The Roar

OPINION: Teenagers are not too young to make decisions

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Far too often, adults seem to be under the impression that teenagers are too young for a variety of routine adult activities.

If a teenager tries to get involved in politics, they are asked how someone so young could understand the complexities of government. If a teen wants to drink coffee, they are questioned why someone their age would need caffeine to stay awake in the morning. And many adults find it unimaginable that a teenager could understand sexuality or gender identity at such a young age.

To make matters worse, after teenagers are scrutinized for doing what adults regularly do, adults will turn around and tell teens to start acting more mature. The argument may change from situation to situation, but only for the convenience of the adult, never the teen.

As a bisexual feminist in a conservative Republican family, others are constantly trying to control how I live my life. And when they fail to change my opinions, I’m the one who is supposed to feel guilty.

Adults should not be telling teens they are too young to make their own decisions or think independently. There is a point when protecting children from the adult world prevents them from learning to live on their own. The smartest thing parents can do is teach their kids not to accept everything they are told.

Unfortunately, this can be difficult because many children are taught from a young age to respect and agree with their elders. When kids learn to accept all that they are told, they are set up to have unhealthy relationships, self-esteem issues and codependency problems in their futures. These wouldn’t be issues if adults would simply allow kids to learn from their own mistakes and decide for themselves when to participate in adult matters.

Teenagers should, of course, use common sense to make rational decisions in adult situations, but teens are old enough to drink coffee, wear makeup, decide how they identify, campaign for their rights, answer questions for themselves and be their own people.

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The student news site of Santa Clara High School
OPINION: Teenagers are not too young to make decisions