural ideologies and, more recently, by psychology. The AVERAGE teen should be able to display certain responsibilities and behaviors by the age of 18. Not all will! Some teens will be fully capable of displaying "mature" behavior well before the age of 18. As pointed out previously, maturity, to a large degree, is taught by how parents choose to raise their kids. For legal purposes, though, the line has to be drawn somewhere and 18 (except for purchasing/comsuming alcohol) is that line in most states.

Amy - posted on 01/20/2011

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18 - You can join the army, get married with out parent approval, and many others.
21 - You can drink
25 - You can rent a car (at least where I live).

Honestly I'm not really sure a good age, Anywhere from 18-25 seems to be the range. Honestly I know I "grew up" a lot between 18 and 25, but if I didn't graduate from college and get a good job I doubt I would have changed as much as I did. I was very responsible at 18 and made good decisions, looking back I wouldn't change a thing.

On the other hand I have friends who are 27 and still making horrible decisions and are still very in-mature.

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I am comfortable with the UK's age of adulthood, which is 18. I feel that for the most part although still maturing 18 yo's understand consequence and action, although they cannot always control the urge to do stupid things regardless of their understanding. For us there are only a couple of things that can be legally consented to before 18, such as having sex and purchasing lotto tickets.

Lacye - posted on 01/19/2011

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Meghan, you remind me a lot of my sister, which is a very good thing!

Anyways! I guess it's just my area but a lot of the teens (18-19 year olds) still live at home and live off of their parents. No jobs, parents pay for the college education and they play around and fail the classes (which the parents pay for them to take a 2nd and 3rd time!) I have seen some teen moms (not bashing all teen moms because there are some good ones out there) that goes out and parties all the time and leaves the parents to take care of the teen's child. It just baffles me that some can just act this way and yet they can go out and do whatever they want.

[deleted account]

25 is a good start at adulthood.

For the law's sake though..... 18-21 is ok which seems to be how it is. 18 for somethings and 21 for others (though alcohol is the only one I know that you have to wait).

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