I'm an Adult Now. I can do anything I want!

A common myth that teenage adults have as they start to get closer to that arbitrary line of being an 'adult' is that adults can do anything they want. I'm sure millions of parents have heard from their teen, at one time or another, "I'm an adult now so I can do what I want." A statement that clearly is a childish justification for poor decision making.

Why? Because usually your teen will come out with this statement if you won't let them do something that they really want. To be fair, sometimes it's just the parents being overly protective but, for whatever reason, being an 'adult now' is a childish way to say I don't care for your concern I'm going to do what I want. (Though in that last sentence you can exchange the word 'concern' for 'unreasonable attitude' or more likely yet just insert the word 'sh_t').

Apart from the obvious physical differences the key difference between children and adults is that adults make all their own decisions. Children do make some of their own decisions and are given more and more decisions as they get closer to adulthood but making all your own decisions isn't the same as 'being able to do anything you want'.

Whilst adults do make a lot of their own decisions they can still be held accountable for poor decision making. Just ask Britney Spears who lost custody of her children due to her poor choices. All adults are answerable to the standards of behaviour that we, as a society, have agreed upon expressed in something called 'The Law'.

Of course few people know the fine details of the Law but most of us know simple stuff like treating each other with respect. Most of us also have a fair idea when we do something that breaks the law too.

Leading to the point of this article is the idea that the decisions any one of us get to make is largely affected by decisions made by other people. Decisions that are beyond our control. Things like the Law is one such example of decisions made by others that can affect our choices but I'm referring to decisions on a more local and personal level.

For example. Lets say your lawnmower is broken but you need to cut your lawn before the landlord comes over for a routine inspection of your house. You could either; 1) Not worry about cutting the lawn and wear the consequences. 2) Hire a lawnmower or, 3) Borrow the neighbours lawnmower.

Decision one, don't cut the lawn. Entirely under your control 100% your choice.

Decision two, hire a lawnmower. If you have the money and you can find somewhere that has a lawnmower available for hire then good. Another decision under your control. There's a few variables that you can't control though. If they can't be met then this decision may not be open to you.

Decision three, borrow the neighbours lawnmower. This one could be straight forward if you're on good terms with your neighbour however this decision is only open to you if your neighbour is the kind of person who would like to help you out.

You see, some decisions we have are made available to us through the decisions of others. Lets say, the last time you borrowed your neighbours lawnmower, they had to ask you for it back and you returned it with no fuel at all even though, when you borrowed it, it had a full tank.

Maybe this time you won't be able to borrow it. Your poor choices the last time you borrowed the lawnmower have lead to a situation where you no longer can make a decision to borrow it again. It's not an option, unless you have an extremely forgiving neighbour.

Being an adult who can seemingly do anything they want is not about passing some arbitrary age where society says you're an adult. Being an adult is about understanding how the world works and how you can give yourself the widest possible number of choices when it comes to decision making.

In general, if you do the right thing by other people, they'll be more open and receptive to the decisions you want to make. Not only that, they may just throw in a few more options that could help you out. Doing the wrong thing will almost certainly mean fewer choices.

It's not a hard lesson to learn but it's one that so called 'teen adults' fail to grasp. They'll spend a lot of time trying to do the right thing by their friends yet fail to apply the same concept to the rest of the people in their lives.

I think I'll close this article the same way I closed the article about Britany...

"The truth is that you can get away with doing so much more of what you want simply by doing the right thing by the people around you."

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