Why do parents expect children to act like adults?

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  1. peeples profile image90
    peeplesposted 11 years ago

    Why do parents expect children to act like adults?

    Do we put too many standards on our children and in return take away some of the child in them?


  2. SidKemp profile image84
    SidKempposted 11 years ago

    I would suggest that the main reason is that the parents do not accept themselves as whole people - including their own childlike, and even childish, qualities. I find that those who accept themselves do well in accepting their children.

  3. profile image0
    Deb Welchposted 11 years ago

    Funny as it may seem , I think kids today are very mature, smart, worldly and act like little adults.  It could be a chuckle or scary.  I wonder if parents are totally to blame for it.  Media, school, friends?  In many ways they are missing important childhood years of play and being children.  They are skipping what we had for the most part. The world has swept them up to a fast pace of the 2000's.  They are survivors or will be.

  4. edhan profile image37
    edhanposted 11 years ago

    At times, parents do hope that their children understand how adults feel and react to situation. If a child can understand how adult to react in situation then they will not be naive to believe in things that adults know being not true. We may want our children to act like adults so they will not be dupe easily.

  5. MizBejabbers profile image88
    MizBejabbersposted 11 years ago

    Since I am a grandparent, I can’t speak for rearing today’s children, but I will say that we didn’t expect our children to be adults. However, we expected them to have manners, to be respectful to their elders, to be courteous and polite to others around them, and to follow the golden rule. At home they could play in the dirt and be kids, but they still had to clean themselves up, make their beds, and wash the dishes. My son is rearing his children the same way. I was a stay-at-home mother, and none of this soccer mom BS was around then. Some of the things I read from child psychologists and self-styled experts seem to think that children should be treated as pets. I think this instills guilt in otherwise responsible parents. I think maybe our attitudes toward child rearing have been skewed by these “experts.”  Children are not pets and should not be treated as such. If they are not taught to accept adult responsibilities when they are young, they will be lost when they have to enter the adult world.

  6. Express10 profile image85
    Express10posted 11 years ago

    Expecting a child to mind their manners and be considerate of those around them is very important. That aside some parents do want their children to act like adults and in some cases it boils down to selfishness of the parents. I have noticed that some parents are impatient and do want the children to be less of a bother in certain ways or specific situations. Yet they haven't put in the time and effort it takes to teach the child right from wrong. Some of these parents lack the mental tools to parent in more positive ways that benefit both child and parent, so they just wish that the child would act more like an adult without teaching them how to be a considerate, well-mannered, fun-loving kid. Childhood should not be over scheduled or restricted to preparing for adulthood. Some kids aren't allowed to be kids or taught how to mind their manners.

  7. Savio Dawson profile image92
    Savio Dawsonposted 11 years ago

    There are two reasons for this:

    1. Children follow the examples of their parents and therefore, children who have had parents with a lot of expectations from them, grow up to be like them and in turn have a lot of expectations from their children.

    2. The second reason is acceptance. When we are happy and full of love, we overlook our child's mistakes but when we are in a foul mood, even the smallest of mistakes appear to be a grave error and then the child is at the receiving end. This implies that if we learn to be happy, which depends on the level of acceptance we have for ourselves, then we will automatically accept our children the way they are.

    Since, we unintentionally, are hypocrites most of the time, we find it okay to have a foul mood but detest our children having one. So accept and move on!

  8. dghbrh profile image80
    dghbrhposted 11 years ago

    Some times it happens but I always prefer not to do it. Taking the childhood from a childhood is very bad as it will never come back again. So i prefer my son to enjoy his childhood at his will but keep a tab on him. Me and my husband never wish him to behave like an adult.
    Thank you for the interesting question here.

  9. tuteramanda profile image61
    tuteramandaposted 11 years ago

    children should be act like what they should be at their age,act mature too early is not a ideal mode .it will eventually hurt your children

  10. profile image0
    MIMI-LOGOSposted 11 years ago

    As parents we tend to expect our children to act as adult to keep them from falling in culprits and facing obstacles. However, we forget they are not adults, their level of maturity when it comes to perception is not as ours. We also fail to realize it took us awhile to have the wisdom and revelation we have as adults, so, whilel instilling wisdom, directions, and truth, we must let foolish and folly find its way out of their hearts, and it is a process.

  11. fpherj48 profile image59
    fpherj48posted 11 years ago

    peeples.....I hear you.  Many parents do put an enormous amount of responsibilities upon their "little ones," and have somewhat unrealistic expectations of children, before they seem old enough and/or mature enough to handle certain things.   I'd have to guess that it is a sign of the times. 
    I accept that kids, in general, continue to come into the world, more and more intelligent and advanced, to say nothing of the speed at which they progress.  As a Great-grandmother, in 2013, children never cease to totally AMAZE me. 
    While I must admit that I hesitate to encourage so much "grown-up," behavior and attitude in very young kids (IMO....under 12)....their parents accuse me of "babying," them. (this is a god-given RIGHT of grandparents!!)
    The world has changed so very much.  Family situations, dynamics & lifestyle are fast-paced, with fuller schedules and attitudes to match.  Pushing and/or rushing a child to be more adult-like, appears to be the way of parenting, today, I suspect, for numerous reasons.
    The reality is, although it appears that kids are "handling" it quite well, I become concerned.  I can't help but feel that too much, too soon, may have some unpleasant repercussions, in the long run.   Is enough thought and consideration being given to nurturing the "child," during the actual child stage?
    Each child is unique, of course and hopefully, parents are attuned to their own child's limits, abilities and emotional wellness.
    Teaching responsibility & independence are vital in raising children properly.  It is just as important for these lessons to be introduced to our children, age & ability appropriate.   I fully appreciate your question, as an acutely aware Mom!  I applaud you as well.

    1. gmwilliams profile image86
      gmwilliamsposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      Such profound wisdom, I totally concur with you.

  12. suzettenaples profile image89
    suzettenaplesposted 11 years ago

    I don't.  Yes, children are raised to bebehave in acceptable adult ways.  As a teacher I role modeled the behaviors you mention.  That's why students loved my classroom.  As students, children were not always able to exhibit those behaviors, but they learned how to deal with the lesser behaviors and what to do to change their attitudes.  It all is in the role models they have at home and in the classroom.  My students were not punished but gently nudged toward the acceptable behaviors.  Was I successful with every child?  No, but the majority of them can learn from good examples.

  13. stanwshura profile image70
    stanwshuraposted 11 years ago

    Those parents with said expectations should not be parents, at LEAST until the ead up and internalize a little Piaget, and the basics of human development.

    1. gmwilliams profile image86
      gmwilliamsposted 6 years agoin reply to this

      A+++, well put!

  14. gmwilliams profile image86
    gmwilliamsposted 6 years ago


    All this depends upon the parents' educational, socioeconomic, & familial background.  Educated parents from solidly middle, upper middle, & upper class backgrounds realize that children will be children & don't expect children to be mini-adults.  They encourage their children to have an explorative childhood.  Although they motivate their children to be better people, such children still have the license to be children. As a subcategory to this, parents of small families want their children to be children & provide their children with myriad avenues to be normative children.  Parents of 1-2 children usually don't expect their children to be adults, they know that they are children.

    Less educated parents from lower, working, & lower middle class backgrounds are more harsher in their parenting practices.  They see their children as little adults(in the negative sense).  They demand, even expect their children to be adults as soon as possible.  Children in such environments assume adult responsibilities early in life.  They oftentimes are expected to be adults to help parents w/their responsibilities.  Also, these parents have large to very large families which means that children in these circumstances have shorter childhoods in order to help supplement their parents' meager lifestyle.  Poorer parents aren't indulgent in terms of giving their children normative childhoods.  They feel that normative childhoods are luxuries, oftentimes an unrealistic ones. They want their children to be adults & are quite unforgiving if the latter misses the adult mark.


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