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View Diary: We Need to Talk About an Injustice: America is Stone-Age on Juvenile Crime (75 comments)

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  •  You definitely have one important point there. (0+ / 0-)

    While I don't think we should go back to the days before child labor was outlawed, I do think we are doing our young people a deep disservice to keep them in a state of enforced uselessness for so long.

    I'm not sure what the solution is.  Having kids do chores around the house doesn't seem like enough.

    •  As I said... I have no answers (0+ / 0-)

      I'm really only saying "stop treating teens like infants."  Keeping them mental and emotional babies for much longer than necessary raises generations of juvenile delinquent behavior way past the teen years when people outside the family expect them to act much older.

      Acquired helplessness is disgusting in an adult who is expected to behave like an adult with responsibilities, especially if it is accompanied by a whiny pre-teen adolescent voice. (I've dealt with that in the work place, and one annoying woman had to have been 45-50, and wanted me to make up her mind for her so she could blame me if her decision was wrong, and I refused to make up her mind for her.  The comment she made "I've never made a decision on my own in my life" was a telling phrase, and one for which I pitied her when not pissed at her for trying to manipulate me into making up her mind for her.)

      You're correct: it is a disservice to them.

      I'm not advocating child labor either, but it does seem to me that expecting kids from at least adolescent years forward to clean up after themselves and clean their rooms and (when age-appropriate) learning the basics of cooking (even if only opening a can of soup and heating it) and doing laundry and such IS good training for when they become a full-fledged adult and are expected to be heads of their own households and act the part of a responsible adult.

      If not doing household chores is not enough to keep the teen occupied once homework and household chores are done, then yes, a part time job flipping burgers or babysitting or delivering afternoon newspapers or the like isn't a bad idea.  I know of a 16-yr-old girl who does two hours of work at a child-care center a few days a week, and something like four hours on Saturdays.  That still leaves plenty of time for homework and dance lessons connected with one high school class after school for a couple of afternoons/early evening per week.  It gives her enough for a bit of extra spending money and she's saving for a new phone, too (i.e. setting goals and carrying out her plans).  Future goals for this teen include college and going on to teach kids at the grade school level (this was all her idea; the babysitting came with a class project, the supervisors at the daycare thought she was good with kids, they offered her the part time job with an hourly wage).

      Maybe some teens would be interested in extended projects for high school homework if they are inclined toward higher studies, perhaps freshman college level studies while still in high school.

      Teens who are good with computers could take college entrance courses that involve advanced computer skills; I realize there are all kinds of computer-oriented operations.

      Teen brains are, after all, still engaged and growing..., but if they have nothing new to learn because their parents or teachers or others are treating them like infants and thus holding them back from growing up, then boredom sets in and they self-limit their curiosity and level out at lower brain functioning level than they're capable of when it comes to learning.  Keep their curiosity level engaged, and the kid matures.  [I was an independent learner because I was the only child in my grade from second through sixth grade in a two-room school in a very small community.  No peer group pressure, but I loved to read and learn, excelled at it, and no one held me back.  Whenever I undertake a new interest as an adult, I immerse myself in the information about it.]  I also realize some kids are not self-starters and are not motivated without outside pushing.  Once their curiosity is piqued, then they get going on their own.

      Individuals need to learn at their own pace, but I see no reason to keep the smart kids back if they want to learn something new or engage in new endeavors (academic or working world, as the case may be) when they're young.

      I've long advocated both girls and boys need certain basic skill sets for minimal functioning in an adult world, and it's never too early to let them learn basic things that do involve adult responsibility:

      - Basic cooking - doesn't need to be fancy or gourmet cooking, but learning how to make basic healthy meals is a must if one becomes head of one's own household.  Maybe a kid will find s/he loves cooking, baking and/or decorating cakes and such, but s/he also needs to learn to do dishes if they are not lucky enough to have an automatic dishwasher at home.

      - Washing and ironing one's own clothing, how to separate whites from bleeding materials, what to wash in hot water and what in medium warm water.  That will include knowing how to sew on a missing button and doing a running stitch by hand if a seam rips out.  It will also include washing and drying one's own sheets, blankets and bedspread, and curtains in one's room; area rugs in one's own room if they're there.  [Mom or Grandma won't be around forever to do this for kids.]

       - Vacuuming or sweeping one's own room (wouldn't hurt to do the rest of the house either; be good to Mom and/or Dad who provide a roof over one's head).

       - If there's a pet in the home, it doesn't hurt to make a kid responsible for feeding the pet(s), grooming them, letting a dog out in the yard for potty or walking the dog and cleaning up the poo if there's no yard, or cleaning out a litter box if there's a cat, or cleaning a bird cage, etc.

      - Basic auto skills: Where to put on gas.  Where to check oil and water levels.  Where to add oil or water or brake fluid.  How to check and add air for tires.  How to jump start a car if one lives in northern climates.  How to change a flat tire by one's self.  This will later morph into being responsible for car payments on a car loan, paying car insurance.  If a kid is really ambitious, s/he can work to save to pay for a car all at once and eliminate monthly payments.

       - How to keep one's own checkbook and how to write out a check and balance one's checkbook.  [We didn't have this in high school when I was young.  As luck would have it, my first job out of high school was at a bank so I learned quickly.  Never did use the bookkeeping course I had in high school (lots of other math skills were necessary, not bookkeeping), but the typing became a vital necessity later.  Of all necessary math skills, keeping an accurate checkbook is the most necessary.]  Wait on credit cards, but maybe start out with a prepaid debit card where only a certain small amount of money is available and if it's stolen or the number is stolen from online, you won't lose a lot of money.  This can later also morph into managing one's own money for paying rent, paying for a car & gas & insurance & auto upkeep/maintenance, tires, getting furniture for one's first apartment, etc.

      Basic skill sets are needed for functioning in an adult world, and these things can all be learned from one's parents before leaving home, so it doesn't hurt to be an adult-in-training and learning adult responsibilities before leaving home.

      It does, however, require that adults stop treating their offspring as infants when they hit adolescence and giving them responsibilities the adolescents and/or teens are expected to carry out - responsibilities they will be expected to perform in an adult world when they're out on their own.

      I'm sick of attempts to steer this nation from principles evolved in The Age of Reason to hallucinations derived from illiterate herdsmen. ~ Crashing Vor

      by NonnyO on Thu Jan 10, 2013 at 02:54:47 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

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