Teens: Transitioning from childhood to adulthood

December 1, 2009

By Jordan Sukhabut

Jordan Sukhabut

Jordan Sukhabut

Teenagers. Are they children or are they adults?

Determining the true age of teenagers is a dilemma. There are teenagers whose main goal is searching for fun, but there are also teenagers who focus on more serious aspects of life. We cannot classify teenagers as adults when some act like children, but we cannot classify them as children for the few that act like adults.

So, where does childhood end and adulthood begin?

I believe childhood ends when one truly feels like an adult. When a person stops naive behavior and starts to think like the adults in his or her life, he or she becomes an adult. When a person stops finding humor in children’s material funny and relates more with older material, he or she becomes an adult.

It does not matter if the age transformation is gradual or sudden; childhood’s end is not defined, and it differs from person to person. We certainly do not notice our coming of age, and we cannot pinpoint the exact moment we really became adults.

Thirteen is not at all the usual age for a child to become a teenager. We believe we are and therefore reject our childhood and begin to act like the stereotypical teenagers we see in movies and television shows. But it is for that behavior that 13-year-olds should not count themselves as people close to adulthood.

It is very interesting to watch classmates find themselves and achieve adulthood. Earning their place as adults is as rewarding for their friends as it is for themselves.

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