The Infantilization of Teens & Young Adults in American Society

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  1. gmwilliams profile image84
    gmwilliamsposted 4 years ago
    In the book THE CASE AGAINST ADOLESCENCE by  Dr. Robert Epstein, it is vehemently argued that American society infantilize teenagers. Dr. Epstein contends that although teenagers are adults, they are viewed & treated like children by parents, schools, & the general society.  Dr. Epstein maintains that teenagers are far more capable of handling adult responsibilities although many parents refuse to acknowledge this.  Dr. Epstein contends that the infantilization of teenagers & young adults lead many to acute depression & other mental illness.  Dr. Epstein maintains that teenagers & young adults should be treated & respected as adults. He elucidates that the phenomena of adolescence & teenager are very recent ones.  He reveals that until recently, teenagers were viewed & treated as adults.  Your thoughts?

    1. MizBejabbers profile image87
      MizBejabbersposted 4 years agoin reply to this

      I have to concur with Dr. Epstein. I think this treatment of children and adolescences began with Dr. Spock's book of the 1960s. As a result, parents stopped being parents and became "best friends" with their children. Peers, not parents, mind you. The leader dropped himself or herself down to the level of the children and ceased to lead. The child, in effect, became lost without a leader. My generation is to blame. But I didn't treat my children that way.

      I'm from the WWII-early Boomer generation, and we definitely were not coddled. We were taught to fight our own battles, including the fistfights with bullies. Our parents gave us curfews and expected us to keep them. Discipline was the key. If we sassed back, we could expect the "board of education" to be used on our backsides. But it wasn't just parents.

      Another issue became discipline, or the lack thereof, in schools. One African-American educator told my friend, who was having trouble with her teen-age boys, that he thought a downside to integration was that white parents didn't want black teachers disciplining their children, and likewise, black parents didn't want white parents discipling their children. He believed that led to a lack of discipline and learning in schools. Maybe he had a point.

      I'm sure there are other reasons that parents developed cocooning around their children, who became untouchable by others. Some psychiatrist always came up with an excuse for a child's bad behavior. Children discovered they wouldn't be held responsible for their unacceptable behavior. Psychiatrists were telling them it was the parents' fault, which added more to the guilt trip of parents, who then responded with more coddling to hopefully be a better parent. A vicious cycle.

      Now the country is reaping what has been sown, but I'm not sure that anyone has the answer.

  2. The0NatureBoy profile image57
    The0NatureBoyposted 4 years ago

    I fully concur with Dr. Epstein, but he started too late for analyzing those effects, he should have began at birth and follower through.
    Because parents force their children to reject feeling the atmosphere by keeping them in blankets even in summer, the children never have the chance to learn if it wants to accept the c hanging weather conditions. If we have noticed, babies and totalers generally will kick off the covers but parents' unwillingness to accept cold will override their instinctive guide for there parents' conditioned into them guide.

    From a Christian perspective, Jesus said "the king of God is within" us in Luke 17:20-21, that means our instincts is the voice of God, thus, our parents are teaching us to disobey God and become obedient to man. Also, that is the cause of his telling us we "must be Born Again" to enter the kingdom of heaven, our minds has to be directed from within us, by what we call instincts, before we obtain the "acute depression & other mental illness" that began at birth.

    As a matter of fact, we could say it began while in our mother's womb where we constantly HEARD our mother's complaints and thoughts concerning her conditions. If they were server enough that would cause such depression in the child. It is for that reason I am thankful for the bodiless voice that told me last about 6 months that I "may as well be quiet, no one is coming to get you" after scream-crying for someone to get me out of a rails up baby bed. That is why I've always been wondering why things are the way they are for as long as I can remember and only living the life of a nomad has provided me with; along with being curious.

  3. TessSchlesinger profile image60
    TessSchlesingerposted 4 years ago

    I agree.

    Let's take a case in point.

    Virginia Roberts was, apparently, 15 years old when she was working at Mar-a-lago. She was approached by Maxwell to work as a Masseuse and promised international travel, etc. When she was introduced to Epstein, she was told the exact score.

    This was no 'trafficking' of a child. She was a working 15 year old working, and in all her stories, nobody ever explains where her parents were, and why she was working full time, and why she was available to go traveling, etc.

    What is true is that she knew the score. She made a decision. She was not 'groomed.' She was greedy. She wanted to see the world. She wanted the glamour. She wanted the money.

    A century ago, women were frequently married at that age. When I started work in 1971, I was shocked that the receptionist was 21 and not married. I was accustomed to girls getting married at 17 or 18 years old.

    I am, however, not sure that the depression is caused by them being treated as kids. I think the depression is caused by a number of factors - all of which have to do with the system and the society we live in.

    I think that the increasing years of required education have more to do with young people getting married older. I also see no reason for university and college level education to be taught at K12 level.

    Kids are more than adequate at being able to start learning skills by the time they are 13 years old.


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