Should teens be treated like adults?

Raine - posted on 03/09/2015 ( 9 moms have responded )

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I have 2 children ages 14(son) and 17(daughter).
I am a liberated parent, and people have told me that I give my kids ''too much'' freedom.
For example- I allow my children to date, have parties at my house(no alcohol) their curfews are 10 p.m. on school nights and 11:30 on weekends. They don't have bedtimes. I allow them to make their own decisions, while guiding them of course. I am not a strict parent or the type of parent that says ''no!'' all of the time. I give them room to make mistakes, grow, and find their own way. Teens are in the process of becoming adults and if mature enough, they should be able to make adult decisions. I was raised in a strict home, by very old fashioned parents. I wasn't allowed to date at all until I was 18, I had a curfew until I moved out, which was 20. I also wasn't allowed to go anywhere without an adult until I was 18. And I felt like I was missing out on all the fun of being a teenager. I don't want to do the same to my kids. All teens are not irresponsible, nor do they need to be watched over 24/7. They should have freedom and independence with boundaries. In my opinion, they are not children, but developed human beings. They WILL make their own decisions at some point. Whether they are 14, 18, or 21. There isn't a certain age where you mature and become adult like. I am around teens all of the time and I see 14-16 year old's that are more mature and well spoken than some 30-something year old's. It just depends on the person. But age doesn't determine whether you are ready to make your own decisions and be on your own. Maturity does.

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Ev - posted on 03/10/2015

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My thing in treating my kids at 15 as if an adult was to give them the idea of what adults do have to deal with. I still had my rules. Dating rules, house rules, etc. And there was consequences for any actions that did not go along with rules. I would listen to their ideas and in the end make the final choice but sometimes if I heard a good idea, I would use their thought as a final choice; but they knew it was my decision anyhow no matter what the choice was. They both gained a lot of skills in thinking that way. I did not put the rigor of some adult issues on them just some of the ones that we all run into like the thing of money: how to spend, when to spend, and so on.

♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 03/10/2015

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Well, IMO, your kids do have way to permissive a lifestyle, but they're your kids.

Mine were raised with curfews appropriate to their ages, as well as responsibilities and privileges the same. Worked great. Hopefully yours will be successful as they gain their majority, and will be able to move forward with what you have taught.

I do find that parents who model their parenting style to be 'not what my parents did' tend to be more permissive, etc, but find later that the permissive lifestyle bites them in the butt when it comes to their kids being responsible human beings.

As Jodi states: They should be treated in a way that progressively prepares them for adulthood.

Jodi - posted on 03/10/2015

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I don't believe teens should be treated like adults, but I do think they should be treated in a way that respects they are BECOMING young adults in a way that progressively prepares them for adulthood. You can't just suddenly dump adult expectations on a kid the day they turn 18 if you haven't allowed them to make some of those choices and learn from the mistakes they have made (or not made). They need to learn to make good adult-like choice before 18.

Raine - posted on 03/09/2015

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@Dove
My son doesn't have all the same freedoms as my daughter, but some. My daughter is allowed to go on unsupervised dates because she's old enough to drive. My son has a girlfriend and they see each other every weekend, she comes over to my house for a few hours. But they aren't unsupervised. I try to distinguish age appropriate freedoms you know? When my son starts driving he'll pretty much have way more freedom than he already does.

Ev - posted on 03/09/2015

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I have to agree with Dove. When my kids turned 15 (they are 7 years apart) I started to talk to them about some adult topics (money matters, moving out on own, decisions on what to do or not do) that were within age appropriate limits. I would also ask them their thoughts on a matter and would seriously take into consideration what they had to say; the bottom line being that mom's decision was final no matter what their thoughts were because sometimes those thoughts did not meet what was needed and other times I took their thoughts and ran with it. I allowed them to make their choices within reason and with boundaries. No dating until 16. No overnight with BF/GF. Allowed choices on weekends because they were back and forth with me and dad for what to do. Taught them how to run a house. Treated them like an adult though they were still under age. I figured it was time for them to get a taste in that respect so they could get an idea how it was outside of home. If you treat others respectfully then you can get the same hopefully. I had already instilled values, morals and beliefs but it was up to them how they decided to act on them. I can say now that at 25 and 18 both have done well in school, have learned what I needed them to learn, and are applying life lessons outside of home.

Dove - posted on 03/09/2015

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I think the freedoms you allow are fine and age appropriate for the 17 year old. 'I' would not be allowing quite so much freedom at only 14 though. My oldest is 13 and does have a lot of freedoms... she's pretty much NEVER home on the weekends, but there is no dating and there are more limits during the school week.

If your son at 14 is allowed all the same freedoms as his 17 year old sister... what is there to look forward to gaining w/ age and maturity? Just a thought... your kids, your business.

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