Friday, December 3, 2010

Adult or not?

Recently my 18 year old brought up a discussion she had in class about whether being banned from alcohol at the age of adulthood is relevant to the fact of adulthood. Strangely her position was that the two are not related. I disagree...

I do not believe she is old enough to be responsible in the consumption of alcohol. Neither do I believe that, if she wanted to be in the military, she would be any more mature than she is considered with alcohol. Either situation could put a young person in a position to kill, whether by accident or by duty does not matter. If 18 year olds are allowed to be adults only in certain circumstances then they are not truly adults. This means, to me, that the age of majority ought to be  22 -- that also gets kids through 4 years of college.

Consider these points:
1. We pay health insurance fees and are responsible for the medical bills of this child as our Dependant.
2. On our tax return, she is a Dependant as she is NOT self supporting in any way.
3. She does not drive unless she has insurance through us.
4. We are responsible if, for some reason, she is unable to pay the Federal college loans she will be accruing over the next 4 years of college. Without a co-signer, she has no qualification for the loans at all!
5. She cannot rent a car, even if she was fully independent of us, because the industry does not consider her an adult until 25.
6. Most insurance companies don't want to insure them without a parent until they have a number of years of experience behind the wheel... Otherwise they price them out of being able to even afford the insurance -- which likely causes many to go without! My personal experience was about age 22 they decided I was OK to insure on my own at reasonable rates.

All these parental responsibilities and yet without her consent, we are not entitled to know her medical conditions, even though to go to the Doctor, she needs OUR CARD AND OUR MONEY to receive and pay for said medical attention. We are not entitled to know of her college grades even though we are responsible for getting her to and from and maintaining her general life while she is at school and have hung ourselves out there in order to help pay for her college education.

There are so many contradictions in the standards for what constitutes adulthood. They say now that the brain does not mature until the mid 20's so why not adjust the standard to meet the known facts of maturity and adulthood?

1 comment:

  1. IT's a difficult topic, this adulthood thing. Maybe standardising at say 21 would be good. Here in most of Europe alcohol consumption and voting happens at 18. Marriage at 17?! To go and see an x rated film it's 18 but to star in one it's 16 as is the age of consent?!?!? baffling to say the least. I don't know where I stand on this issue as I decided to get married at 18, much to my parents surprise. Ok, it only lasted 11 years but the failure was definitely not age related. Maybe it's like the fruits on a tree; they ripen at different stages.