Social Question

Christian95's avatar

How do you think that life will change if we'd have a shorter childhood?

Asked by Christian95 (3260points) September 3rd, 2009

Let’s say 10 years instead of 20(I think that we all agree that 18 isn’t the time when you become mature,maybe 20 isn’t either but that’s when real life begins).So what would happen if you you’d finish elementary studies at 10,become sexual mature,go to college etc.Would our life be better?will it seem longer? etc

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15 Answers

SundayKittens's avatar

Maybe we wouldn’t be so stuck in those years as adults?

CMaz's avatar

I have a friend that was raised to be 10. Was treated like a 10 year old, but in a good girl way. And now, as a 29 year old. Cant relate to anything. Pretty much and literally acts and reasons like a 10 year old.
Just imagine letting your 10 year old loose to go and do what they want to. Nothing more then an easy mark. Besides, education does not equate to maturity.

skfinkel's avatar

Childhood is a relatively new category, arriving when parents could count on children surviving past the first treacherous years and also having enough wealth that children didn’t have to go to work at 6. In some countries now young girls are promised and married off under ten. So, it would appear that the luxury of the long childhood, long adolescence, and even extended young adulthood sometimes depending on parents until mid twenties or later, may be the result of expected long life and a certain amount of wealth (not only personally but in the society).

Zuma's avatar

I think the current practice of extending childhood until age 18 to be counterproductive and wasteful. What’s worse is that young people are sequestered in schools that are little more than artificial subcultures of immaturity during the young person is expected to develop life-long attitudes, beliefs and behaviors that are supposed to serve him or her throughout his life. These environments can do little more than retard a person’s social and emotional development.

How are you supposed to get kids to learn subjects that have no particular usefulness in their present lives, much less on the vague promise that it is supposed to “prepare” them for an adult life that has been deliberately kept as a complete mystery to them? We infantilize our kids and then we wonder why people in our society respond to infantile political appeals (rah-rah “us,” boo “them”).

Up until the Industrial Revolution, most people were married off and having children by the age of 14 or 15. Now we expect people to put their hormones on hold until they graduate from high school, if not college. And we wonder (if it occurs to us at all) why there is so much pornography, and why it is such a veritable cornucopia of kink.

We could do much more to integrate young people into adult society by permitting them more options to do apprenticeships and internships. We could scale down the herd management practices that pass for high school and design more personalized programs based on mentorship and independent study, supplemented by special courses tailored to interests that students have in common. We could make better use of apprenticeships, internships, and subsidized entry-level work experiences, and we could have many more applied learning experiences where kids learn various aspects of geometry and physics by building a house, or something like an intricate play structure that has all sorts of intricate arches and ornamental woodwork—or some sort of Peace Corps experience.

The only thing I am not in favor of is trying children as adults. We are the only country in the world that sentences children to life in prison, and we are one of a dwindling handful of countries that sentences children to death. Even though most countries recognize age 16 as an age where people are competent to make most life decisions, simply knowing intellectually whether something is right or wrong is not sufficient to regard it as a fully informed adult decision—especially if the child has been abused, or is emotionally stunted. Unless and until young people are afforded to make momentous life decisions at a young age, we should not single out (in our wrath) their transgressions as the one thing we hold them responsible for as adults.

wundayatta's avatar

Is this about a legal definition of childhood? Like what if the drinking age and age for entering the armed services and age for voting was lowered to 10?

Or is this a physiological thing—what if humans were fully mature, both mentally and physically, at age 10?

Or is it a social question—what if we threw children into the work world at age 10?

Or educational—what if college matriculation age was 10?

Frankly, aside from the science fiction “what-ifs” (children maturing physically and mentally by age 10), I think it would be a disaster. Children would be ill-prepared for adult life, and they would make really poor decisions, ending up in poverty or crime or death.

hungryhungryhortence's avatar

A child at 20? Give me a break! That’s one of things I find most sickening to see, people not accepting challenge and responsibility before 18yrs old. There was a time when an 18 year old was working, married with family and not a total fuck up, pissing and bemoaning the state of federal school grants and aid. I know I’m far from being alone in having graduated high school at 16, paying my own bills by working and going to college at the same time. Of the group of people I came up with, most went on to be well adjusted professionals even though they carried a lot of weight for their futures.

YARNLADY's avatar

In many cultures, people become adults at age 13 or puberty. This makes a lot sense to me, but because of the social programming here in the US it wouldn’t work very well.

If a child is expected to behave as an adult at puberty, they will be trained to do so, and the society they live in accepts this as the norm.

In the US, it would mean a lot more unemployed people, so we would have to find a different type of economic system than we presently use. With automated systems taking so many jobs, we really need to be working on it right now.

galileogirl's avatar

Check your history. 150 years ago the children of the working class got their 1st job between the ages of 8 & 12. Today we are seeing living on one’s own creeping past 25.

CMaz's avatar

Yes, but there was also a time when you only had to have a baby and find a factory or work the fields in order to survive.

Women had children when they were 16 (or younger) because they had a man that took care of them. They had value. A few cows, some goats, and their father handed them over. The man that acquired her got children to run the business and/or work the fields.
Procreation was a part of the “family” work force.
Education was not as important. Don’t need an education to pop out a kid or cut down the wheat.

Today that does not work. Especially in a modern society.
Education is a Must Have. And, children are our future, properly raised for these times.
Instead of just another work horse for the farm.

I agree; If we wanted to go back to lowering the age of “responsibility” Children would be ill-prepared for adult life, and they would make really poor decisions, ending up in poverty or crime or death. Which happened and happens still in cultures that are not keeping with the times due to the socioeconomics of their “culture”.

galileogirl's avatar

“acquired her”?? I guess fair trade (at least by the pound) for a couple of goats. I know that might be off topic but really…..

And what good is an education if it doesn’t get you a job? Knowledge based jobs are no longer guaranteed in 1st world countries as education becomes prevelent around the world. There will always be jobs for gifted tradesmen and craftsmen and their education is generally along the lines of an apprenticeship. (By the way that’s another reason to have viable crafts and trade unions-to provide journeyman/teachers)

Even in some proffessions there is a period of mentorship where the hands on work must be taught by a mentor, ie teaching and medicine.

gciochina's avatar

uhhh, maybe not my best answer, but i really believe that childhood should never be shorter. Think about how would you feel knowing that you will have to work for 50 years instead of 40 .. P:) kidding… the thing with childhood is that it forms your character, preparing you for the experiences that you will go through as an adult. A shorter childhood would mean for example that we would all be more agitated, easily annoyed, as we would not have mastered the skills that allow us to be patient and/or think things clearly prior to making a decision… just an example…


mascarraaa's avatar

i wouldn’t want to shorten up my childhood at all! but to respond your question i think it would change so muchh, we’d be different, without that innocence that children have. I don’t know, maybe im wrong.

Vincentt's avatar

@hungryhungryhortence Paying your own bills, going to college and what not doesn’t mean you’re not a child anymore. I’m mean, sure, I might have a lot more responsibility now than I had a few years ago, but in some ways I’m still very childish.

hungryhungryhortence's avatar

@Vincentt: agreed, my point is though, 20yrs old is far from a child; childhood ends at the teen years which are your pre adult, transition to adult years.

kobeee's avatar

my life is hard if only i could go back to the past n change so I will become piece

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