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Are Teens Growing Up Too Fast or Too Slowly?

When I first saw this headline on Newsweek, "Why Teenagers Are Growing Up So Slowly Today," I thought, whaaa? With all the sexting and drugs, aren't teens growing up too fast?

Just because teens are doing adult things doesn't mean they are acting like adults, argue Joseph Allen and Claudia Worrell Allen, authors of Escaping the Endless Adolescence. By sheltering adolescents from work and other grownup issues in cookie-cutter high schools, we may be preventing their brains from maturing. Says Allen: "We don’t give teens enough ways to take risks that are productive." That results in bad risky behavior for cheap thrills and a generation of 25 year olds who act like teenagers. Do you think there's any truth to the argument that not treating teens like adults actually stunts their adulthood?

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PinkNC PinkNC 6 years
I say too fast as well.
PinkNC PinkNC 6 years
I say too fast as well.
kellylouise kellylouise 6 years
I'm opting neither. Each person is different and goes through different things at a different time table in order to "grow up". Besides, as mentioned before, I don't think experimenting with drugs, alcohol and sex is something that counts as an argument for teens growing up too fast- that is one of the things that define immaturity. However, do I think parents protect their children too much? Yes, in a way, I think I would be a better person hadn't I been so spoiled in my childhood and had been taught discipline, although I suppose that comes with being the youngest. Plus, especially in America, parents forbidding their children to go out and experience life in order to protect them is also not a very ideal way of letting your child grow up. But, you know, I'm not criticizing people on how they should raise their children.. I'm sure it's very difficult to find that balance between wanting to protect your children from getting hurt and not wanting to send them into the world completely unbruised because you know they won't be able to make it through alone.
jenni5 jenni5 6 years
I say too fast!!! And I think it's partially the parents faults. My sister in law actually took her 4 and 6 year old daughters to see Miley Cyrus last night! My 4 year old still watches Sesame Street!
JessieSP JessieSP 6 years
They're growing up too fast. And still they are so immature. Teens are the only ones that can't see how ridiculous they look sometimes trying to act like they know it all in life.
gamestomper-6 gamestomper-6 6 years
well, when it's all said & done, the answer is, sex too soon = babies raising babies. setting no limits = the gotta have it now attitude. they don't understand why they are supposed to be responsible.
gamestomper-6 gamestomper-6 6 years
well, when it's all said & done, the answer is, sex too soon = babies raising babies. setting no limits = the gotta have it now attitude. they don't understand why they are supposed to be responsible.
Glamgirl1 Glamgirl1 6 years
i agree with lilxmissxmolly :)
Glamgirl1 Glamgirl1 6 years
i agree with lilxmissxmolly :)
Glamgirl1 Glamgirl1 6 years
o correction to my last comment....its not just bad parenting...out of control teens also need to be given consequences to learn from there mistakes whether at home or in juvenile hall. I see many teens who think their 'independent" without even knowing what it means...u need a career if u plan to make it in life to support urself. a "job" isnt gonna always cut it unless ur a stripper or pornstar..which does not last long and can give u std's. ...to "anonymous" no offense intended but how can u possibly pay all those things u mentioned above... when ur still a minor with a "part-time job"? and "never fail" when u "skip school"?...and "drink heavily" when u aren't old enough to even buy a beer? ....and "pay for ur own clothes since 11 yrs old" when the legal working age is 14 (part-time after-school with a restricted working permit)?...its great that ur working and great that ur in school..and i hope u continue to advance in those important areas.
Glamgirl1 Glamgirl1 6 years
education wise yes its good..but sex wise no..kids are having sex at like 9yrs old...but then again thats just bad parenting...kids should not be having kids at these young agaes such as 14...they r not even legal adults...and r just experiencing puberty!...parenting is to blame ...parents and/or guardians should be teaching their children the difference between right and wrong...and the consequences that come along with certain decisions..it will help prevent teenage pregnancy, abortions, promiscuity, drug use, stds, and keep kids in school to gain a complete college education for their future.
theseether theseether 6 years
I think that teenagers are trying to act more "mature" (drugs, sex, etc.) because of their protracted adolescence. When you're over-protected from cradle to college, what else can you expect.
lilxmissxmolly lilxmissxmolly 6 years
I think that teens do adult things immaturely.Which I think is what the article is saying.
lilxmissxmolly lilxmissxmolly 6 years
I think that teens do adult things immaturely. Which I think is what the article is saying.
MissSushi MissSushi 6 years
Its only been a few years since I was a teen.. and I was a no sex, no drugs type, no binge drinking or partying just because everyone did it, basically getting through school and preparing for the world. You're going to have to get used to being judged as a group, it's never going to stop. For example, I'm a mother now.. so automatically I have no interests of my own, I'm selfish, I think my kids are a god send when they're really ridiculous brats, etc etc etc. It's just how it goes. It isn't right, because I'm not any of those things, but that's how it goes. There are good and bad of everyone, and this happens to be addressing some of those negative aspects. However, just by thinking things like promiscuity, drugs, drinking and such at young ages, or at all, isn't a bad thing you're showing your immaturity. It isn't about open mindedness, it's about responsibility of self. Those types of activities are harmful and have consequences that few teenagers are willing to sit down and admit to themselves. You will learn that eventually, no matter what age it happens to be at.
MissSushi MissSushi 6 years
Its only been a few years since I was a teen.. and I was a no sex, no drugs type, no binge drinking or partying just because everyone did it, basically getting through school and preparing for the world. You're going to have to get used to being judged as a group, it's never going to stop. For example, I'm a mother now.. so automatically I have no interests of my own, I'm selfish, I think my kids are a god send when they're really ridiculous brats, etc etc etc. It's just how it goes. It isn't right, because I'm not any of those things, but that's how it goes. There are good and bad of everyone, and this happens to be addressing some of those negative aspects. However, just by thinking things like promiscuity, drugs, drinking and such at young ages, or at all, isn't a bad thing you're showing your immaturity. It isn't about open mindedness, it's about responsibility of self. Those types of activities are harmful and have consequences that few teenagers are willing to sit down and admit to themselves. You will learn that eventually, no matter what age it happens to be at.
sontaikle sontaikle 6 years
I'm 21, but I can definitely see how people my age aren't "grown up." It sickens me to see the number of people my age who don't have jobs and aren't even trying. I understand in this economy it can be tough to find a job (especially for younger people!), but I know people who have NEVER had a job in their lives! Their parents pay for everything, even gas for their cars. It's really annoying to talk to these people because they just expect their parents to give them everything.
sontaikle sontaikle 6 years
I'm 21, but I can definitely see how people my age aren't "grown up." It sickens me to see the number of people my age who don't have jobs and aren't even trying. I understand in this economy it can be tough to find a job (especially for younger people!), but I know people who have NEVER had a job in their lives! Their parents pay for everything, even gas for their cars. It's really annoying to talk to these people because they just expect their parents to give them everything.
Smallqueen Smallqueen 6 years
I am a teen and let me say this, the definition of "adult responsibilities" and "adult privileges" varies according to culture to a certain extent. In American households, children are expected to get jobs, pay for their cars, move out etc. etc. The adult privileges they get in return are dating, sex etc. But in traditional Indian households, it's completely different. Middle-class teenagers don't work in India. For some, it's an issue of "prestige" but mostly middle-class teenagers don't work for pocket money because if they do, they will be taking jobs away from other poor people who need that money for food! But anyway, I think that teens are trying to grow up too fast but they are going about it the wrong way. I see my classmates party till 3 am, drink underage and have sex. They think it's "cool" and they think I am boring for refusing to do all of these things. They don't understand that it's better to wait for some things. I hate to see them drink themselves silly every weekend. It makes me sick! But surprisingly, many of them hold jobs and some are even paying their own way through college. Btw I don't live in India anymore. So I think there are all sorts of teens in the world. As for me, I am woefully dependent on my mother but I am trying to learn that. I am planning to learn cooking this Xmas with my grandma and hopefully in the years before I leave home I want to become independent.
Smallqueen Smallqueen 6 years
I am a teen and let me say this, the definition of "adult responsibilities" and "adult privileges" varies according to culture to a certain extent. In American households, children are expected to get jobs, pay for their cars, move out etc. etc. The adult privileges they get in return are dating, sex etc. But in traditional Indian households, it's completely different. Middle-class teenagers don't work in India. For some, it's an issue of "prestige" but mostly middle-class teenagers don't work for pocket money because if they do, they will be taking jobs away from other poor people who need that money for food! But anyway, I think that teens are trying to grow up too fast but they are going about it the wrong way. I see my classmates party till 3 am, drink underage and have sex. They think it's "cool" and they think I am boring for refusing to do all of these things. They don't understand that it's better to wait for some things. I hate to see them drink themselves silly every weekend. It makes me sick! But surprisingly, many of them hold jobs and some are even paying their own way through college. Btw I don't live in India anymore. So I think there are all sorts of teens in the world. As for me, I am woefully dependent on my mother but I am trying to learn that. I am planning to learn cooking this Xmas with my grandma and hopefully in the years before I leave home I want to become independent.
doogirl doogirl 6 years
My neighbor's 12 year old daughter had sex with a 28 year old man because she was curious and wanted to get it over with. They weren't in this country so the parents can't press charges, but that is totally growing up too fast! At 12 I just wanted to hang out and read!
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