Why does age matter?

2

Hello!
I realised that when people on here asked my age, and I revealed my age (fourteen) they stopped talking, or disconnected. It bugs me, it makes me feel unwanted and unimportant, simply because of my age, when honestly I’m as mature as the next person. What do you guys think, do you care about age, or do you simply ignore it and try to judge on the actual maturity.

I believe that even though I am fourteen, I still have the ability to help people, right or wrong?

Category: Tags: asked February 9, 2014

22 Answers

2
accepted
You're right. Just the other night, I had a 14 year old assist me better than others could have. Some people look at age as a maturity level. They believe that since the person is young, they haven't gone through certain situations, don't have a substantial amount of educations and sometimes just don't know what they are talking about. This is not true in all cases, people who chose to disassociate due to age are stereotyping. Maturity does play a big part. I am 22 years old and have been told that I have the mind and wisdom of a 40 year old. Not sure how I'm supposed to take that, but hey, oh well. Just, don't let their discrimination of age get to you. Try to avoid talking about age when others ask you how old you are (on here). Be strong! Keep your head up! :)
3
Age bias. As a Listener, I take my volunteer role seriously, and therefore I will give a fair ear to anyone, and give measured responses. Age sometimes matters, but not as a rule of thumb. That being said, you cannot fault people for looking for someone they feel is qualified or are comfortable opening up to.
3
There is a little bit of scientific truth behind the association of maturity with age; the prefrontal cortex is not fully developed until a person is 25. That being said, there is much diversity among individuals and it is possible for a teenager to be more mature, intelligent, and knowledgeable than a person older than 25.

Cognitive function and the ability to reason and conceptualize occur earlier in some children than they do in others. As early as 2 years old, the human brain has the capacity to exhibit the early signs of empathy, and the ability to understand feelings from the perspective of others appears as early as 3. The centers of the brain controlling physical coordination, emotion, and motivation are all fully developed by the time a person reaches their late teens. Interestingly enough, the last center of the brain to fully develop is that which controls judgement--aka the prefrontal cortex, as mentioned before. Given the facts of brain development science provides us with, I believe it is totally demeaning to "talk down" to younger adolescents. A lot of adults who do this are really letting their own insecurity get the best of them; using the fact that they are older as a display of superiority to boost their own ego. People who behave like this should really question their own maturity. I believe a fourteen year old should not be denied the chance of exercising his/her capacity to reason any more than a 20 or 30 year old. Why are we really struggling over the question of maturity in the first place? Perhaps it is more accurate to say that maturity doesn't just happen with age, but it "develops over time" *with patience, engagement, and actively exercising the brain centers associated with it.*

Citations:
http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=141164708
http://teenbrain.drugfree.org/science/behavior.html
http://www.scholastic.com/teachers/article/ages-stages-empathy
1
as a fellow fourteen year old on here i get it. Sadly some people will judge you by your age. Don't feel bad if people leave after you tell your age it's just some people may not be as comfortable telling a 14 year old about their problems. Just be mature and prove to people that yes, you are younger, but no you are not immature. The good people should be willing to see that from the advice you give if you act mature or not.
1
Sometimes topics are not appropriate to discuss with certain ages. If I ask an age it's usually to decide how to approach the topic properly. Mentality changes with age.
1
I don't see a problem with it, if you can help that's well and good. I think sometimes certain topics may not be appropriate for a younger teenager. Or they may not be something you can relate to as well as an older teenager around 16-19 could, or an adult. Experience does come with age, there's people I may not be able to help because I'm 22. It's just a matter of experience with a topic.
1
I won't deny that some people age profile on here but I am sure that's not always the case. Sometimes its probably a matter of life experiences over maturity. Some issues may be universal regardless in which case if you want help take it where you can get it. Some issues people may have however might only be relatable to certain demographics of people like married people for an example.I would recommend approaching those situations with the mentality that its nothing personal. We can't assume to know the motivations of people who randomly disconnect. The best we can hope for is that they get the help they needed even if its with someone else.
-1
At 14 you can't possibly relate to issues someone in their 20s or 30s would have as a result of being in their 20s or 30s. Simple as that.
0
Some difficulties in life become more complicated as we get older. Relationships get more nuanced and problems get buried deeper. As you get older you take on more responsibilities and have different physical changes in your body. People mentally change as they get older. Career, finances, health, caretaking and households become more prominent issues in your life.All of that said, being 14 gives you a clearer outside perspective. You can certainly help someone from that vantage point. But they have to be willing to be helped that way. Just focus on the people who will receive your aid.
0
@Hope I understand, but I don't think its illegal to seek advice with someone under 18. If it is I'm leaving for Saturn.
0
Radia Hips, I've seen 14 year olds that can actually relate better than someone in their 20s and 30s. One reason is that at about age 14, the mind actually has the ability to recall a lot more information. The thought process is much different than someone in their 20s and 30s. Again, everyone's opinion should be taken into consideration, no matter who you are dealing with. Also, the website does CLEARLY state "Users providing this chat therapy are regular people with no professional training behind their advice." Though someone doesn't have adequate accreditation to provide professional help, doesn't mean they have not gone through situations that may or may not be relevant to a particular situation. Case in point, don't judge a book by its cover.
0
I don't care how mature a teenager thinks they are, age matters quite a bit. Anyone saying "oh I know many mature children who give better advice than adults" may want to consider if they, as an adult, have some maturing issues of their own where a child had to help them make sense of things. Probably the same type who can rationalize dating someone underage because they are more mature than their age. How I know a lot of these teens are oblivious is when one says "I'm wise for my age," wise people don't claim to be such, it just comes with the perspective they share. If you were really mature at 14 you would better understand why adults don't feel comfortable discussing difficult matters with someone who claims to be very mature for their age, but is a decade behind on life experience. Yes there are younger listeners capable of providing comfort and advice, but on average I'd rather not waste time hoping I.got lucky and this kid is one of the special wise ones. I got problems, not time to experiment.
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