sunflowerp: (Default)
[personal profile] sunflowerp
One of the things I've long wanted to post about, but that, when I try, I usually get too angry to type, are the indignities that adults impose on children and teens, ostensibly "for their own good", but all too often simply because they see kids/teens not as people, but as things that must be tightly controlled. (Let's not forget just how many other groups have been marginalized because they were seen as things that must be tightly controlled.)

I'm still not, I think, able to construct a proper post, though there's been quite a few conversations going on about the subject lately; I'm hoping that reading them (at time of posting, I've read some but not all) will help me process the rage and sort my thoughts.

Meanwhile, a signal boost: [personal profile] elf has compiled some linkspam, which makes it much easier to find the main convos.

(no subject)

Date: 2009-11-30 06:49 am (UTC)
mossy: (Default)
From: [personal profile] mossy
I've been writing about this for a while - lots of it over at Mothers for Women's Lib, some at my own blog. But it seems recently this is an issue that's coming more out into the open. The Adult Privilege checklist of Anji's is fantastic.

(I also started a blog [with a UK bias] that discusses issues along these lines; http://www.normalparenting.wordpress.com if you're interested.)

(no subject)

Date: 2009-11-30 08:02 am (UTC)
mossy: (Default)
From: [personal profile] mossy
Oh, meant to add, if you want any more links just let me know I have a bit of a collection now ;-)

(no subject)

Date: 2009-11-30 08:43 am (UTC)
highlyeccentric: Sign on Little Queen St - One Way both directions (Default)
From: [personal profile] highlyeccentric
HUH.

Thanks for this! This... gave a form to a lot of the vague thoughts I've been having lately - although mostly with reference to teenagers. (I probably need to sharpen up my attitudes to kids under ten, or to kids who aren't the smark, bookish type I relate to well as *people*, but there you go.)

My best friend is seventeen. I'm twenty-one (actually, twenty two now, but she's nearly eighteen now, so same diff). She's in her last year of high school; I'm in my first year out of uni.

Some things I've noticed:

a) People - Lucy included, sometimes - assume that this is a charity friendship, me babysitting or being a Good Influence.
b) Many people disapprove or undervalue of our friendship on the basis of a).
c) quite a few of the people featuring at b) are people who gave ME lots of praise and approval and affirmation for having older friends when *I* was in high school. Like my mother. Can't figure THAT one out.
d) still other people gather that we're close friends, and look down on me as a result. I must be immature, because my friends are not as mature as adults!
e) some of the people at point b) or d) think it's ok to express their disapproval in really dehumanising terms. (Dear Horrible Person: You wouldn't have anything to say to a teenager, huh? YOU TALK TO THEM LIKE HUMAN BEINGS. The same as you do with eighty year olds and eight year olds and eight month olds and everyone other bloody human on the planet.)

I'm not spotless here - it took me MONTHS to stop feeling like I was some random boring fusty Grown Up interloper in her teenage universe (despite the fact that we met online, where there is no such boundary anyway). On her side, we had... quite a lot of drama, actually (part of which comes from the fact that, yes, if you take up with a teenage best friend YOU GET TEENAGE DRAMA, and most of which comes from the fact that our personalities, when they clash, clash something awful).

Things like having to let her parents know where she was became stressful, because *I* have a Good Girl mentality and a sense of responsibility to other people, and *she* felt like her being accountable to parents was an imposition on me and a barrier to our having an equal relationship. I couldn't figure out why she felt like any implication that I'm more mature than her was an insult, a sign that I look down on her or don't value her etc etc. How do you explain that you don't *expect* someone to act or think like an adult (read: like me), without sounding patronising? How do you make it clear that you need *some* kind of sensible common ground in whatever emotional crisis, without sounding like you're being high-handed?

I figured out after a while that she was just expecting that I would look down on any unpredictable, highly emotional, conflict-seeking or otherwise "teenage" behaviour simply on the basis of age. But... I hadn't really figured out why.

Aaaand... (I'm going somewhere, I swear) the linkspam just threw a new perspective on it. I suppose it's not unreasonable, as a non-adult, to assume that not acting or thinking like an adult (or like the adult you're talking to) will brand you a lesser person in their eyes. Me, I dealt with that by acting Sensible. Why is it that so many adults confuse Sensible with mature? I'm a sensible person, and I was a smart kid who gravitated to adults for conversation and approval, so I think I evaded a lot of the dehumanising that goes against kids - or, at least, I was considered *more* human than my school peers, so that was all I noticed. But if you're not, if you've been a "difficult" child instead of the curly-haired angel I apparently was, then I suppose it's not surprising at all that you wouldn't trust adults (made doubly fun by the fact that most teenagers can't trust their peers either).

(no subject)

Date: 2009-11-30 10:27 pm (UTC)
highlyeccentric: Sign on Little Queen St - One Way both directions (Default)
From: [personal profile] highlyeccentric
I'm... I'd like to make posts, but I'm not sure that I can do so in a way that would be respectful of my younger friends on my flist. A lot of these insights come from the pretty emotionally charged centre of my friendship with Lucy, and sitting back and writing posts about How We Should Deal With Teenagers would, I think, go dead against the basic principle of Dealing With Teenagers Like Other Human Beings.

Thus, you get Thoughts In Comment Form, in lieu of posts :D. But maybe a bit further on in time, once we're both at uni, I might be able to make hindsight posts.

(no subject)

Date: 2009-11-30 10:28 pm (UTC)
highlyeccentric: Sign on Little Queen St - One Way both directions (Default)
From: [personal profile] highlyeccentric
Having said that, if you have teen-specific links on this topic, I would LOVE to read them :D.

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