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  1. Timothy Lynn Burchfield on December 17, 2013 at 8:32 am

    Good one!
    Forget the brain activity and development of our children. I think it is a much
    simpler formula. We use the practical approach. You are an adult when you reach the “age of accountability”. Our children have used 16 as their adult beginning when they were able to drive. Nice one! Of coarse 18 is the proposed adult age in the US. That’s when you vote, go to war, buy cigarettes, buy lottery tickets, go to prison, get a loan and in court 18 year olds are tried as adults. Some cultures will call the age of 12 the age of accountability. Truly, I feel the age when a child becomes accountable is the age when they no longer need to have a monthly scholarship with my assets. No more clothes, no more cell phone payments, no more housing, no more food, no more transportation and no more insurance. I have two that have reached the age of accountability. One was 24 and one was 26 when they no longer required my assets. Don’t get me wrong. We still love to give to them. We are just not required to give a monthly stipend to them.

    • Tim Elmore on December 18, 2013 at 9:41 am

      Great points. Thank you for sharing, Timothy!

  2. jessig on December 17, 2013 at 10:49 am

    I expected much and they delivered.

    I have two children, and they are six years apart. One boy, one girl. Both were given chores. The chores were not gender specific. I always felt it was important that boys knew how to wash dishes and girls knew how to rake leaves; someday he might have to eat off of a plate and he might not have have a girlfriend, wife, or sister around, and she might not have a boyfriend, husband or dad available. I think you see my point. I also taught them that if they got out of bed early and did all of their chores the rest of the day was theirs to do whatever they wanted, within reason. I worked right along with them, teaching, helping and of course, inspecting. Doing a good job the first time was important after the skill was learned. We didn’t half step around here!

    There is absolutely nothing wrong with teaching children from an early age to be responsible, and to teach them to work, good habits and routine. The alternative was to be lazy, everything in life is free mentality, and the benefits of prideful living. When they became of age, they were so prepared to go out in to the world and start their “new lives.” They didn’t have to worry about some things like their neighbors, high school friends, peers and co-workers.

    My daughter became a funeral director and embalmer. She moved away to college and there were no dorms. To help defray expenses she actually lived in the home of a pilot near the college for free! All she had to do was keep his home clean while he flew. His children were grown and gone, and when he returned he did not want to do chores on weekends. On weekends, she drove home! Without the skills she learned at home, she would have never gotten the job and had to drive every day. I do not think she would have ever finished her degree.

    My son is a student at a private, out of state university. While most of his high school friends stressed about leaving home and preparing, he welcomed this adventure because he possessed the necessary skills. He passes the room checks held for cleanliness, does his own laundry very well, can iron and cook. He was not afraid to leave the nest, had confidence in his abilities while many of his coddled friends are still home talking about what they are going to do instead of actually “doing.” The kids who never had to actually work or hold responsibility or be accountable are not necessarily the most productive in real life. We do need to expect children to be ready at eighteen. What you surround them with is what they will become.

    They will make mistakes, but we must let them learn from them. We did. Some are painful, some are worth laughter and some tears but this is life. Those mistakes are going to be unique to them and we may feel that everything they do will be a direct representation of us and our family name; but not really. Let them go. They will come back for as short time, even if it’s a text or phone call.

    • Tim Elmore on December 18, 2013 at 9:54 am

      Great points. Thank you for sharing. It is so encouraging to hear about students who succeed under good parenting.

  3. Tim Elmore on December 18, 2013 at 4:11 pm

    In response to a question on Twitter from @juliemckwenzel: “Should girls be as “ready” as boys at 18?”

    Yes, I believe girls should mature at the same rate as boys. Neuro-scientists say that females’ brains develop faster during the first two-decades than males, so I believe there is no reason to expect one gender to mature and not the other. It may be the preparation looks slightly different, but now that both genders are equally in the workforce, it may look more alike now than ever. The key will be to position each person to grow in the area of their strengths.

  4. Keith T. on December 23, 2013 at 10:40 am

    I am a recent college graduate that works with students at a college ministry. It’s amazing to see the extremes of maturity in the traditional freshman student. Some are very mature for their age, both spiritually and emotionally; others seem to be still attached by the umbilical cord to their parents and possess the executive functions of a pre-teen; and others are in that awkward phase of understanding that they have a freedom and responsibility but don’t know how much to take on.
    The process of maturity is definitely different for everyone but I believe that we should expect anywhere between ages 16-20. What I’ve found to be true is that when we–leaders of this generation iY–set an expectation and outline responsibilities that challenges students to mature, they tend to meet that most of the time with plenty of encouragement and guiding.
    Something that has stuck with me is “When we play a man’s game, men show up to play.” I love it when you said, “How can a young adult really learn responsibility unless it is actually given to them?”

    • Tim Elmore on December 23, 2013 at 2:23 pm

      Great insights, Keith. Thank you for sharing! I agree… it is amazing what students can do when given challenges.

  5. Cody on December 30, 2013 at 8:59 am

    I’d be interested in seeing a study on the brain development of people in 3rd world countries (where responsibility is on shoulders much earlier) vs those fed a steady diet of media through early years. I wonder if the tech that allows us to study brain development came along as the tech that *could* affect our development? Just a question…

    All in all, I am for calling young men to step up into adulthood in their late teens, but mentoring them through life choices.

    • Tim Elmore on January 2, 2014 at 3:16 pm

      Great point, Cody. That would be an enlightening study for us to have. I love your view on teens becoming adults, but still being mentored through life’s twists and turns.

  6. Judith Gifford on May 28, 2014 at 5:52 am

    You can give your life for your country at 18. I joined the Marines a few weeks after turning 19, I was a kid in so many ways, but I wouldn’t trade those years for anything. Not only can you be mature at 18, you can lead others to grow in maturity too. Important discussion.

  7. DavidBonni Hayford on July 21, 2014 at 12:01 am

    I am currently dealing with this in my home! I am in line with timothy. We may be living well into our nineties, but I will only be working and bringing in income until hopefully 70’s, if my hip, knees hold out. Most elderly now live in poverty, unable to afford food or medications, I simply look at the math, and realize my kids need to understand that work is a necessity for the majority. Most people dont have the job of their dreams. My oldest is 19. Last year he was greatly disappointed that the career he most wanted isnt possible due to an eye condition. Not his fault, but his reality. He moped, was depressed, I get it. But then it was time to say, we dont always get what we want, we do what we have to do. Now its time to move on. Love him enough to make him grow up. With the younger ones I will encourage more independance, not make living at home for free so comfortable… thanks

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