At what age are children no longer considered children?

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  1. leroy64 profile image65
    leroy64posted 10 years ago

    At what age are children no longer considered children?

    I ask because, here in Texas, you can sign contracts at 18 but you can't drink or smoke until 21.

    I don/t think it is the same around the world.

    I know parents tend not to see their own children as grown up, so I am talking about everyone else, or society, or whatever word you use.

  2. Iontach profile image69
    Iontachposted 10 years ago

    In my opinion everyone is a child until they reach the age of 21! Generally people under that age are just so immature. Hopefully I'm not generalising too much

    1. NitNurses profile image61
      NitNursesposted 10 years agoin reply to this

      I agree, I'm 32 and when I see an 18 year old they just seem so young, naive, and immature. 21 should be the legal age for it all, once they've had some minor bumps and bruises and learned a few things along the way.

  3. duffsmom profile image60
    duffsmomposted 10 years ago

    Legally in the US 18 which at my age (61) is way too young.   I would be more comfortable with the legal age being 21.  Maturity-wise I think it varies among individuals.  some are capable young adults at 18 and others (many many) are not at the age of 18.

    Both of my daughters married young, 18 and 20 so at that point I certainly considered them adults and withheld my opinions on many things (now that was not easy!! LOL)

  4. Borsia profile image41
    Borsiaposted 10 years ago

    It varies from state to state but overall it is progressive.
    You can get a driver's license at 16.
    During the Vietnam war there was a change in the voting age to say that if 18 is old enough to be drafted and sent of to fight & die it should also be old enough to vote for those who might decide to put you into that situation.
    The drinking age used to run from 18-21 but now is 21 nationwide.
    Of course your parents can allow you to drink at a lower age under their supervision on your own property.
    As to the original question we progress away from childhood usually starting according to circumstances.
    I grew up as  farm kid so I learned to drive starting at around 6 on farm equipment. By 10 I could drive pretty much anything but not on public roads.
    Our parents give us more responsibilities and such as they see us reaching the maturity to handle it and it varies for all of us.

  5. dashingscorpio profile image82
    dashingscorpioposted 10 years ago

    Adulthood seems to be phased in for most U.S. teens (15 drivers permit, 16 drivers license, 18 vote, purchase cigarettes, sign contracts, view adult movies, marriage without parental consent, 21 purchase alcohol, 25 car rental age requirement in some states.
    Emancipation of minors varies state by state. The word "emancipation" literally means to become free from the control or restraint of another. Emancipation is essentially a legal procedure whereby children become legally responsible for themselves. In some states a minor can become emancipated simply by declaring himself or herself emancipated, in California a minor over the age of 14 has to petition the court and obtain a declaration of emancipation.
    States also vary on the legal age of consent for having sex. In Hawaii and Idaho the age is (14) and in California it's 18. Colorado the age is 15..etc
    Last but not least our criminal justice system has tried 12 year olds as "adults"!

  6. Mega over profile image56
    Mega overposted 10 years ago

    18 but if say you were mature at the age of 16 or 17 people would certainly treat you like an adult.

    1. wqaindia profile image40
      wqaindiaposted 10 years agoin reply to this

      If minor  opens Facebook ID by misrepresenting to be above 18 & also accesses the information meant for adults then it should be left to the minor if he/she wants to be dealt as Major. It is an irony that a minor becomes major overnight legally,

  7. alphagirl profile image77
    alphagirlposted 10 years ago

    I think, if a child can be drafted at 18, serve their country, be tried as an adult, apply for loans on their own, then they are not children, but young adults. They may be inexperienced at 18 and make dumb decisions. By 18 they know right from wrong.

    They are always your children no matter how old they get. I do not think you can get away from being a parent. You can run the other direction of being responsible for their actions and decisions when they turn 18. You are not responsible for their creditcard debt, their car loans, their shopping habits, if they signed on to charging for things they can not pay for. Hope this helps.

    1. Hariom Singhal profile image61
      Hariom Singhalposted 10 years agoin reply to this

      right answer.parents treat there child always.

  8. profile image0
    JThomp42posted 10 years ago

    Maturity wise, probably around somewhere in the lower to mid twenties. I know we think we know it all by then, but looking back I didn't know enough. Eighteen is entirely too young, I even question 21? I suppose we all must just live and learn.

  9. taburkett profile image60
    taburkettposted 10 years ago

    by law or by WOAH (watch-out-adult-here) - the law states 18 for various activities and 21 for others. 
    However, the law being flexible has always seen it fit to adjust the age depending on the circumstances.
    WOAH followers believe it is when the individual acts with maturity based on the circumstances.
    Generally this is when the individual accepts full responsibility for their own actions.
    by law or by WOAH - each individual must present for themselves, the true facts for this question.

  10. MountainManJake profile image68
    MountainManJakeposted 10 years ago

    I believe a child no longer becomes a child when they know right from wrong and feel remorse for their own actions.  This doesn't make them an adult, just not a child.

  11. connorj profile image70
    connorjposted 10 years ago

    Brilliant question, I have pondered this for quite sometime; although I do indeed get distracted at times from this question. As I have just turned 13 for the 4th time I am hoping some day to be considered old enough to perhaps provide the best answer to this question; yet, in the mean-time I can only offer what some would call a 13 year-old's answer.
    I would conclude that in our country, namely  the United States it does indeed vary a wee-bit from state to state. One would probably take into account these areas of legal significance though:
    (1) Age of candidacy, the age at which a person can legally qualify to hold certain elected government offices
    (2) Age of consent, the legal age for sexual activities, the age at which a person is considered to be legally competent to consent to sexual acts
    (3) Legal drinking age, the age at which a person is permitted by law to consume alcoholic beverages
    (4) Legal working age, the age at which a person is allowed to work
    (5) Marriageable age, the age at which a person is allowed to marry
    (6) Smoking age, the minimum legal age to purchase cigarettes
    (7) Voting age, the minimum legal age to be eligible to vote in a public election.
    Perhaps when one can partake in all of these if they so desire that would indeed constitute the end of childhood (other than me, that is). Although one could argue most logically that there is no need to be of age in all of these categories to be considered a non-child and that is where the debate lies...

  12. profile image0
    Rayne123posted 10 years ago

    I think even if they can be tried as an adult and rightfully so now, doesnt make them an adult.

    It all depends, but as far as a I am concerned, 21 is a child to me.

    With all that goes on in the world today, there is just not enough knowledge from anyone under the age of 25 to endure the world. They think they know how to drive, drink, take care of themselves but they dont.

    Think back,we thought we knew it all but when your older you realize you didnt.

    And some may think 25 is not a child but once again, think of a 50 year old with a 25 year old, yuk, that is a child with an old man when you look at it.

    I find they are very disrespectful today to elders, so with that said, this is not an adult this is a child.

    Oh here in Canada you can drink/buy booze at 19 and that is definitely a child, way to young, then they wonder why there is so much crime amongst young kids these days.

  13. Sullen91 profile image72
    Sullen91posted 10 years ago

    Children are children during childhood. Childhood comes between infancy and adolescence. Anyone two years of age to 12 years of age is a child, in my opinion. As soon as one turns 13, I say call him/her an adolescent. The age range probably varies slightly, depending on the cultural context.

    Signing contracts involves reaching the age of majority, 18. Prior to age 18, one is a minor. Minors can enter into a valid contract, but the contract is voidable at the option of the minor, meaning, generally they are not legally bound by contracts and they have the option to disaffirm it.

    I think a normal person reaches true adulthood around age 25. By that age, the prefrontal cortex -- and thus the brain -- is thought to be fully developed and car insurance payments drop substantially. If insurance companies see a risk reduction sufficient to warrant lower car insurance rates, it seems as a good indication that something really has changed.

  14. lone77star profile image72
    lone77starposted 10 years ago

    There have been kings crowned in their early teens. Some have ruled wisely and with maturity. Some kings never ruled wisely, always acting childishly, despite their years.

    Age is an arbitrary. For some maturity never comes. And some learn it very early. I would trust the mature 14-year-old over a 90-year-old curmudgeon any day.

    We've become a society that clings to labels and crutches to make things easy. They are a lie.

    When we learn to stand on our own, instead of depending upon a Nanny government, we will have matured a great deal. In this respect, most Americans appear to be "children." And that opens the door to tyranny. That's not a very mature choice.

  15. Mike Marks profile image57
    Mike Marksposted 10 years ago

    I'd say lone77star is on the right track, but he doesn't have to add the politics... when one can stand on their own without, yes, nanny government, but also without nanny nanny, parents, enablers and so on.  When some one learns how to take care of their own food and electricity and rent... my fiance's brother lives with us, before he lived with us he lived with his mother, he works but doesn't contribute money to the bills, he gambles and drinks his money away, he's 48 years old... I can't consider him an adult (and what am I for putting up with it?) because he has no experience with managing his income and developing the skills to take care of himself... meanwhile, some 18 year old might get a job serving tables while going to city college and paying his own way and he's an adult... either one of them may do something stupid, someone can't be experienced in all thing, so the potential to do something stupid may not be a factor though, I reckon, maybe some emotional maturity is essential, you can't be cutting your wrist over the first girl who breaks your heart... now to lone77star's politics:  yes, I agree, we can enable people to be weak, we can care for them and not force them to gain the experience to take care of themselves, keeping them in a state of perpetual childishness, and certain aspects of our government do that to many people... why? is debatable.  Maybe Johnson was sincere with the great society, wanted to give the poor a handup, but four generations later the great grandkids learned nothing from their elders except how to survive off a handout... or maybe the government deliberately would like to keep citizens in a state of childishness because it makes those citizens more controlable, go out and play children while grownup government runs the world all over you.

  16. DDE profile image48
    DDEposted 10 years ago

    Once  a child shows responsibility and understanding they are know longer children growing up and knowing when to and not to for  some children  can take time.

  17. profile image0
    RTalloniposted 10 years ago

    Reports like … ature.html
    explain the immaturity of a young brain.  Countless people wish they had not made certain bad decisions as an older teen or young adult. How many adults have wished they had accepted warnings and good advice when they had the chance as young people?

    In the name of freedom and independence, wisdom has been thrown away.  Because it is hard to go against trends and difficult to keep up with changing times, technology, and immature attitudes, many adults have abdicated their role as true leaders.   

    No matter what any of us believes about brain maturity (aka when a child is generally able to be grown up), and no matter what the law states, the fact remains that young brains need good guidance rather than to be left to their own thinking, left to just figure out their own way in a world that will predatorily consume them if given the chance. 

    Imagine what could happen if children were really taught this fact about themselves and then given wise guidance as they begin to navigate the world of adulthood? Most people don't even recognize that when they get to see it in others' lives and people who do live that out are mocked by the majority of society.  It's interesting to think it through…

  18. wqaindia profile image40
    wqaindiaposted 10 years ago

    I am once again tempted to mention that " Dealing with minor is not a minor issue". … inor-Issue

    1. Borsia profile image41
      Borsiaposted 10 years agoin reply to this

      also a minor can not enter into any contract. So if you make a sale or do some other type of deal with a minor you have no standing in a court.

  19. DommaLeigh profile image61
    DommaLeighposted 10 years ago

    Never! I have six children and they will always be my babies. I also have nine grand children. I know that's not what you meant. I find that most 18 years old still do not have the maturity to make wise choices and even at 21 I have to wonder. But I feel if you are old enough to die for your country, you are old enough to be considered an adult and have the benefits and responsibility of such. Some people never grown up even though they age.

  20. WalterPoon profile image69
    WalterPoonposted 10 years ago

    Actually, it all depends on the context in which the word "children" is used. Does anyone stop becoming a child OF his or her parents? You are obviously referring to the legal context and I think the word "minor" is more appropriate.

    The definition of "minor" is actually discretionary and differs from country to country. It also depends on the context in which it is used, as you have rightly mentioned, i.e. whether for signing contracts or for smoking and drinking, whereas for statutory rape, the age is usually 16. So to answer your question, the age when a person ceases to be a minor can range anywhere from 16 to 21.

  21. stanwshura profile image71
    stanwshuraposted 10 years ago

    18...  period.  You murder somebody the day before you reach it, off to juvie with ya.   And, if you are old enough (18) to drive a tank or die for your country, then have a drink for all I care, just not in the tank!  wink


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