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Teenagers are expected to act like adults, yet are treated like children

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 3/14/2015 Category: People
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 3,976 times Debate No: 71670
Debate Rounds (2)
Comments (4)
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Teenagers are treated like children, yet are expected to act like adults. During school, teachers, principals and authority figures alike cannot go one day without a large lecture on how 'high school' students are in-fact young adults and should act accordingly. Students- although not mature enough to become fully independent- understand this, yet even within the school environment we are treated like children. Teachers check planners, searching for parent signatures to signify that they have 'checked' our homework. We must raise our hands and ask- in front of the whole class- if we are allowed to go to the bathrooms and still are not allowed to take any personal belongings incase we are doing anything 'bad' or 'rebellious'. Teachers look over our shoulders, day in, day out with regular bag inspections and such. This is simply unfair. Teenagers might not be fully mature, and we realise that we need guidance to further develop both physically and psychologically, yet the extent teachers and education departments go to, to inspect us is ridiculous. Teenagers are treated like children, yet are expected to act like adults.


Teenagers are not adults. They are not treated like adults and they are not expected to act like adults. Being an adult is all about responsibility.

Adults pay their own bills (mortgage, insurance, healthcare, etc.), balance their own budget, work whatever job is necessary to keep food on the table, and take full legal responsibility for everyone in the household. Teenagers do not (and should) have this kind of responsibility. If teenagers want to be treated like adults then they would have to act like adults, and one week in that life would remind them how easy they have it as minors.
Debate Round No. 1


The teenage years are incredibly tough, responsibility wise. Although we may not have large responsibilities (such as mortgage or financial strife) we have others.

Teenagers are expected to plan, and begin to put in place our future career goals. We are expected to know our future aspirations, and goals. The education system puts a multitude of pressure on this, paving our way to a future prestigious career. Teenagers are expected to do well academically, and although we are treated like children (chastised into doing said homework) we are expected to act maturely. Teenagers are also expected to begin working within careers (like an adult would do) and become more financially independent.

Teenagers are also expected to do more chores around the house- whilst balancing these other things. Whilst some teenagers might have few chores, some have an exuberant amount such as cooking dinner for the family, cleaning the house and taking care of siblings/animals. For this, we are still treated like small children- not allowed to have a proper social life and/or any independent belongings (not allowed to have a car in fear of independence).


I understand what you are saying. I am now an adult, but I remember being a teenager and now I often work with teenagers. Our culture has created this pressure to map your life out from a young age. Try to remember that this pressure, while it feels very real, is deceptive. While a plan of some kind is good, plans can and do change. The overwhelming majority of people either change their career path after high school or choose a second career later in life. Try to relax a little. Make a plan, but recognize that it is not set in stone.

Yes, teenagers are chastised for not doing homework. Teachers and parents are right to expect teenagers to do the work. However, they are also recognize that teenagers are not adults and don"t treat them like adults. A teenagers would be chastised for not doing homework. An adult would not be chastised for not doing work. An adult would simply be fired.

Also, while some teenagers do believe that they have more chores around the house than their parents, I have never once come across a case where this is actually true. Teenagers rarely recognize just how much work their parents do

Teenagers do not have the same amount of freedom as adults because they do not have the same amount of responsibility as adults. This is as it should be. Minors need that cushion to make mistakes as they learn and grow. It is the responsibility of adults to make sure that those mistakes have as limited of consequences as possible. Try not to take for granted how much the adults in your life sacrifice for you good.

Seriously. If you are teenager living with one or both of your parents then right now go give your mom and/or dad a hug and tell them how much you appreciate them.
Debate Round No. 2
4 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Posted by ItsSnowingInColorado 1 year ago
I always ask myself. Am I raising a child, or am I raising an adult?

Hopefully all parents take their teens though a decent transition into adulthood, or an equal relationship.

Some teens will try to push ahead, and grow up too quickly, take on too much. It can lead to some hard lessons later on.

Other teens need a fire under their arse to be motivated to take responsibility. This also can lead to some hard life lessons later on.

I always told my teens this, you are going to have to answer for your own choices.

I can try to protect you for now, but I cannot protect you from what you chose later.

Here is why I am putting on the parent hat and interfering with this choice. I am not all wise and all powerful but I have more experience than you do. If you want to make that choice later, I can't stop you. But if I can for now I will.

Trying to educate them about things they don't understand because they lack experience is not childish. Taking away their choice is treating them like a child. But if a teen choses to make choices that they don't understand or recognize are not wise, what is a parent to do?

That is the real question.

Really I think as a parent it is a matter of finding a point when your teens are open and receptive to advice, and not feeling they are being criticized or controlled.

Hopefully we are all raising adults.

One does not have to be an adult long before they come across a child in an adults body...
Posted by Poe-vahkiin 2 years ago
I have to agree with pro. We are told to act like adults, but then we are told we must bend over backwards to the will of those above us, simply because we are children.
Posted by UndeniableReality 2 years ago
If you're having a hard time being a teenager... well, just good luck.
Posted by logicinlife 2 years ago
Con's right and every adult knows it.
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