Should I treat my 13 year old as an adult?

At what age should parents start treating their children like adults?

If you have any questions, please check our FAQ page

40  Answers

38 6

No you shouldn't treat your 13 year old as an adult. For one thing 13 is way too young. Mentally and emotionally. A 13 year old is at that inbetween- everything sux- everything is wrong- why me stage. The entrance to becoming a teenager. Even though in most instances you can speak to a 13 year old with more in depth sentencing and phrasing there is so much that they can't put together yet.At 13 they are too old to be treated like 'little' kids and yet too 'young to be treated like a 'grown up' It's the horrid stage of lots of waits. Wait till your 16 to drive, wait till 18 to graduate, wait till your 21.... it's all about waiting. And even though it sounds harsh- 13 year olds NEED the wait. To grow into their own. TO really become who 'they' are. Not who they wish they could be or be like at this age. Treating them as if they are grown will only open up a door you had wished had been kept closed a little longer. Defiance can occur- and it will at its own pace all ready- Curiously though, why would anyone want their 13 year old child to become an adult? It's not a matter of keeping them children forever, but allowing them to remain children for as long as they are. Growing up and being an adult isn't the fun we all thought it would be. And there is plenty of time to figure it out. In the meantime- at 13 they still need the restrictions and security and stability.... to be able to tread the waters of growing up slowly at their own pace and be able to pull back into their own if it all becomes too much. I'm not a doc, just a mom- of 5 sons 24, 19, 17, 14, and 10.... So I've seen the 13 time 4 times now...and I've noticed that though they like the idea of being treated like an adult...they really don't want it. They like being talked to, not at and listened to, not just heard... empathy is usually more requested than lectures or lessons... and fun is always in demand. That's my two cents....

5 29

Ginger, you are so right! 13 year-olds should be treated with respect, but not as an adult. They are clearly NOT adults, even though they think so. I've been through it 3 times myself.

1 21

i agree w/ u, w/ respect but NOT as an adult, i know i have 3, 34-32 n 19 yrs old, thnks GOD i never had a problem

12 24

I agree.

6 22

My 13 year old and I agree too. Well said Ginger!

1 11

I totally agree with Ginger - the neurological functions of the human brain is not fully developed until around the age of 22 - 23. Don't rush treating someone like an adult when they are not even close to understanding what it means to be an adult. Let them be kids as long as they still are - gradually adding responsibility as show they are ready so they are prepared to be an adult when the time is right - sometime between 18 and 23 hopefully. :)

1 7

I was going to comment, but you said it all for me. Thanks. The one thing I would add however, is that the brain of a 13 year old is far from developed in the decision making area. They have almost 10 more years before the brain reaches the full adult developement!

5 24

I agree... I don't think that any child should be treated as an adult until they are working full-time and supporting themselves, I including living under the parents roof as supporting themselves as long as they are paying most of their own bills (cell, car insurance & payments, other things they think is a must have, and depending on circumstances maybe rent). I have an 18,17 & 15 yr old. They have all matured at different levels and they are treated on their own maturity levels, however, I haven't yet treated any of them as though they are capable of making major decisions on their own yet, although my two oldest are getting close to that point.

0 4

i agree with ginger,ive got a 13yr old and god dont i know it,ive just read out a few comments to him and by heck you would think i was reading his rights!! he acts like the man of the house and even trys to ground his 19yr old sister,we do laugh at him but hes so serious about his demands.on the plus side he helps around the house and he gets good grades at school.but still end of day they not adults so no they should be treated like children.

5 12

Ginger, that was awesome, I couldn't say it better myself. I'm dealing with my 12 year old, who will be 13 in December and setting the boundaries has been a lot of give and take. I want to keep her a child for as long as possible and for the most part she lets me. Love it when you said "They like being talked to, not at and listened to, not just heard... empathy is usually more requested than lectures or lessons... and fun is always in demand" she is at the stage when she just wants to hang out with friends and be independent but always wants to have me at a close distance. Having a lot of communication goes a long way.

0 12

I have a 12year old grand daughter and she wants to be treated as an adult but I keep telling her that she has heaps of time for that and she should not want to be older sooner than later. I explained that when you are young you want to be old but when she gets to Nanny's age of 67 she would wish that she had enjoyed her young teenage years and not wish it away.

0 21

I don't belive you could have said it better! The last few years I have worked with students in 7th, 8th and 9th grade. Also having a 15 year old of my own. They so desperately want to be treated as an adult but once givin the opportunity they don't want it. Just like with my son. Always asking, "Why don't I get to do this or that?" As soon as he is givin what he wants he turn around and wants to know why his younger brothers and sisters get to do something while he's doing his grown up things. Being a grown up comes with more than just the so called "fun things" we have to do. For some reason teenagers believe that being a grown up means we have no one to answer to. When in all actuality we all have someone to answer to at the end of the day. Givig a teenager the responsibilty and treating them as an adult is definitely the wrong way to go especially when it takes us grown ups years to get our "grown up-ness" right. Most of us are still working on it. Teenagers think in the "right now," not in "what could happen next week when i dont chose correctly this time." Teenagers are exactly that, "teenagers" and adults are exactly that of "adults."

6 4

I agree with the rest of you on this one, teenagers should have their share of respect when and only when they earn it for they are still children they just think they know it all, you treat teenagers like adults then they will want to do adult things and then you will have more of an issue on your hands than you want they will start to talk back and think that they can do as you or the older sibling does. I think the age when you can treat a teenager like an young adult is when a boy turns 16 and a girl turns 15 for that is the time when I would allow my son to start dating which is now for he turned 16 this year and they have to learn responsibility of life and responsibility. My parents use to tell me you treat your kids like adults when they start paying some bills in the house but that still causes problems that you may not want. So give her the respect that she deserves as a 13 year old but you can't treat her as an adult young girls already think that they are grown once they reach a certain age...good luck sweetheart hope all has worked out for you...

0 0

They are not adults. They want more I have three daughters and I remember myself at 13. The shouldn't be treated like little kids either. The thing is the things they are told to wait for are long term goals to achieve if they have them now not only are they not old enough to think things through, they also have nothing to look forward too either. Rights of passage do more than set rules, they give us things to look forward too. I can remember as the youngest of a very large family with ailing parents I had too much adult responsibilities at home, it made me too responsible for everything - I worried all the time. There is a danger of loosing the time they have as a 13 year old, good or bad times at that age they need to be a kid, not an adult.

0 17

Ginger i couldn't have said it better myself I too have a 13 yr old and would not at this time treat him like an adult he's a child and should stay in a child's place.

0 0

all people children/kids/younge adults/adults/elders should be treated with respect!!!!!! there is NO age when respect becomes appropriate, they learn it as soon as you lay the grounds for them to learn it

0 0

I totally agree!!!!

17 2

Treat them like a young man not an adult!! They are not babies yet not adults :)

View More
3 3

As a teacher of teenagers and a mom of a 13 year old myself, simply put - Why "treat" someone like something they're not?

14 10

Thank you

0 2

You why would you treat a 13 yr old as an adult?
They are just starting puberty and are just seeing the world through different eyes.
Even though they want to be independant like an adult. They really don't have a clue at 13 what the real world is about. They NEED our direction and actually depend on us to give it.( even though they buck from it.) This is a good age to add more responsibility and a little more freedom to make mistakes now.

0 151

I agree with you Minda. My son turned 14 today but he is still a child who needs direction.

74 11

I had one son, and two daughters, they are all grown now, and their teen years are but a faint memory to me now, seeing that they are in their 20's presently. I have tried to do what I can to encourage them where they are able to be encouraged, in the good things that they can do, let them do that, let them know what they can do to take a little step forward into maturity as in perhaps a few house chores that they can do that maybe they haven't yet started. Direction and guidance is definitely needed when they are hurting, and need support. Prayer with them and or for them with others is also a great way to help you as a mother through that time. That is if you can squeeze it into their busy school scheduals. If they are sports minded make sure that they are able to handle the sport of interest, or if musically interested and able to do at least something that is good for the soul, and helps everyone know that they are creative encourage that to the degree that you can handle. That will help them to feel like they are at least going somewhere that is acceptable provided of course it's not too radical in choice of music etc. You do want to let them know what the safety limits are and what the consequences are if those limits are overstepped. If you can provide a safe place for your child to have a good clean fun time, find out if you can do that at home, i.e. depending on your climate, a backyard pool, or game that the family enjoys and can add others to it. Much depends on what their interests are, and what can be done to give them a sense of doing something that all ages can enjoy.

View More
0 0

No. They can be treated as an adult at age 18 and/or when they've moved out of the house. My house, my rules. Don't like my rules? Buh-bye.

0 20

you're a jerk for saying that. I bet your parents said the same thing to you.

3 20

I agree with Betsee. I know it seems harsh, but the truth is the truth. You can't sugar coat things. Parents pay the cost to be the BOSS. We go to work to provide our family with their needs and some of their wants. We pay lights, gas, grocery, wash/fold clothes, go to PTA's, transport to and from activities, plan/fund vacations, cook, and help w/homework. We are Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, and the Tooth Fairy the list is endless. I love my children with everything in me, but I will not allow a child to run me. You can call me a jerk too. I tell my kids that if they don't wanna abide by the rules don't run away, let me know where to drop you off because I love you too much to have you wandering around. At least I'd know where you are.

0 28

Wait? We are supposed to be Santa Claus? J/K :) To the mom whose girls wants to move in with Dad. I would NOT let her do it. To me she is trying to run away from dealing with you or something else, OR she is trying to pit you against the dad. If she truly wants to spend more time with him, then try to make those arrangements. But I don't anything good can come from disrupting a good environment and routine. Just my two can take it or leave it.

1 1

You are NOT a jerk!

0 10

Therese my parents had the same rules as Betsee, their house their rules. When I turned 18 after finishing HS and going on to college the rules changed for me. I still lived at home but also worked and contributed to my parents household as I chose to live there. I was a jerk then because I was 18 but I'm not a jerk now at 51 and I while I don't raise my kids the same way, I don't treat them like adults and I don't teach them to call people they've never met jerks. I see you have an opinion and you know the saying about opinions I hope you've raised your kids better. Tina

0 0

I went through the parent swap with my son an 12...what is your reasoning on that she can't live with her dad until she makes straight a's. Seems like you may be setting her up for failure and you said you don't want your child to resent you, but she will if she can't achieve your standard. I know it's hard to let go, but decide one way or another don't make your child have to achieve a certain standard to choose a parent.

21 28

Never take dad out og the child's life. If she said she wanted to go with her dad, she want's direction from dad, and his love. My mom did that to me and my world was turned up-side down. One thing about dad all he had to do is speak and the children fall in line, but mom's they fight to the end. Let her go and she will find that dad is strict. She may also think that dad will let her do what she wants.... Talk to him before she goes.

0 5

Betsee I am the same way with my two teenagers. I feel that as a parent a child of any age has to learn that freedom and respect is a reward for doing what is required of them daily. Just as my patcheck is the reward for doing my job. I feel that we as parents are doing a dis-service to our children when we jump to hand them everything and anything they want just because they ask or demmand. My kids have been told from a very young age that while we provide for you and you are depending on us for everything then your resposibility is to follow the rule of the house which are not up for discussion. If they do not like the rules then it is time to get a job and a house of their own so they can make their own rules. Needless to say they are still here and look terrified whn we remind them they are about to finish high school and will be leaving home for college soon. So yes I think you are doing the right thing and will raise strong and respectful children for your effort.

8 66

I was browsing thru these comments and felt that I had to put my 2 cents in. Betsee I agree with you when you say "my home, my rules". These words ring thru my head and seem to come out of my mouth as it did my parents. I think that its just a "teen" thing with every generation. To push parents button just to see how far they can push and what the reaction will be. Its up to us to put the limits on what they can do. I don't tell my kids that if they don't like the rules they can leave. Instead we let them know that until they are 18 or graduated high school the rules we make isn't to make them feel like they can't do anything. We say the rules are there to help guide them into making the right choices. It's up to them what they do when they leave, but until then............. "my house, my rules" plain and simple. As for Therese, you know, most parents teach their kids not to call names to anyone and not down them for expressing their opinion. I teach my kids this anyway. If you don't set guidelines or boundaries for your kids, then as they get older, they will try to run over the top of you. I have seen this happen to many parents and their kids. As far as the dad situation, I think that its a catch 22. I personally haven't had to deal with this situation. I'm with my 3 older kids dad and my youngest, well, her donator has nothing to do with her, While I agree that you shouldn't keep a dad out of their child's life, it might teach her that the grass isn't always greener on the other side. Visiting is one thing, but living there, the rules might change significantly. Best wishes for whichever you chose.

1 20

If your 13 year old wants to go live with dad then let her, I understand that it's hard for u and thats not what u want for her but it did take both of you to make her so it should take both of u to rasie her.......Plus trust me she'll she be back been there done that.............Let her Go so she can see that its not always greener on the other side and as long as mom has to be totally responsilbe for her when she go visit dad its all about fun and games he's not being the one laying down the rules but what I have learn once they have to take on the childern/child on a full time base oh that FUN, COOL dad goes out the WINDOW............

45 6

Is her decision to make not yours unless you have full custody.

0 0

My sister daughter moved in with her daddy not at 13, but a few years later. The rules are lose with males who see children in a different light. If daddy has a younger girlfriend then the old hag he dump then she will also have loose standards. Your daughter wants to have a life where she and her lover can. Her father better have higher moral standards then he has now or your nickname will be Grandma.

9 7

I sort of agree with Therese. If you're that rigid and never compromise then of course they're going to move out as soon as they can and potentially ruin their lives. You don't stop being a parent just because they're legally an adult. Yes, they should still follow certain rules since you're paying all the bills, but when they turn 18 you have to change a lot of the rules since they're now "adults". Basically if you're telling them that they have to obey you no matter what and don't even get their say in anything, then you're telling them you don't respect them. You have to guide your children, not control them, or they can't grow. Do you want them just blindly following somebody their whole lives (if not you, they'll find someone else)? Teach them the correct way to voice their concerns over rules instead of forcing them to blindly obey.

14 20

To the user who's daughter wants to go live with her father: I don't think you're being too hard on her. If she is a straight A student, that is fantastic! I would also say that she must maintain that in order to stay living at her father's as well. It's hard when the parents are not in the same home, she's obviously had you, but she hasn't had her father on a full time basis, if he's up for it, and she really wants to do it, you should let her.

6 0

I'm about to be saying buh-bye to my 18 year old for awhile. In recent months, she has become extremely disrespectful, yet expects me to pay for everything? I don't think so.

View More
12 8

Since you are legally responsible for almost ANYTHING your under 18 year old does, they are considered a child for the most part. This means YOU, THE PARENT(not friend, not buddy) needs to treat them like both the emotional and legal age that they are. A mature 13-14 year old may have a bit more freedom than an immature one, but legally, they still cannot do certain things, and it is YOUR responsibility to make sure they learn about choice and consequences in a safe way.

4 11

That is the truth! We have always stressed to our children that WE are responsible for them, and anything they do, until they reach the age of 18. It is ok to be a buddy or friend, at times, but bottom line is WE are the ADULT, and a 13 year old is not capable of making ADULT decisions. My daughter will be 18 in 2 weeks and I still have final say in what clothes she wears and buys. Once she is 18, I will still give my opinion but the choice is hers....

15 0

the problem is now days...every 13 yr. old thinks they r grown...just look @ what they r growing up left on there on...the internet 24/7. tv ads...keep your 13 yr. old close to you and always know what they r doing...when they say they r someone's house for the nite...make sure that's where they r. Mine did this..sneaked out to go to a concert..with a friend she was suppose to be spending the nite with...had to go find her friends, keep her in a good crowd, know her school activities..important to keep her in sports, something to do other than have time on there hands...idle hands are the devils workshop..or something like that..experimental is what they do.girls are crazy about boys @ that age...just give her space but always be in tune to what is happening with her 24/7...mother of 3 grown girls, and 4 grandkids....

View More
0 18

I have raised 3 sons myself and helped raise my 7 siblings - and 13-18 is difficult - I think the problem with kids today are their parents who let them take over - for some reason children seem to think they are in charge - wrong! They can't be - they don;t know enough yet or have enough life experience - of course there are always exceptions to every rule - I was a very responsible child and was "in charge" from a young age - but only out of necessity - not by right.

Children who think they are grown and are given free rein often end of in trouble - there has to boundries, consequences, discipline, consistency and rewards. Let your child know that you respect some of their requests but only the ones that are reasonable.

11 7

I agree! No, a 13-yr old is NOT an adult nor should they be treated as one. I see the teen years as a time to give more freedoms with clear boundaries and rewards/consequences but above all consistency and respect for the adult they will one day be!

11 0

I agree with all those who say a 13-year-old is not an adult. Teenagers are like overgrown toddlers with a mouth. I have a couple myself. One is very mature for her age, the other not. That said, they are both still kids and not adults. I have expectations for behavior and they do have responsibilities, but there are some things they cannot handle yet. They don't have the life experience or the processing capabilities. Teenagers pre-frontal lobes are not formed. They, physiologically, cannot understand cause and effect to any great extent.

11 0

Perfectly said...Overgrown toddler with a mouth. May I just add "knows it all too" lol

6 7

No because he/she is not an adult, until they are able to take on adult responsibilities & act like an adult until then they are still teens.

9 0

Carol, I know some 30-somethings that still act as if they are teens and refuse to take any sort of adult responsibilities (my ex-son-in-law for starters). I also know some 11 - 12 year olds that act more like "little adults" than their parents. But I do, wholeheartedly agree, 13-year olds are TEENS and no way are they even close to being adults. I agree with giving them more responsibilities (more chores), but definitely not treating them as a peer, if you will.

0 40

No way ,thats why kids are always in trouble ,they think they are grown and can do as they like.
18 if they act there age and 21 if they don,t, and sometimes not even then.
I have a 46 year old and a 40 year old and 5 grandkids , so I can say been there done that and still doing it with the gradnkids.
Life is fast enough ,slow down and let the kids be kids.

1 8

As my doctor explained to our 13 year old son, "You are not an adult. Until you turn 18 and assume responsibility for your actions and can legally sign a consent, you will do exactly as your parents tell you to do." This was because my son was refusing to take his medication for ADD and the results of this was that he failed term 2. My advice is "NO! Do not treat your child like an adult. As someone previously stated they are just starting puberty, only just LEARNING to be adults. No one can tell me that a 13 year old is responsible enough to handle alcohol (please, I know adults that are not responsible when it comes to that). Their teen years should be a learnign curve and they should enjoy being young. By treating them as adults you are taking away their freedom to be children still. I believe our kids have enough stress to grow up with, no need to add extra by treating them as adults.

1 8

You must not live in the state of Va. Children the age of 14, BY LAW, can refuse any medication for their mental health.

17 12

In Virginia, if the child refuses the medication, and commits an illegal act, are the legislators that passed the law liable for the child's resulting behavior?

0 21

Well maybe you should find out exactly why your son doesnt want to take those meds. You might find that they effect him in a negative way. Reason why I say this, is because many of my students ( which i work with special needs students) feel druged up all day. Maybe if you took some of the meds they give kids today for ADD/ADHD you wouldnt want to take them either. Things like that can really effect a kids outcome as to whether or not they even graduate. Plus there are alternatives to medication. Maybe that could be something you could try with him. I have alot of kids that do supplements and case ins and strict diets. You could possibly say to him, "If you dont want the meds then we can see how this works for 2 to 3 months." Not trying to pry but my heart goes out to kids like your son who feel trapped by there medication. Good luck!!!

0 32

This is going off the original topic a bit here, but being a parent to 2 children on medications, 1 of which being a 14 year old with ADHD who occasionally thinks she doesn't 'need' her medication anymore. I think your suggestion that if the parent took some of the medications they'd understand why the child doesn't want to take it, is a very uneducated one. And surprises me to come from someone who works with special needs students. As you should know that these types of medications would not result in the same feeling and effects on someone who doesn't actually need them. I'm all for being open and communicating with the child as to WHY they don't want to take them, and working with the dr. to find a solution that can work for all involved but you certainly wouldn't suggest that a non diabetic take insulin to see how their diabetic child felt having to take it, or a healthy person to take their child's cancer meds so that they 'get' how the child feels having to take such things... So you can see how a parent of a child with ADD/ADHD may find this suggestion just as absurd. We work closely with a pediatric behavioral/developmental specialist and when we've run into resistance with our 14 year old taking her medications the dr. asks many questions and tries to either adjust the dose or even try a different medication as we all agree she shouldn't feel numb or drugged, but she's not going to feel 'normal' either, cause normal to her is not being able to sit, not having the focus to concentrate on something for more than 5 to 10 minutes (IF that) let alone the 90 minutes she's in each class. Normal for her would be having her thoughts and concentration interrupted each time a person walks by the class door, or a bird flys by the window, and just having multiple and unrelated thoughts jumping into her head. Along with many other symptoms... it may seem minor to those who don't have these issues, however in the real world it has a big impact on her day to day life and interactions with her peers and adults, but the most concerning to me... her learning. She went from struggling every day to really thriving. When she thinks things are fine and skips a few days/weeks of taking her meds (as they do get used to things going so well and assume it's fine now so they don't need their meds anymore) her grades quickly go from A's and B's in advanced classes to D's and F's. Natural alternatives are great for those that they help, and yes, some people see great improvements by eliminating things from their diet that they have sensitivities to... but as with anything else, not all children/people are the same. If you are allergic or have a sensitivity to eggs, eating eggs are going to have some type of impact on you, but if I'm not... there is no impact on me, if I eat them or not there is no difference. maybe the children you've been exposed aren't being treated for the right conditions or don't have parents that are being diligent about having responsible doctors, but let's not suggest that people try taking their child's medications to see how it is making them feel... it's simply not a responsible thing to do.

754 24

RenaFave Norby makes a good point, that law is good ONLY if the Child is legally held responsible for any actions taken while NOT taking the meds.

15 0

if it's a med. they need then they should take it...14 is to young to determine whither are not they need it...maybe the dr. could try a milder drug. why is ur son refusing this drug? Alot of those drugs give them stomach cramps, appetite suppressiont, headaches,,,work with him & the dr..if the dr. won't work with that..then u need to get a diffrent dr.the teacher insisted on taking my grandson off of it..he sat in class like a zombie...and didn't interact with any of the other students..u need to observe him and see what's up.

38 6

My youngest of 5 sons has ADHD and is on medication. We fought with school, his dr's and I argued with my hubby that something wasn't right and he was finally tested. He was NOt the bad kid they all thought but has ADHD... I knew he issues when a can of caffiene soda calmed him down or a handful of candy calmed him down rather having him bouncing off the walls. So when he first strated his meds I watched him like a hawk! I mean really watched him! I wanted him to feel right and I didn't want to lose my brilliant glowing child to a doped up zombie wearing his skin. For the very first time EVER in his life he came down from his room and into the kitchen and started loading the dishwasher- I asked him how he felt...and cried...because he looked at me and said, "Mom? For the first time I feel calm... I don't have every thought competing for attention and I can concentrate on one thing at a time..." At first he was he was on 3 pills a before school, one during and one after... It didn't take us long to discontinue the 3rd one as he didn't need it. By his words and my close observations. It finally got to where he only needs one on special event days, outtings or any day that could be potentially overwhelming. And that's usually with him telling me, "Mom, I'm on my own LAST nerve. I think I need my medicine." Now if I were take HIS medication? I'd be bouncing off the walls, racing around like a chicken with it's head cut off. Because if you do NOT have adhd? the medicine works completely opposite. Never take someone elses meds as you have NO idea how it will reacte to your own bodies chemistry and I really don't think you want to take the chance of dying to prove a point. Basically diligent yet non-interferring watching and noting of reactions of my sons personal behaviours have gotten us all through this. Mostly we deal with his diet. For the longest time while he was at school I had to provide an actual doctors note that my son was to have high calorie, high fat, high sugary snacks while at school. The medication he was on kept him from having an appetite and when he did eat he metabolized super quickly. At the of 13 he ONLY weighed 60 lbs! We HAD to get him up to 100 for age and height. For the longest time he looked like a walking skeleton and it scared me to pieces... sorry so long winded but when it comes to this? Never take their meds to see how you like has NO bearing on them. Just ask simple questions like I did. "How does it make you feel after you've taken it?", "Does it make you sick in any way?" if yes then, "How so, like where in or on your body does it hurt or bother you?" ... and not once was my son the 'zombie' I was terrified of having.

View More
56 25

My daughter is 15 and she THINKS she's an adult. I have never treated as like an adult because she still has and had a lot of learning to go through. I think there are a lot of parents that are wanting to be their childs best friend instead of being the parent and that best friend is being talked to and treated like an adult. I don't think they are ready at 13 and if you try to treat your 13 yr old like an adult I'm worried that you may regret it later. However, EVERYONE has different way of raising their children. You do what you feel is best. If you think it's better for you to be treated like an adult then go for it if your comfortable with that. But know that it may backfire.

15 0

my granddaughter is almost 9 and she thinks she's an adult,,but I don't treat her like one...remember you should always be a loving parent..and give your child attention, talk to them even if they don't wanna talk...they want to know u are there for them...tell them they can always tell you anything.

13,264 21

Seriously? Is your 13 yr old old enough to open a bank account on their own? Are they old enough to drive? Would she be able to take care of an infant? Would they know what to do in event of emergency? Are they old enough to drink? Vote?

Why on earth would you grant freedoms to someone who isn't even out of middle school?

The main problem with kids today is that wishy-washy parents who want to be their "friends" will not stand up to them and teach them the difference between children and adults, and will give in to any demand. This is not raising responsible adults, people, it's creating a batch of monsters!

A child is an adult when they have completed several steps in their lives, only ONE of which is turning 18. To treat a 13 year old like an adult is not only completely stupid (IN MY OPINION), but it is also unfair to the child that should still have 5 years before they have to be an adult.

754 24

Umm, I agree with most of your points, but I could take care of an infant with no help at 13, so could most of my friends, over night, and I did so too. There are many girls around the world who could...that honestly shouldn't be a consideration on adulthood, it is honestly a sad condition of our society that most 13 yo don't know the first thing about taking care of young children and babies. Anyway, sorry for slipping off topic a little.

21 5

When your children are paying rent in their own home, they pay their own bills, have their own jobs, and you don't have to hold their hand nor financially support them. That's when a child becomes an adult.

87 12

My 13 year likes to think he's an adult and has just as much say and privileges and whatnot as we (the parents) do and we are constantly reminding him he is our child not our roommate. But one day he was just getting way out of hand so my husband told him "fine, you want to act like your our equal, go ahead. But you have to go get a job, pay rent and utilities, and buy your own food." He wasn't really interested in being an adult like that!

0 0


45 6


754 24

Melissa Tebow - That's awesome...hubby and I have talked about what we would do if/when our boys decide they are adults, and that is exactly what we decided we would do. LOL, I wanted to be treated like an adult at 13, by the time I was 15 I wanted nothing more then to be 13 again with less responsibility and more time before I had to grow up and graduate...but I was the exception and not the rule.

View More
1 5

God no!!! As a mother of an 18 and 16 year old.. . .no!!! !3 year olds, more than 7 year olds need parents to be PARENTS!!!

2 19

I have to agree with you on that Kathryn, my teenage daughters(the oldest just turned 18) needed me to be present even more than my now 9 year olds.

5 0

I agree also. Too many kids are running around willy nilly because of the sheer fact that their parents act like their friend instead of raising thier children to responsible kids and instilling valuable morals and values.

8 66

I also agree. They say that as soon as a child hits teen years, they seem to resort back to "childish ways" and need more guidance than when they were 8 or 9. I think that this is a way for them to let us parents know that their teen knows that they are growing up but still need to know that they are able to get that extra guidance.

View More
4 35

I have six children between 12 and 17 year old. (Half of them are stepchildren). I would never treat them as an adult. Those between 15 and 17 year old can stay op for longer time but all of them I put out to play daily and treat tem as children but I talk to them as a adult. We talk about feelings and way I they should do as a say.
Mother in Iceland

118 13

The simpliest I can put know when someone is an adult is when you see they take responsiblity for their actions. Admit when they are wrong and make it right. Believe it or not there are 40 yr olds out there that still haven't become a TRUE ADULT. Thats what I explain to my son, when he doesn't want to except responsiblity for his actions. Having a mans body doesn't make you a man, you have to learn to be responsible. In that there is the makings of a Honorable man.

My son will be 13 in a couple of months, he is far from ready to be an adult...has ADHD..honor roll student. He hasn't even started puberty yet. But...he does show a lot of effort in becoming an adult by his actions. We will see if it stays that way when he goes thru and after puberty! My oldest is my daughter....She was and is AWESOME. She never tried to smoke, do drugs, drink, get pregnant or run around like she didn't know there are consquences for her actions. I am thankful for how blessed I have been! I wish you the same!

1 64

I have a couple friends who treat/treated their teens as adults with nothing but tragic results! One daughter is 19 with 2 children and that was the BEST case scenario we could have hoped for her!! Another has her 3 children walking all over her and the 17 year old is using the house like a bar/drug house/whorehouse as well as all his friends feel free to do so also 24 HOURS PER DAY!! A third friend has her 18 year old selling drugs from her house at all hours of the night. KIDS NEED AUTHORITY, EXAMPLE AND DISCIPLINE in order to learn how to do this for themselves. Allowing them to have free reighn on their lives leads to very bad decisions because they have poor peer influence and have not yet developed the skills and mentality to police themselves. They act in the heat of the moment because they do not have the ability to control the impulse. They LITERALLY have not physically developed a section of their brain that helps them do this.

15 0

this is true about the brain..scientist says something in a childs brain doesn't develop til they r 18, sometimes to 20! It's the part that tells them right from wrong...if someone had told me that a long time ago...I might have been a better mom myself...

5 14

I think the way you should ask this is.... Should a 13 year old assume more responsibilities? 13 is still young, but they do need to feel as though you trust them, and can count on them to help out, but this is not treating them like an adult, this is being a parent, and teaching them to grown into a responsible young adult when they leave your house at 18. You do however always need to keep your waves of communication open with them, and be able to answer any adult questions they ask, or they may ask someone else, and then you lose your role as a parent.

0 0

13 year-old children, want to act like adults (at least what they think adults act like) however they don't have a real concept of all the work and responsibilities that adults have. There is an episode of the Cosby Show where Clair and Cliff treat Theo like an adult and show him some of the real responsibilities like working for a living, paying bills, feeding yourself. I did this with my son one weekend and he realized he wanted to be treated like an adult with me still, cooking, cleaning, driving him around, and giving him access to my wallet. When he realized, as an adult I have MORE responsibility not less he changed his tune for a few years. He is now 15 and it's time for a refresher lesson. The truth is they get treated like adults when they ARE adults.

Profile Picture
10 0

I agree that 13 is far to young to be treated like an adult. However, each child is different in maturity level. You should start allowing them to make decisions, and sometimes mistakes, in a controlled environment where mistakes won't be life changing. As they make good decisions, get older, and gain trust, you can loosen the reins. My 18 year old has a lot more freedom than my 14 year old. Even at 18, I probably don't really treat my daughter like an adult. Yes, she is in some ways. No, she is not in others. She still needs my guidance in certain areas because she is inexperienced. She has her own checking account, a car, a job and we pretty much let her go where she wants as long as we know where and with who. However, she recently wanted to drive 7 hours to go see a concert and we told her no. We didn't feel it was safe for her at this point in her life and driving ability.

At 13, my girls had chores. They were allowed to go to sleepovers if I knew the parents well and knew they were safe there. My oldest was allowed to go to the mall for a couple of hours with friends (I dropped off and picked up) or to the movies. My youngest was not allowed to do this at 13, because she was boy crazy and a lot less mature at that age than my oldest.

I also reserve the right to check up on my kids at any time I please and they both know it. As a mom, I have a real sixth sense about when my kids are lying to me or something isn't quite right. If I feel that way, rest assured that I will show up and check in to be on the safe side.

Also, never, ever listen to your child when they tell you that ALL the other kids' moms let them do such and such. First, I don't care what other moms do. God gave my children to me because He knew I was what was best for them. I don't base my parenting on what anyone else does. Second, some of today's parents are insane and let 7th graders date boys who are driving and go on dates. No way was my 7th grader EVER going to do that. Last year, my youngest was in 8th grade, and one of the other girls was having sleepover with a boyfriend because the mother was allowing it. Needless to say, she doesn't go to that girls house ever.

The result? I feel like I did and do sit on my girls somewhat, but I also have two really good girls who are going to be good members of society and great moms in the future.

0 9

A 13 yr old is still a child mentally, emotionally, and even physicially. They don't become a "fully-matured adult" until after age 25 yr, or older. At age 13 yr, the child is just beginning to learn who they are as a person, and far from being able, or stable enough, for making adult decisions. A child of this age is still in need of strong boundaries in their life... not freedoms to live as they please. Albeit, they deserve the utmost of respect, as does everyone! If you want to destroy a child's sense of security, remove all boundaries from their life, and turn them loose. You'll watch them quickly self-destruct.
A 13 yr old will appear to begin to seperate themselves from parents, begin insisting upon more and more freedoms, and avoiding spending much time with the parents. They will even begin to become argumentive, developing matching attitudes, disrespectful, etc., but, as insane as it sounds, it's all normal, and to be expected. The child is simply "growing up", and parents must not take this phase in life as a que to stop parenting. A parent MUST be a parent...not the child's bestfriend. This is the time when parenting must become unique, and interesting, to say the least.
The Bible tells us "to raise a child in the RIGHT way, and they'll never forget how they should live". Love them more, with an open handed grip.

13 6

You should treat your child as an adult when they are adults no sooner. Respect, privacy and consideration are another thing. Your child needs time to be a child just like mine they all will grow up soon enough no point in rushing it. Take this advice my mother treated me as an adult at a young age I've been smoking since 12 and got pregnant at 14.

3 18

Definately not, they might be a teenager but that doesn't warrant them to be treated like a adult. Being a teenager (adolescent) this is the next chapter in their life from being a child,. with this stage comes changes not only with their bodies/puberty but with relationships and life choices, decisions that effect them now and into adulthood, take each day as it comes as there really is no need to rush life - its confusing enough as a child/teenager without rushing to be an adult with more responsibility.

0 16

when they show they can be responsible , my daughter showed that at 16, my husband taught her how to balance a she worked to help pay for some of her expenses, and she knew what her career was to be and now she is 40 yrs.old and is a nurse practitioner and the mother of 3. she lives a good christion life,and we are so proud of her. we always let her know she could come to us w/ any problem she had. and treated her w/respect. we never disaplined her in public or in front of her friends, hope this helps, just love them and try to remember how you would like to be treated and treat them as so. belonging to a christian church and keeping them involved w/ church teen groups really helps also

32 7

Well....I'm at this stage right now. My son will be turning 14 in November, starting high school on Tuesday and deciding he wants to play rugby!!! ALL children are different. My son has gone through soooo much already. He's an old soul. I have decided that he needs to know certain things but not all things. I believe you can talk to your child as an adult when you believe they are ready. No one else can make that decision except you. You know your child best. Personality, intelligence, and emotional stability are the things you need to base your decision on. NOT to say your child is not amazing but some kids have not been exposed to certain things. If this has not happened then PLEASE make them be children as long as possible. I have 2 children....My son was just so much more emotionally advanced than my daughter, 6, when they were the same age. But he had to be! Take your time....Children need to be children for as long as possible. I am sooo emotional on thins subject....It's hard for me to answer but I felt I needed to share. Thank you....

Profile Picture
0 5

They are not adults but that doesn't mean they can't do their own homework, laundry, pack their own lunches etc. Teaching them independence is important but treating them like adults will lead to trouble. Studies have shown the reasoning aspect of the adolescents brain is not developed in puberty hence the poor decisions they sometimes make. They need rules and guidelines set down now more then ever. Good luck!

0 0

In a word no......
Do w treat 30 year old like the elderly?
At what age should we? At the age where they ARE self sustaining adults?

Does anyone remember being 13? I do. At 13 I remember the things I thought I knew, let me list them.
1. Boys
2. Being popular
3.being cool
4. Not being lame like my responsible parents

5.convincing my parents to let me stay out past midnight (to drink & make out with 17 year old boys)
6. Tolook good in a string bikini
7. School is stupid
8. My parents are dumb, I am smarter than them

Sound like somebody u should entrust with adult responsibilities?
I. Think...........not

19 0

No. You can give a 13 year old increasingly more responsibility for themselves and teach them how to survive in the world without you but 13 year olds are still children and need guidance. Would you allow your 13 year old to make all their own decisions regarding curfew, drinking, smoking, sex, and drugs? I would provide guidelines that I expected to be followed. I might treat a 17 year old who was leaving for college in a year like an adult, so that the shock of being on their own wont be coupled with the new found freedom to "party". I guess I would want to know what you think treating them like an adult would include. Letting them decide whether or not to eat their veggies, yes. Letting them decide on curfew or whether or not to drink alcohol or have sex, no.

2 60

when the child show the respect & responsible, that goes with the demands of being an adult, he/she should be mature enough to make great choices & show that he/she can deal with the added responsibility of becoming an adult, if the parent isnt sure then do a trial experiment with the child, go to the store leave child alone, give them the responsiblity of fixing part of supper/dinner for the family, including finishing homework, other chores, etc... it the child can do this then they should get more resposibilties, but if not then go back to the drawing board & just try smaller things to get the child ready for the next experiment.

3 12

I think 98% of the posts say a resounding "NO" to the original question. At 13 the need structured freedom and explain why. The brain not being developed and it's the house rules of the parent(s).

6 6

A 13 year old is not an adult. She's not a little kids either, she's an adult-in-training and she still has a lot to learn. You are still legally responsible for her and her actions. 18 will come soon enough, and even then they still have learning to do, even though legally they are considered an adult. Treat your child intelligently, answer her questions openly and honestly. Provide latitude as she demonstrates responsibility, but remember she is still subject to peer pressure.

0 0

100 years ago a 13 year old was an adult. In many a country a 13 year old get marry, have children, and enter a world of adults. Yes they are young, but so was your great grandparents who got married at a young age. My fathers, father was married when his wife was 16 (consider an old maid) and she borne 15 children. If you look around the country 13 year olds are wise or stupid far beyond their age. 13s can get into adult trouble. SEXTING is an example where you child can be toss into jail.
Treat your 13 only as a child when you need be. Then ask yourself that when you were 13 did you want your parents to treat you as a child, when you were stupid enough to make bad mistakes.
You are there to guide your child into being a adult.

26 0

that question is so vague! I guess it depends upon what treating them like an adult means to you. I think children should be treated with dignity and respect, given age appropriate chances at independence and opportunities to make choices, but they are not adults at 13.
There is no magic age that you should start treating them differently! It should be a gradual increase of responsibilities

3 17

The world around us has "grown up" in so many ways then we can begin to handle compared to years ago when we were small. I enjoyed fishing, berry picking, sock hops, catching jellyfish and the I got older I tried what I could get away with I guess...however, what I do remember most about the things I tried was that I wasn't very informed, drawing my own conclusions as to how I ended up and what I thought about it. I entered the life as an adult at the young age of 16 and though I turned out OK I still wish that I had known a little more. As a result I do share with my children information, not all of coarse, about things that they inquire about and some that they don't. We can never predict the future but most of us can make a calculated guess I'm's technologies that most kids have or want because their friends have has added new light to the importance of educating your kids and sadly a lot is of "adult" nature....I guess in much simpler terms.... if I teach my children how to cook a 3 coarse course at a time...they will be fully equipped to handle their dinner guests by the time they are old enough, and not forgetting to take the time for love, hugs and kisses and reassuring them that no matter how old...we are there for them!!!

2 41

Our children depend on us for too much. The rules that governs us all depends on us to treat our children like children. We -the responsible adults are the ones held responsible for our children under the age of 18 yrs of age. Why ask this question? What is the meaning behind it? Do you require your 13 yr old to work a full time job? Pay the majority of the household bills and their name is on the lease, the mortgage, utility bill etc... if not then the answer is a flat out NO. We have to be careful here, children respect parents who act like parents, and that means being responsible and having the mindset to know you are the adult.

17 12

I remember being 13. I was accomplished in subjects like 9th grade Algebra and Science, but when it came to knowing how to be an adult -- I wasn't capable. I've taught high schoolers - ages 14-18. They begin to know how to act like adults, at times, but, their emotions are like firecrackers. They feel everything passionately and want to act on their feelings without any reflection. Please don't believe that your teenager is ready to be an adult because they want to be. You can help them make the transition, gradually, if you have built up good communication with them in the past. Even kids in their first year of college are known to make poor decisions: go out and drink beer with their friends, instead of completing the homework they are assigned to help them pass their courses. At that age, theyshould be ready to understand there's consequences for their actions -- and sometimes they have to learn "the hard way."
My daughter wanted a new car for her 16th birthday. Her girlfriend got a new Camaro, and, 6 months later, the boyfriend totalled the car. This is not an unusual story. It is unusual that no one was killed in the wreck. My daughter can now buy her own cars, because she completed college and earned a really good job as a computer analyst. But, maybe she would not have been able to do all that if I hadn't held firm when she was a teenager.
To answer your question, I believe you may start treating your children like adults when they show they can keep a job, help pay for their education, or a roof over their head, or food on their plate. Some kids that age might be 17, others - it may be 20, but definitely not 13.

4 0

In my new book, What Do You Expect? She's a Teenager! A Hope and Happiness Guide for Moms with Daughter ages 11-19, I talk about creating a climate of respect and that it all starts at home. As a psychotherapist and Mom of two very grown young adults, who are good citizens and good eggs, and living away from home, Todd 28 and Samara 22, I can't imagine expecting my thirteen year old child to behave "like an adult." Our 13 year olds can behave impulsively, not think things through, can have tantrums, and be extremely impatient. Please don't be fooled by the look of psedo-maturity or that she/he has turned 13. Even the most grown up "old soul" at 13 is still emotionally ill equpted to handle adult responsibilies like fully taking care of him/herself both physically, financially, emotionally and intellectually.
Maybe it's the word adult? Children develop at different paces. I think perhaps giving her a bit more privileges now that she's a teenager needs to be measured by what out kids are into and up to expecially on the internet, facebook and their cell phones. Have all of her passwords and monitor. So I would continue to be her doting fingers on the pulse mom who works at being attuned to her child growing up. For more advice, vignettes from my practice, stories from the heart, and conversation starters take a look at page. My book in available at B&N. Good Luck and Blessings.

4 0

The most wonderful experience I am having right now is seeing my 22 years old daughter moved into Manhattan in a sublet, working with children, asst teaching dance, singing, gynastics, doing birthday parties, working with Mommie and Me programs and auditoning at the same time. She's smart determined and ambitious. When Samara was 13, nine years ago was very different than what it is now, although she and her girlfriends wanted to be "treated llike adults" but couldn't fully understand what that meant. For our 13 years olds then and today it's more independence when they have the need for it. Staying up later at night, hanging out at the Mall, pushing the envelope to some degree. My daughter and I are very close and have worked hard at it. Being emotionally accesible, caring, empathically listening and loving her unconditionally has made her feel, see and believe that I am approachable. She ran and continues to run lots of angst and joyful experiences and questions by me and her Dad. Couln't ask for more, could I?

0 25

Would u treat an adult as a 13 yr old?

33 29

No I don't believe a 13 yr old should be treated as an adult. I began treating my own children, as adults, when they either moved out of my house or became 21 and therefore legally responsible for themselves.

I believe teenagers should be given more freedom, but stricter rules along with consequences for their actions, in preparation for adulthood. I tell my baby, who is 16, that the streets will never have love for her like I do. I also lovingly remind her that "home IS the place where she should make her mistakes and recover from them!"

0 6

Not at thirteen. They are children that needs so much guidance, discipline and structure in their lives, that will guide and enable them to make informed and good choices when the time comes. I've seen the effects of allowing too much when children are not quite ready for that responsibility. At 25, my son still lacks the basic decision-making skills. Although he's not aggressive, he doesn't respect authority, have very little consideration for others in a work-environment, and always gets fired from his jobs. It's always the bosses' whose wrong. He understands that his attitude needs to change, but I'm not sure whether he's willfull or not able to change. At the age of 15, he attended an adolescent centre for troubled teens, but even there, he behaved smarter than the counsellor.

10 0

Absolutely not!
Ginger says it all, and says it correctly, as do all those who agree with her.
There are those who would suggest that it's alright to treat a 13 year old like an adult if you feel they are mature. They are what I like to call "WRONG." People who suggest it is proper to treat a teen as an adult are simply making excuses for their own bad parenting choices.
There is a reason that children are not considered adults until 18! Even then they make some pretty stupid decisions, but there has to be a point where they need to start learning how to stand on their own two feet without their parent's interference, even while living at home. It should most definitely NOT be when they are 13 though.
Using the immature behavior of some adults is not an excuse for treating supposedly "mature" teens as adults.
And P.S......there are many people who think their child is an exceptionally mature person for their age. Number one, they are still a child regardless of how mature the parent thinks they are. Number two, other people, who are not prejudiced by proud parenthood, can see more clearly that the child is not as mature as the parents think they are.

3 0

Add a commentI think most of you are taking the question the wrong way..I dont think it is meant as "an be making choices of an adult... I have a 13 year old and I am teaching him how to be a responsible adult, I let him work ( cut grass for people, clean yards etc.) to make money, to taech him if you want something you need to work 4 it. I have talked to him about sex, because everyone else is you dont need to. I have explained to him if you want the finer things in life you need to further your education, but if you choose to have sex, you will support that child, you may need to quit school to support your child and get a ged or go to night school, they are on their way to becoming an adult and need to be taught how to handle the decisions before things might happen, yes we r responsible for our children and we need to be there to make sure they are making the right choices, teaching them/treating them like an adult is great if you want a great adult child..that doesnt mean let them take over your household, it just means teach them how to be an adult

0 7

My oldest daughter is 14. She, at age 13, helped with the younger sisters. She helped without being asked, do cleaning and other chores. When she sees something that needs to be done, she does it. We let her be in charge of who does what chore. She does well, and is fair. She also asked to be the one to put the youngest in bed after her bath, and get her ready for bed. She is a VERY responsible 14 year old. All of the responsibilities she has is ones she has asked for. This summer she is doing voluntary community service (as recommended by a guidance counselor to help her eventually get into a good college) she also graduated her 8th grade class in the top 7 of over 60 kids. She had a 95.618 average for the combined years 3-8th. She won several academic awards at the ceremony. She is extremely mature for her age, so I treat her as if she is much older than she is. She is an amazing young woman. IMO, it depends on the teen in question. The more mature they act, and the more responsible they are, treat them accordingly, the more immature and irresponsible, the same. I believe a teen with good values and responsibility level, should be treated with more respect should have more freedoms. My daughter will get up when we are out as a family eating, and carry a tray or open doors for the elderly or disabled. She once at a buffet restaurant got up and went and helped an elderly woman in a wheel chair get her food, before I could do so myself. She shows the maturity level of person a few years older than her, so why not treat her the way she acts?

2 0

Sure! Let them get out of the house, educate themselves and get a job! Some countries they are forced to. Well what can't be said that already hasn't -starting with Ginger. But if you sincerely mean that if my kid seems to be more older soul and adult like and almost shuns away from being and doing silly kid like things that most others his age do.then I see your plight. I can say this only from what have been told by others who had some things work and somethings they wished they had done. Allow your 13 year old to develop on their own, encourage them but don't force them to be their own self. Love them and realize that yes they are still a child your perfect child just as if the opposite behavior was true. Even if its different from yours or your husbands personality. And allow them to be a kid as much as possible and remember as "mature" adults we still like kid-like things or escape from reality in a positive sense like a good movie or amusement park or riding a bike or swinging on a swing. I can't relate exactly but my oldest daughter was very child like but at the same time enjoyed adult interests (not adult bad things) like museums arts, volunteering at early age,etc. She is now at 23 just graduated as a doctor of Physical therapy and engaged. She still does kid like stuff but did not care for all the lets party , let's binge drink, friends with benefits hang out thing. It didn't appeal to her as a teen or young adult. She said she loved getting out of high school and past her first 3 years or so of college because she felt she was stuck dealing with these kids who wanted to stay immature and forced to be with- like roomates or kids next door partying puking, bringing in guys to dorm,etc. (By junior year she had more choices and could get away from that). My other kids were more attracted to some of that more mischevious "exploring" (but npot out of control) and came to their senses in the more typical - oh this is not as big as a deal as I thought realization. Support the child in exploring but always remember you are the parent and they are the child. Also things seem to eventually even out as years go by (too quickly) and later year- teen hormones could change everything. If you are talking a kid who wants to experiment drive, hang out with older kids and drink and have "adult-like" relationships and sexual activity, then you shouldn't waste time getting help and support for them and you. Many inner city kids are faced being forced with this and believe it or not it is happening in the burbs. Some will be quick to blame the current social media marketing and exploitation of reality shows, music culture, etc. Maybe, as it comes tenfold and 10x faster than even kids 10 years ago were exposed to. It certainly doesn't make our jobs easier, and even if you are lucky or blessed to be somewhat successful raising your kid they and you constantly have to be prepared look out for the others they are subjected to in and out school.

View More

Join Circle of Moms

Sign up for Circle of Moms and be a part of this community! Membership is just one click away.

Join Circle of Moms