My daughter and her friends rented an AIRBNB beach house over the summer.

Five 19 year olds and my 18 year old daughter.

The day they were leaving my daughter hands be a piece of paper: This is a contract from the owner of the property. you need to sign it. She handed me a piece of paper that listed all the girls names as well as the Mom’s (what does it say that even in 2020 when a child is asked to provide the name of a parent they still put their Mom….see…this is how blog ideas happen for me)

Back to the contract: Why do I need to sign? You’re legally an adult? My daughter shook her head in the international symbol of “I don’t know.”

After one of the Mom’s picked up my daughter for the drive, I got a phone call from an unknown number. When I checked the voicemail, it was the renter of the house.

Does your daughter have permission to away?

This conversation went a little like this:

Me: She’s 18. She’s legally allowed to enter into a contract.

Renter Guy: No she’s not. They can be on your insurance until they’re 26 so they’re not adults till then

Me: What????????

Renter Guy: Yeah. At eighteen all they can do is enlist in the army

Me out loud : What???????

Me in my head: Hmmmm…do they call a soldier’s Mom before they go to battle- Hey- Can Jimmy man a tank today? We have to go invade something. Oh wait, what about getting married? If this was their honeymoon would they call and ask- Oh Can Susie have sex with her husband this weekend? When I was eighteen I remember going to the Hamptons with my work friends and renting a room and no one said anything…I could legally drink at 18…

Me out loud: Of course she can go.

After this incident, I read that AIRBNB is trying to make the rental age 25 across the board. Sort of like renting a car.

Twenty five.

Do you know there’s also talk of lowering the age that you can become President to 25.

There’s been talk of lowering the voting age to sixteen…

Twenty five.


Simultaneously, we have people that feel that at the age of 25 you are mature enough to literally take on the problems of the world.

Yet, you are not mature enough to rent a house for the weekend.

You might cause damage in the house…

You might be irresponsible…

So what’s the actual deal?

Do we change decide what age someone should be because it suits us as a society?

Do we want the bright ideas of bright young things?

Or do we think these same said kids are still in toddler mindset?

Have we further infantilized young adults by doing too many things for them?

What is the age of consent?

Shouldn’t the age of consent be the same for everything?

How can we allow one thing that smacks of being an adult while blocking something else?

Shouldn’t there be a point where we don’t have to be active parents? Like, I don’t know, 18, when we ship them off to college or work?

Or do kids just not want to grow up?


65 thoughts on “What’s Age Got to Do With It

  1. I totally agree that there should be one age of adulthood across the line. It’s ridiculous that the Airbnb called you. What does that say for us as parents? Are we now supposed to be responsible for everything they do after they are adults? That’s just crazy! Then we get accused of not letting them go. 🙄

    Liked by 1 person

  2. From a historical perspective, it used to be that females were legal adults at 18 and males at 21. I think that was most likely because the government thought girls should get married then.

    People do mature at different rates, so how can we pick a number? Seems impossible. As for military service, the government has a vested interest in getting malleable minds – don’t want them wising up to how crazy going to war for old white men really is.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Practically speaking though, there has to be some sort if age that people can be personally responsible at. I totally get that people mature at different rates (my daughter is way more mature than my husband) but there still has to be something…

      Liked by 2 people

  3. It’s about liability. If I rent my house to an 18 year old with no assets and it ends up trashed, what am I supposed to do? Living near a college campus, I have observed the behavior of 18-21 year olds and their inability/refusal to follow rules. They are currently on lockdown with all classes switched to online but somehow, they’re still out and about in town. 🙄

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Yes, it’s always confused me too. Same thing with college. I could get onto my daughter’s account to pay the bill or give her some money but not see her grades? Health issues too, pay the health insurance but not talk to the doctor? As with most other things, I don’t know the answer to this one.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Well, I have always had the very unpopular opinion that everything, drinking, joining the military, voting, smoking, driving ALL should have to wait until they’re 25. This was, of course, very unpopular when my children were teenagers, and I am not sure how deeply held of a belief it is, but I have said it more than once, lol.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. The whole age thing has always driven me up the wall. The disparity between they can go fight and die for this country, but not rent a room or a car or even drink is ridiculous. The fact that I would have to sign some sort of permission for my 18 year old to rent a room, but I can’t legally get access to his college or medical information without his permission is so stupid. It can also create a very ugly mess for kids that are 18 and maybe don’t have any kind of parental support system at all. You have to do all this on your own, but everything still ties back to your parents. If your parents don’t want you to go to a specific college and you don’t have the scholarships or funds to do it on your own, they can make it, at the very least extremely difficult, if not impossible to go there (currently dealing with this potential issue with my son’s GF). I get it, there is compelling scientific information about emotional maturity and ages and 18 may be too young to hit that mark, but whatever the age, it really needs to be solidly consistent across the board. Once you hit that age, the parents can no longer factor into anything.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Perfectly stated. At some point there has to be an age where your parents don’t matter as far as decision making. You’re right…what if the parents say good luck and pack your bags at 18? There’s no law that says your kids must live with you. It’s a very screwed up system

      Liked by 1 person

  7. My oldest is 22 and he’s been renting apartments since he was nineteen so I don’t know what this “renter guy’s” problem was. (He may have been forced to sue someone’s parents for damages at some point and the parents claimed their progeny did not have permission to rent the place.) Obviously maturity depends on the individual person, but I do think 18 is a bit young to be considered an adult. The drinking age is 21 in GA where I am and that seems a better age for independence as well. Do you think the younger age may have come about as a result of needing more soldiers for combat?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think the draft age was 18 from the older wars, because 18 was considered the legal age (end of high school and all) while the age limit for some things has gone up, that hasn’t. Perhaps we should raise the age to these things to 21. I don’t know though

      Liked by 2 people

  8. I think young people like having an umbrella over them these days. There are some that are much more responsible than others. I’m just wondering, because I don’t know, if this is more a matter of money than anything else. If a group of young people trash a rented house, would the owner be able to get money from them?

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I know this makes no sense. Even if you are paying the college bills, you have no right to the students grades, health info or dues to be paid. My daughter needed to rent a hotel room because there had been a huge storm and there was no power in her dorm, I paid for it by credit card and had to do some wheedling to allow them to sign for the room. You can vote and enlist in the armed services but not drink. There are so many inconsistencies that you feel as if the toddler in the room could make better sense of it.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I have known some remarkably mature young people and then I have known some remarkably immature so-called adults (like in their 40s, 50s, and 60s, yes, seriously). So this is an excellent question. However, if we can trust people to be able to vote or join the armed forces at 18 we should also be able to trust them to make decisions regarding renting a BnB, buying a car, or a list of sundry other things. It seems a bit far fetched to me that you should have to signfor your adult daughter.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s my thing…if you trust them to to some things, you have to trust the, to do all. If they’re to young to rent a house at 18, then everything else can wait till 25

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Age is a relative term. Sometimes my 6 year old son is more mature than my 16 year old daughter. Sometimes she is more mature than I. Unfortunately, society can’t make legal decisions based upon individuals so a choice has to be made based upon a group.
    As I write this I am wearing a white see-through thong and a grin. Or was that yesterdays thing?

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Interesting discussion, I think they just want someone they can charge if there is damage occurred? As a parent of 4 grown kids, I’ve done my share of co-signing, I’m not a fan. If you’re old enough to rent a car, AIRBNB, hotel room, apartment then leave my name off the lease! My 2 cents. C

    Liked by 1 person

    1. If you plan on renting stuff, you need to factor in these things, plus, that’s what insurance is for. I think it’s a little sad that apparently so many kids are unable to respect others and their property

      Liked by 1 person

  13. I believe the age of consent should be the same across the board. I would guess that the Airbnb just wanted the parent to sign so they had another party to throw liability at and assume the parent would have more $$ than a young adult. It would be interesting to know how that held up in court!!

    Liked by 2 people

  14. I think it’s crazy that at AMC theaters even though 17 is the age to see a rated R movie legally, they will still card you up till age 25. There really is no correct age for anything because some people mature faster than others, some age and never mature.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. I’d have to look at the individual state’s law, but where I live, you can enter a contract when you’re 18. AirBnB or some landholder cannot change the law. They can refuse to let a person stay at their place for any reason they want, though. Even if they are stupid reasons. At some point, we, as parents have to let go. When I was that age, and younger, I couldn’t wait to be out from under of parent’s umbrella and be on my own – what ever happened to that? When my daughter was 17, I gave my consent for her to enter the Army. She was staying at a lot of her friends homes in the few months leading up to her leaving for boot camp and one mother called me to give me a ration of shit about my parenting. She didn’t like me letting her stay with friends, even though she was hosting her. I simply told her, at some point, she has to make to her own mistakes. I can try to teach my daughter all kinds of things, but there are times when kids won’t listen. And I can’t live the experience for her. BTW, GenXTravels nailed the liability issue.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Good grief. We need to bring science back into some of this. There’s something about the pre-frontal cortex and when people make good decisions. I also think, if society as a whole is going to suggest a president can be 25, then some 25-year-old people need to also move out of their childhood bedrooms…maybe I’m conflating issues.

    Anywho, I just think we should make up our minds as to who is an adult and who is not. Renting an AirBnB should be okay for 18 yo people.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Excellent discussion topic. As an instructor in a town with three universities, I can assure you many of these “young adults” are anything but adults (i.e. COVID house parties). The immaturity and complete disregard for anything that remotely resembles accountability is sometimes astounding. Yes, there are those who are mature and responsible, but they seem to be few and far between. My assumption is this renter has had more than one bad experience renting to this younger generation and is taking precautions to protect his investment. And he has every right to make this decision as a private property owner. I agree the age restrictions for various activities are all over the board and confusing. There is no way I can advocate for voting at age 16. The adolescent brain is simply not developed enough to make smart, informed decisions on a consistent basis in most teens. I also worked at Offutt AFB during the 80s and saw, first-hand how young the airmen looked and it terrified me! However, the training and discipline received in the military usually more than compensates for the lack of years in those who go that route. It’s a sticky topic since we want to raise confident children and give them responsibility….but realize there are areas where they still need supervision. Failure is part of be coming a mature person and I believe too many parents are trying to remove those obstacles so children never experience hard consequences. I would probably roll with the contract but have a serious conversation with my child about the ramifications that will await them if poor decisions are made. There is no one-size-fits-all way to approach this, is there? xoxo

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Very thought provoking comments! And I think it stems down from trying to shield our children from ever making a mistake and not allowing them to take personal responsibility. And while we’re talking parents, how about teaching respect! If we don’t teach respect, how do we expect our kids to have it?


  18. I HATED all of these restrictions before I was 25 because we were MARRIED before we were 25. We needed to stay places on vacation. We needed a rental car on vacation. We needed affordable car insurance, for Pete’s sake!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s my point! Isn’t marriage and military service the most responsible mature things? Yet… doesn’t make sense. It’s what happens when respect goes out the window

      Liked by 1 person

  19. Heaven help us all if we ever elect a 25-year old president! Maybe back in the days when 18 was considered adult enough for everything, but not now. And I agree about the confusion between who is, and isn’t an adult these days. It makes no sense.

    Liked by 1 person

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