In virtually every culture in the world up until the last fifty or so years you were considered an adult by the age of eighteen (sometimes even before). It is a pathetic excuse and a shame that these adults can say "We're just kids" and be allowed to shirk any kind of responsibility or act in unacceptable ways.
I don't care if you're thirteen or thirty, accept responsibility for your actions. And parents, RAISE your kids to be adults, not children in adult bodies.
Biologically most of us are adults by the age sixteen, and so called "primitive" cultures accepted this by having rites of passage, after which the parents would no longer take responsibility for their child's actions.
Get rid of the young offenders act, lower the voting age and drinking age, and stop making excuses. Treat them like children, and they will act like children. Teach them to be adults and they will surprise you.
"There's laws that say a 25 year old can't drive a car, because they are too immature!"
We shouldn't have to have rules that prevent an age from renting a car considering there are "farm kids" who drive and handle heavy machinery that would baffle the rest of us. Culture has babied us, coddled us, told us that "we're not ready yet". We should have been getting ourselves and our kids out the door and training them how to be responsible citizens, not acting like their best friends. You can be your kids best friend when they leave home on their own, until then you are supposed to be teaching your kids how to survive without you.
I am my son's father first and foremost. I will treat their hearts and minds with great compassion, but I will have to show them "tough love", a love that will be harder on me than on them because I too will want to say "be careful, you're not ready" when really I mean "I'm not ready."
"We don't finish developing until we reach twenty five!"
"Finishing" developing and being competent are not the same thing. We technically never finish developing, but there is a stage where we can say "this is not a child" and biologically speaking, that age is well below 25. Culturally speaking, with all the coddling and behavioral setbacks in place, we have taken that "adult" age and raised it.
Pocahontas was 22 when she died.
Alexander the Great was 22 when he invaded the Achaemenid empire.
Joan of Arc was eighteen when she led France.
"Those were different times!"
Humans haven't changed much. The only difference between now and then is technology. We like to think we are advanced, but we haven't even grown past a government system developed over 2,000 years ago. (Not that it's wrong mind you. Just that if there was something better shouldn't we have figured it out by now?)
Here's a list of what constitutes a true adult in my opinion:
1.Realizing that maturity is an ongoing process, not a state, and continuously striving for self improvement.
2.Able to manage personal jealousy and feelings of envy.
3.Has the ability to listen to and evaluate the viewpoints of others.
4.Maintains patience and flexibility on a daily basis.
5.Accepts the fact that you can't always win, and learns from mistakes instead of whining about the outcome.
6.Does not overanalyze negative points, but instead looks for the positive points in the subject being analyzed.
7.Is able to differentiate between rational decision making and emotional impulse.
8.Understands that no skill or talent can overshadow the act of
9.Capable of managing temper and anger.
10.Keeps other people's feeling in mind and limits selfishness.
11.Being able to distinguish between 'needs' and 'wants'.
12.Shows confidence without being overly arrogant.
13.Handles pressure with self composure.
14.Takes ownership and responsibility of personal actions.
15.Manages personal fears.
16.Able to see the various shades of gray between the extremes of black and white in every situation.
17.Accepts negative feedback as a tool for self improvement.
18.Aware of personal insecurities and self-esteem.
19.Able to separate true love from transitory infatuation.
20.Understanding that open communication is the key to progression.
In our modern North American society I am hard pressed to find people over thirty who have these qualities. Hell, I think I'm lacking a couple of important ones.
This shouldn't be the case. We should be teaching our children to have almost all of these before they reach eighteen!
H.G. Wells may have been right when it came to the future of our species.