They still have the potential to grow taller and to grow stronger. Mentally, they have yet to receive a sufficient amount of education that will provide them the knowledge to face day-to-day situations. Children also lack the social maturity to handle complex emotions such as stress, distress, anger, tragedy and so on. Furthermore, because of their young age, children have not yet experienced the world enough to come to conclusions that are frankly, beyond their mental capabilities. It is because of these facts that I assert that the ramifications of treating hillier as adults would be fatal to the world.
For example, if we were to leave children in charge of physical labor, the eventual consequences of doing so would be a generation of physically deformed, if not severely stunted adults. What is more, children’s performance cannot compare to that of adults. Hiring children in this field would cause productivity to decrease. Yet if we were to relieve them of this form of responsibilities and pass them the baton of running the economic world, then our economy will surely collapse at their hands. With insufficient education, children cannot comprehend the complicated workings behind our economy.
Having children as interns that can do little but ogle at the computer screens of meaningless numbers and words would be so pointless and fruitless that we might as well have them sent to school. Treating children like adults would mean expecting them to support themselves financially through getting a job. As children cannot work as well as adults, they will have trouble finding employment, which would then lead to increased rates of unemployment, increased crime dates and poorer standards of living.
Children will be forced into and trapped in a cycle of poverty and suffering. Furthermore, if children were to be treated as adults, then the mistakes that would normally be blamed on immaturity and ‘not knowing betted would have to be justified by punishment. And because they are to be treated as adults, the punishments doled out must be fit for an adult when they are actually still children. Having children punished as if they are adults robs them of the opportunity for rehabilitation, when given the brain plasticity unique to people their age, is possible.
Robbing them of their freedom by putting them in jail, and robbing them the opportunity for rehabilitation and education, will mean a incredibly dark future for these children. Moreover, having children punished as if they are adults puts them at risk of emotional trauma, which would severely damage their mental capabilities. Lastly, because of their lack of experience, children’s naiveté causes them to look at the world though rose-tinted glasses. They see the world as black and white, not understanding that there is a gray area.
Without coming to this understanding, children will face the blunt of human cruelty. They will be cheated, lied to, and manipulated. Subject to such conditions, these children will suffer emotional damage and be unable to develop trust in others. The direct consequences listed above would lead to a chain reaction of ramifications. Clearly, treating children, as adults would lead to the suffering of the world population as well as themselves. Therefore, unless we are ready to accept and suffer from the consequences, children cannot be treated as adults.
They cannot be punished like adults. And they CANNOT be expected to fulfill responsibilities expected of adults. Children are adults-to-be, not adults, and cannot be burdened with adult expectations and responsibilities. So what does it mean to not treat them as adults but as adults-to-be? I advocate for reduced punishments and reduced responsibilities. Firstly, children should be punished less severely than adults. The purpose of punishment should be for its rehabilitation purposes as well as to seek justice for the victims and their family.
Secondly, they should not e expected to fulfill adult responsibilities such as getting a job to support themselves. For the duration that they remain classified as children, their needs should be provided for. This will give them the environment to develop into adults that will eventually take over the reins. Treating children as the adults they are not would lead to ramifications so severe that they will be impossible to remedy. Children are not adults, and should not be treated as such – for the sake of the world, the adults, and more importantly the children, who will become the pillars of the future world.