a mother's musings from Middle England.......
When I was 12 I took a train for several hundred miles, by myself, to take care of two cousins, ages 4 and 2, while their mother had her third child - out in the suburbs, all by myself all day long. I can't imagine any 12 year old I know doing that!
Scribbit's post is definitely worthy of consideration. I agreed with a lot of what she pointed out. However, a topic such as this really does require a balanced healthy debate. For example - in some parts of our history many girls married who ever their parents told them to, or the first guy that asked - so they could leave home. Not all of these marriages were healthy or happy. Many woman had no choice but be forbidden to be all grown up when they had no offers of marriage and so became spinsters and forever under the influence and control of their fathers who provided them with a home and an allowance - or - were allowed to be an adult who became the sole carer for the aged and infirmed parent. And don't get me started on the Industrial revolution - surely forcing little kids to work in cotton mills was not an act of growing up? As for young people these days not being prepared for the responsibilities of adulthood. Sadly, I have had kids in my classrooms who have no choice but be the 'responsible' one in their family unit as their supposed 'grown up' parents are not fulfilling their role. Like I said - would make for a great healthy debate. Having said that - I am beginning to fear that my own will possibly bleed me dry before they pick up their own mantle ;)
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