Being treated like a child

Hello I feel really angry about being treated like a child when I am now almost 20 years of age in April like not being listened to or understood like an adult, a lot of things like some jobs, renting or buying certain cars or other vehicles, cervical screening for women, young drivers no longer being allowed to drive at night time and also children's services being up to 25 when this is getting so stupid as I have read in the past about an article when a lot of people have said before that 25 would never be the new 18 in which I have always found true as we are all adults before we are 25 years of age. I feel like I need to talk to someone or a lot more people a lot about this as I want their opinion about this and what they think and I am hoping a lot of them would agree with me on it and also say that adolescence does not really end at age 25 like they keep saying online or anywhere else.

  • I think people mature in different ways and at different times. Some people may be physically mature but not emotionally mature, others may be socially mature but not intellectually mature. Everyone is different depending upon their experiences. It's recognised that the brain doesn't stop maturing until a person is about 25 but again this can vary between people. 

    I don't know much about Children's Services (I'm assuming you mean as a department of Social Services?) but I would think that it covers up to age 25 because younger adults are still considered vulnerable up to that age and the Children's Services are perhaps more equipped to support young adults than the wider service may be.

    Perhaps Children's Services can offer young adults better access to resources and funding? I wouldn't expect the intention is to treat young adults as children, although I can see how it may feel like that in certain situations. I think 'checking-up' on young adults could be part of the assessment to determine how independent the person is (or is ready to be) given the new responsibilities they may be coping with at that age. 

    I haven't heard about restrictions on under 25's driving at night. 

    Women can have cervical screening under age 25!! Did someone tell you you couldn't?   

  • Hi Sholay. These are great questions and I’m so glad you’ve asked them openly on the forum. It can be helpful to get other people’s perspectives, which demonstrates a certain level of maturity in you right there. But remember, how somebody else sees things is how they see them. If it’s different to how you think, it doesn’t make you wrong and them right or visa versa, but the views of others can help us to develop confidence in our own thinking and in our own unique perspective on life.

    First of all I will say that in this society, not all adults are understood and listened to. That’s a false assumption (for want of a better word).

    Society makes rules which they think some people need, in order to maintain a certain level of harmony and cooperation in the world. But you don’t have to follow them. If you break the laws of the land, the man made laws, you will of course pay the consequences. But that’s the same with everything in life. We can’t change that. We live in a world of cause and effect. If you don’t follow the rules of electricity you might get a shock, because the rules of electricity are very specific. If you break the rules you could be hurt.

    By extending the age of children’s or young adult services, to the age of 25, it has proved helpful for a lot of young people who perhaps don’t get the support they need from family and friends.

    I went through adolescence in my late 20’s and it lasted many years for me. I still wouldn’t class myself as a mature adult, compared to many others my age and I will never lose my child like mind. And for me, my child like mind is the only thing that really gets me anywhere in life.

    People rarely understand me or listen to me but that hasn’t been a barrier to me moving forwards in my life or a barrier to me developing and growing loving and supportive relationships. And people will make the effort to listen to me and understand me when they need to, if they ever need to, if it will be of some benefit to them. And visa versa.

    There are many people I don’t understand or listen to in this world, but funnily enough, these are usually adults. I always make an effort to understand and listen to children. But some adults don’t want to be understood or heard, they just want you to agree with them. Which doesn’t really help anybody, in the long run, but it can help in the short run, sometimes. But I always listen to children and I often find they know way more than me and they teach me many things, they are most often my greatest teachers. My son certainly was and still is, although he’s a little older now, but he’s still one of my greatest teachers and sources of inspiration. I also have my grandchildren now and continue to learn from them. In fact a great and eminent psychologist once said, if you want to know anything, ask a 5 year old or hang out with kids under that age. I have always preferred to be with kids rather than adults, and still do, most of the time although I like to be alone best of all.

    I continue to grow and learn and mature in all sorts of ways, every single day, and I have probably only recently, completed adolescence, and I’m 51 years of age. If we allow ourselves to move through these stages of life at our own pace, without thinking about how many years we have been on this earth, we will move through them and gain what we need to from them and move on.

    Adolescence is probably one of the most confusing times in a person’s life. When we’re trying to establish who we are. We are looking for feedback and confirmation that we’re right, from the people in our lives and when we don’t get it, it can leave us feeling very confused. I have spent many years in this stage but that’s ok, we can’t skip it, as much as we would like to. But do it in your own time and you’re own way. Most people in life won’t agree with you and that’s good, it’s good to have diversity. The trick isn’t to get people to agree with you but to develop and grow confidence in your own thoughts, feelings, beliefs, values, likes and dislikes etc so you don’t have to rely on other people’s opinions of you.

    You’ll get there. You’re smart. You’re asking all the right questions and you’re open to other people’s views etc. Just don’t take other people’s views too seriously, when compared to your own. And yes, of course that includes mine (sorry I’m still a bit sensitive after I was verbally attacked on here for expressing my thoughts). I’m not asking you to listen to what I’m saying, that’s up to you and I’m not saying my view is the only view, of course I’m not, the more different the views are the happier I am, I love that we’re all so different, I find great joy in that.

    You could narrow it down and work on one point at a time. For example, what is the most important thing to you right now that you would like the people around you to understand? Take just one point and work with one point at a time.

    I have made immense progress in my life since I got a support worker who is helping me to take baby steps, and as much as I had a lot of resistance to this initially, when I decided to give it a try, it worked. It’s still not a ‘natural’ way for me to do things but I can’t deny the progress I’ve made in my life sense taking baby steps. Yesterday I was on a course to get help to start my own business. I have the skills to do the work but not to set the business up. I need very specific simple step by step support. My friend even bought me a little kids book on nouns and grammar the other day as she knows I want to learn them. She used to be a primary school teacher and has taught autistic kids so she knows what helped them so I’m really grateful for the book. I feel sure it’s going to help me with learning these things which will then impact my life in a positive way. My support worker has also set me the task of writing down all the things I think I need help with, with setting up my business, even if I can only think of one or two things, because this is a start.

    This method was taught to me several years ago by one of my tutors at college, which was perfect training for university. He said if I went to him for help with a blank page, he would give me a blank response. But if I took something written down, anything, it’s a start and we can go from there. I forget this during my burnout but my suppprt worker is helping me with this again and already (in just 2 days) I have got tons of free help and even access to money, to help me establish firmly what my business is, who I will work with, how I set it up, how I run it, how I maintain it, how I advertise, how I look after myself etc etc. I need help with the whole lot. I really am like a baby in many ways, but once they show me and teach me in a way I can understand, I will pick it up and go with it.

    So a first step might be to start writing a list of the things you want people to understand about you and who it is you want to understand you and why.

    I hope I haven’t added to the confusion. If I have, forget everything I said. You know yourself better than I do and what you need etc, this is simply my response to your questions. Sorry if I keep reaffirming this. I still feel a little nervous commenting on here.

  • When I was 16 (and already attending university) I thought that it was unfair that I'd have to wait till 18 to be an "adult". It used to be that the only limitation they put on under 25s was renting a car. I think that limiting people's rights because of age borders on age discrimination. You feel frustrated now, and I know this won't help much, but just wait until you're older and wishing you were 18 again. There are lots of people who never really learn to behave in a mature manner, even when they're in their 30s or 40s or older.