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boron
06-23-2012, 03:41 PM
At which age would an American child likely feel strange or uncomfortable when someone would call him/her a kid?

In one American TV show, the leader has a habit to talk with 20 year-old movie stars, like: "Well, you are still a kid"...and they don't protest...

Kerosene
06-23-2012, 03:57 PM
Age 3-5 -- The child starts to emulate their parents, looking up to a older figure and bases their life and age upon them. In repercussion, the child condones any talk of basing their age to their situation.

Basically, you ask a child if they want to play with dolls, they go "no, those are baby toys".

Thus they start to hate being called a child, directly or not.


Other that Erik Erikson's theories, I would say:

The older the person, the more likely they will call a person a child regardless of age.
A 60 year old man will call a 40 year old a kid.
A 30 year old will call a 20 years old one.

It's how we see who is childish, referenced through our own lives.

To me, a "kid" is someone who's childlike. Not childish, my father's childish. But childlike.
Personally, I would see the majority of people 18-28 childlike. Thus, I would call them a Kid.


Referencing culture, I would say 16-24, depending on their looks.

Hope this helps.

boron
06-23-2012, 04:14 PM
The older the person, the more likely they will call a person a child regardless of age.
A 60 year old man will call a 40 year old a kid.
A 30 year old will call a 20 years old one.

It's how we see who is childish, referenced through our own lives.

To me, a "kid" is someone who's childlike. Not childish, my father's childish. But childlike.
Personally, I would see the majority of people 18-28 childlike. Thus, I would call them a Kid.


Referencing culture, I would say 16-24, depending on their looks.

Hope this helps.

So, like a 60 years-old meets a 40 years-old one on a street: "Hey, kid, could you, please....?"

WriteKnight
06-23-2012, 07:12 PM
Look, "Kid" can be either an insult, or an endearment. We call our married children "Kids" - "Where are the kids?" or "The Kids would like this," or "The kids are spending Christmas with their in-laws" - It's a familiar term of endearment, even though our son is 30.

I might also say "Kiddo" - "Hey kiddo, watch your step..." To someone younger than me, but that would almost be an insult. "Look, kid - you don't know what the hell you're taking about." - to a thirty year old man, would be almost as bad as saying "BOY" - it's an insult to manhood.

But I've had talks with students still in high school - 16, 18 years old. "You're young adults in some ways, but in some ways you're still kids," - and they get that.

Personally, as someone in their fifties, if I was NOT using the word as a term of endearment, or joking with someone I wasn't already familiar with, I'd stop using the word "Kid" as a form of address - by their early teens. At which point, I'd switch to "Young man, young lady"

If you're speaking of 'kids' in the generic sense - then it ends when they are of legal age. "Kids in high school..." can be heard every night on the newscasts. "Kids still in college" - a little less so. "Kids" is a substitute word for children. "You can keep your kids on your insurance plan, until they reach 26" "My kids taught their kids how to surf..." It just means 'children' - as in relations.

Kerosene
06-23-2012, 07:21 PM
So, like a 60 years-old meets a 40 years-old one on a street: "Hey, kid, could you, please....?"

It depends on the person.

I call people "kids" "boys" "woman" all the time, no matter what age, and I'm in my 20's. :tongue

icerose
06-23-2012, 07:47 PM
I think you might get a clearer answer if you actually state the situation in your story. People are complicated. It will depend on who's saying it not just how old each party is. I've heard some 10 year olds say "I'm not a kid!" There isn't a line where people cross it and suddenly it's not okay to be called a kid. My mom still calls all of us kids. It's quite comment for parents to call their kids "kids" their whole life.

For a stranger to come up and call some young adult a kid whether or not the person in question gets offended will depend on the personality of the person getting called a kid.

If they are sort of a rebel trying to forge their own path and break away from what other people want them to do, chances are they will be very offended at being called a kid by anyone, including parents.

If the teen on the other hand is upstanding but pretty average, they'll most likely shrug it off. Likewise if the teen is very intelligent and advanced for their age they will also get ticked off if they get called a kid.

It comes down to your characters. Pick your character type and be true to them.

lorna_w
06-23-2012, 08:11 PM
I hang out with plenty of people older than me--I mean, in their 70's and 80's, and they still call each other "kid," "kiddo," and talk about their "kids" (who are 50 years old). It's not an offensive term unless there's an insult/generalization attached to it, like "all you damned kids are so lazy," or a dismissive message around it: "I'm not sure why a kid like you would think his problems are important." Otherwise, it's an innocuous word. We really don't have option B for a stranger. "Hey, kid, would you mind giving me a hand?" or "Young man? Would you mind giving me a hand?" aren't that far apart in politeness. "Young man" might well make the young man laugh or sneer.

If you want to portray your character as over-the-top hypersensitive, have him react to an innocuous use of it.

boron
06-23-2012, 09:19 PM
Yeah, I get it. There's one pediatric website kidshealt.org and I thought it sounded a little childish because it is not dedicated only to small children, but also teenagers.

ironmikezero
06-23-2012, 09:45 PM
"Here's lookin' at you, kid..."

Anyone younger than you (or your character) is fair game - no kiddin'...

StephanieFox
06-26-2012, 01:00 AM
Anyone 20 years or younger than me is a kid. There's a woman in my office who calls everyone 'kid' because she's older than almost everyone else there. No one is bothered.

However there's a sensitive age, I think maybe high school or college, where some people might be insulted. They'll get over in in a few years.

I have to tell you that when someone who is not signifigantly my senior calls me 'young lady' I find if condescending. This is especially true if they are younger than me. (I'm 55+.)

Graz
06-26-2012, 05:53 AM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z9zuLdaxKCk&feature=related