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To think children are more immature now

(130 Posts)
lesley33 Wed 28-Sep-11 23:44:22

I am surprised all the time about how immature some children and teenagers are and how little some can do for themselves. AIBU in thinking this is because children/teenagers are so often over protected these days and so naturally take longer to grow up?

worraliberty Wed 28-Sep-11 23:49:49

Yep I totally agree.

It never fails to amaze me the amount of MNetters for example who think some kids as old as 4yrs of age, shouldn't be told off for stealing/swearing/being cheeky....because "they're only baybees"

Some aren't even expected to attempt tasks like taking their plates to the kitchen after eating...or even picking up after themselves.

A little responsibility and belief can go a long long way with children.

ilovesooty Wed 28-Sep-11 23:55:20

I agree. Someone on a course I was on today told me that her 19 year old son who had just started an evening job at Pizza Hut had been warned to catch the right bus, iron his work trousers, etc. An hour after he was due to begin work he texted her to say he couldn't find his trousers and didn't know which bus to catch so could she please come home and sort it out!

squeakytoy Wed 28-Sep-11 23:56:49

I absolutely agree. At 14 I could cook any meal, was working part time 5 nights a week, and could get anywhere in the UK on public transport, unaided.

TipOfTheSlung Wed 28-Sep-11 23:57:10

Stark contrast to the why don't parents hold their childrens hands on pavements thread

festi Thu 29-Sep-11 00:02:32

Im going against the thread. my dd and many dcs I know at a very young age are far more indipendant and steet wise than I or my friends where at their age.

Im talking very young children under 10 so maybe for teenagers and over 10s that may be the case, my oldest Nephew is 21 and very immature. maybe there has been a full turnaround now though. Id say my 13 yearold nephew was more informed and indipendant than my 21 yr old nephew.

But mine and my sisters children are very self sufficient and knowledgable at under 10.

Remotecontrolduck Thu 29-Sep-11 00:04:09

Totally agree, especially the 16-18 age group I find. So often I hear/see them refered to as 'children', really?! Ok, they're not fully adult, but 'children', seriously? A 16 year old can sign up to the army, have kids, get married....

Something like 'young adult' or at least 'teenager' seems more appropriate, they're still minors yes, but 'child' seems totally wrong.

Some people seem to think they're kids right until 18 and give them no responsibilty at all until then, then wonder why they can't cope with it...hmm

lesley33 Thu 29-Sep-11 00:21:46

festi - I do know what you mean. I think in some areas children are more streetwise than I was. But I think overall, most children are more immature.

When I lived abroad for example,it took me time to get used to seeing 5 year olds make their way to school alone, often using public transport. This was just expected there - in the German part of Switzerland. And tbh the young children there seemed much more mature and capable than lots of kids over here.

festi Thu 29-Sep-11 00:26:49

I dont think you can be streetwise or indipendant without an adequate level of maturity.

lesley33 Thu 29-Sep-11 00:37:20

I agree. What I meant was in some geographical areas - very urban - some children are more streetwise and mature.

But I think most children are more immature. And I think this is because they are over protected and not asked to take any/much responsibility.

festi Thu 29-Sep-11 00:56:03

ok yes I get you, in streetwise what you say is exactly what I mean. I see streetwise more of being informed and aware than actaully being out there necessarily experiencing things first had. for instance drugs, traveling etc. I knew nothing but took many, but my dcs are very informed and probably less likely to take any. my teenage nephew is more likely to cope with traveling on public transport than my grown up dn for instance and the grown up one has been more sheltered and had things done for him and has been more protected, my grown up nephew got a lift every where and my teenage nephew cycles his bike every where for instance, or is able to make a meal or snack. thier is the same age gap between him and me as there is between him and my teenage nephew...if that makes sence?? I think parants have relaised this cotton wool generation and are going more the other way.

JLK2 Thu 29-Sep-11 01:21:14

IMO we are going to hell in a handcart, and the road to hell is paved with good intentions. Children need to have some risk in their lives for them to grow up.

IMO it is down to parents being older. When the average age of a parent was early 20s people were still not so afraid of the world, now it is early 30s people are terrified and mollycoddle their "precious babies" so much that their development is affected.

pigletmania Thu 29-Sep-11 08:47:42

I agree and disagree. Whilst I agree that more parents tend to helicopter and mollycoddle, hence the popularity of the term 'precious first born' which can be applied to second and third borns. More is expected of young children academically, children seem to be more mature socially, cognitively from a very early age. I notice this as my dd 4 has a dev delayof 2 years with particular difficulties in social communication and speech and Lang and understanding. 

IloveJudgeJudy Thu 29-Sep-11 09:00:21

I agree somewhat and I have to say that the schools are sort of promoting this. For example, I went to a meeting at school to tell us how the DC should study for GCSE. We, the parents, were told to check their books every morning to make sure they are taking the correct ones to school. I went to another meeting last night about Year 8 and we were told to ensure they are doing the correct homework and doing it properly!

Imo by the time DC are at secondary school they should be doing all that for themselves and taking the consequences - detentions, etc.

I'm as bad, though. DH and I were discussing about what household chores we used to have to do at DC's ages (all teenagers). We didn't have dishwashers when we were young so had to do all dishwashing, laying table, etc., but our own don't do that. I do try and enforce a rota, but that gets changed due to after school activities and DH and I end up doing a lot ourselves. We moan about it, but aren't strict enough. I know that our parents were, though.

spatchcock Thu 29-Sep-11 09:04:35

What huge generalisations about a whole generation. Do you realise people have been saying the same thing for decades about the generation coming up behind them? Also that they are ruder, no manners, blah blah blah.

HardCheese Thu 29-Sep-11 09:09:31

I don't have children myself yet, so no first-hand information. I am an academic, though, so I spend time with an awful lot of 18-21 year olds, and, yes, in the decade I've been doing this, they do seem to have become considerably more juvenile. I'm thinking about quite concrete things, like the rise in numbers who bring their parents with them to see me in an office hour, or who get their parents to phone me to appeal an exam result, or who seem absolutely at sea when it's clear no one is going to make them attend lectures or meet deadlines, that it's different to school. I once had a finalist apologise for missing one of my 9 am lectures, with the excuse that her mother had forgotten to phone her (from another city!) as an alarm call to make sure she got up in time, as she usually did! shock

bringmesunshine2009 Thu 29-Sep-11 09:16:05

DH does not want to make DS hold his hand for fear of invoking tantrum. I know, I know. When he is with me, I have him by the hand, and if he bolts/twists free is walked/dragged by anarm. Cue more tutting from the same peple who tutted because his hand wasn't held. When we go out as family it consists of me: "FGS DH! hold his hand, he is interrupting people and may run in the road" "Don't tell me what to do with my son I SAID I AM WATCHING HIM" "What?! Watching him put himself in danger? He's 23 month ffs, oh god, all the other parents are staring at me for not holding his hand" "DH I don't care what they think" "I bloody do" DH picks up DS1 and carries him "NOW he's not getting his 3 hours exercise a day". AGGGRRRAH

Everyone is more infantile these days, adults, children, teenagers. I see BIL (23) being treated like an infant and it makes me furious. Especially when MIL complains, 'he won't take responsibility for himself'.

horribledinners Thu 29-Sep-11 09:17:16

Hardly surprising when you realise how their supposed role models (adults) behave most of the time.

DesperatelySeekingSedatives Thu 29-Sep-11 09:37:59

YANBU some of the temps we had at my old work place had to be seen to be believed! Coming in late, mums ringing up for them when they were "sick". Hell, one mother rang up to have a go at the manager after he sacked her DD for having a shitty attitude and coming in stinking of booze from the night before. This girl was 19! shock

Another place I worked in had a mum phone in to enquire whether we would be ringing her 18 year old son to tell him if he had a temp christmas job or not. I could have sworn 18 and 19 year olds are adults hmm

teafanatic003 Thu 29-Sep-11 09:40:26

children are given less responsibility I think then in like say the 50's etc

teafanatic003 Thu 29-Sep-11 09:44:15

Then again i am a teen of the 00's where huge amounts of (mainly girls) were young carers this level of responsibility wouldnt have existed in bygone decades as most of the people they were caring for would have been institutionalised so its really sticks and roundabouts.

booyhoo Thu 29-Sep-11 09:46:55

children, immature? never!! hmm the clue is in the name children they are supposed

to be childish. i fr one am happy for my dcs to stay young and carefree for as long as they want. plenty of time for the to be grown up when they are,er....grown ups!
i bet you arethe same sortthat complains about chldren growing up too fast when you see them with mobiles.

CogitoErgoSometimes Thu 29-Sep-11 09:54:30

I think there are mixed messages going out to children. On the one hand, the 'you are just a baby' phenomena of eliminating so much risk and responsibility for them, that they become lazy, unable to self-start and too dependent on others. On the other hand the pressure amongst their peers to get into cosmetics, fashion, Facebook accounts, sex etc. The danger is ending up with kids that think they're very grown up in a superficial way, want all the benefits of being adults at a relatively young age, expect others to clear up their mess if it goes wrong, and who are very ill-equipped to cope with the nitty gritty of independent life. 'Kidults' I think they're called.

niceguy2 Thu 29-Sep-11 09:55:43

Totally agree and its a real big bug bear of mine.

For your normal average child they need to be given some room to make their own mistakes and make decisions for themselves. When they fall over, they need to learn to get up. I think we're all too preoccupied with safety at all costs and lose sight of the fact our main job is to teach them to be responsible adults.

I'm sure my neighbour thinks I'm a bad parent because I let my 4yr old stepson cycle around on the street on his own. To me I live on a safe cul-de-sac. There are always kids around and everyone drives slowly. It's not the sort of place you can drive fast even if you wanted to. But he loves the freedom and is happiest peddling around with a toy rocket in one hand, other hand on the handlebars. My neighbour's son is the same age, at the same school but isn't trusted to play in the street without one parent stood there hovering.

I've adopted the same approach with my 15yr old daughter and she's a level headed mature teenager whom many people ask her to babysit for.

If you mollycoddle them then you can't be surprised when they grow up and are immature.

crazygracieuk Thu 29-Sep-11 10:03:14

I agree.

Obviously there is no need for kids to work down the mines or anything like that but in general I think that our society is making kids less mature by expecting less from them and not allowing them to take risks and make mistakes.

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