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The Age Gap

Apr 19, 2010

    1. I tried to find some topic about it, but I coulnd't find it. If there is, please feel free to erase this one.

      When I read the Thread "Too Young for the Hobby" a comment from a user made me think about age gap issue .

      Many of the users here have kids. So, as parents (or imagining yourself as a parent), how would you feel to know that your kids are hanging out with much older people from the hobby to play with dolls?

      And as a much younger doll owner, how do you feel when you meet much older people from the hobby?

      Was there ever something that bothered you about it?

      And what are the things that you like about it?

      Just wanted to know what you think about this :) I haven't gone to many doll meet-ups (only one, honestly) and I was curious about what happens.

      I always had much older friends around me since I was a kid. When I was 7, my friends were 11, in Highschool my friends were 20, in University my friends were 30,and nowadays I have all ages friends from 15 ~60 :XD: . And I do remember my parents always being worried about it. I never really had friends of my own age and that never seemed to be a problem, but now I realize that's because I was lucky enough to find good friends that respected me for being younger (which is a rare thing). And nowadays I see myself in the role of respecting my much younger friends and giving the example that my friends once did to me.

      [EDIT]Just as a reminder, I think it's best if I let this clear for the discussion here. I believe we all here agree that we would never let a 10 years old child walk about with much older people without any supervision (or at all).
      So let's see a more realistic scenario if you have a teenage child (12~20), what would you think about them having much older friends and vice-versa.
    2. personnaly, i get along better with poeple older than me :) so i really dont mind.
      also if i had kids and they hanged with older people i would'nt mind. yah well not 20 year old junkie of course xD but in a hobby like BJD its OK
    3. If my children were very young (say fourteen, fifteen) then yeah, I'd want to meet the people that they were hanging out with. Simply because I know that not everyone is quite as they seem (when I was about 12, I had an internet friend who years later admitted to me that he was a bit of a paedophile) and I'd want to make sure that the people that they were hanging out with were good people.

      That said, the people that my sister was friend with when she was 15/6 were all her age, and they were terrible terrible influences on her. Now she's drinking and smoking etc. So I think that people can be bad people at any age, but I'd still feel uncomfortable sending my kids off to hang out with older people without meeting them first.

      Of course, when I actually have kids, they'll probably live in a plastic bubble. Heh. >_>;
    4. My parents are alright with it since most of them are women and quite a few of them are moms themselves and around my mother's age. A few women in my meet up group are also in the hobby with their daughters, so in my group it's considered kind of a family thing, therefore my mother is very welcome to hang out with us all, unlike if everyone were younger and all sitting there like "I wish this old woman would go away...", so it's really wonderful. If more of them were men, my mother would probably worry more or if they were closer to the 20-30 age group, but most of the people in my meet up group are 17-19 year old girls and 50-60 year old women with a few 30 year old women in there. If it were my kids we're talking about, I wouldn't want them hanging out with these people unless I got to go whenever I wanted too, and of course got to meet them beforehand. This is what my mom did, too.

      I was very excited! I feel a lot more comfortable around older people than younger or the same age people. Younger people tend to judge and shun more, a lot of the older people were warm and welcoming.
    5. I believe that this question applies to every hobby not only dolls. People with dolls aren't more trustworthy than say people with collecting glass figurines or sorts. Just because a person has a passion for dolls doesn't mean that they are a good person. Hence, I am implying that it doesn't matter whether it is a group meeting about dolls or games like checkers, I wouldn't let my guard down in trusting that my child would be safe at a meeting, especially if my child is young.

      Of course, a person can never be too safe perhaps unless till the point of paranoia. I wouldn't let a child who is under my responsibility and supervision even in regards of legal age in America, to go out to meets or events without my knowledge, and consent of these people.

      Age gap is a separate issue on the other hand. Being able to connect with someone that is twice your age and not near your age can be difficult, I assume since two people with that huge gap can have different knowledge, experiences according to time, and interests.
    6. Leenikins , Yikes! Yeah...tha's the biggest problem nowadays. Paedophiles are gaining a lot of space in the internet. I get shocked with how much this kind of 'market' keeps on going. No wonder there are many paranoid parents around.
      But indeed, bad stuffs come from every age. We can have good and bad experiences with people of all ages, so we are never that safe :P

      Inmylove, sure that's also my point.
      Tha's why I was asking in a more general sense. I'm not saying that just because you are a doll owner that you are trustworthy, but just mentioned the doll mettings because it is a vehicle that connect various other peoples too.

      If I had kids, I would also be careful with who my kids hang out with. But once I knew them, or at least have an idea of what kind of influence they could be, I would worry less.
      Probably this was one of things that always made my parents worried when I was a kid. They never had a good idea of who my friends were (for prejudice or just lack of oportunity to know them), so they could only think about the worst thing that could happen.
    7. Hmm, at age 25 I'm kind of in the middle of this gap. Too old to be controlled by parents and too young to have kids this might apply to. I think if the kids were young teens I'd want to know who these adults were that were hanging out with my kids. I might not even allow it unsupervised. For small children it would of course be a no.
    8. I think if your kids are "younger" members of the hobby, say 13 or 14, be an informed parent and know where they are going, who will be there, and when they are coming home, and trust that they are mature enough to use cation and common sense when meeting anyone new. At age 13 I might even say stay and supervise a meeting with a new person. Just introducing themselves to the older collector also might be a good idea for a parent. Though I am not a parent, so I cannot say for sure.

      I personally have never met an "older" collector in person, the oldest I have met is 30, and I am 21, so I still felt we were in the same general age bracket and we could connect. One member that I talk with often online is an older member (over 40 let's say) , and I can speak with her freely online, but I'm not sure how meeting her in person would go. It might go really well. It is easy to make connections if you have a common interest. Though I am an adult, so I do feel I can speak with other adults. Younger members like teenagers might be intimidated or weirded out by older adult members.
    9. Talking about age, it's funny how the concept of 'old'and 'young' have changed. Our parents and their parents married and had children at age of 20. More than that would be considered 'old' :P
    10. When I was younger (I'm 22 now), my parents had a policy of never judging my friends based only upon their ages. I never had any friends that were widely out of my age range, but my parents did want to meet friends' parents. I think that because my parents always judged on someone as a person and not a number, it's really effected me for when I do have kids.
      If my children want to hang out with a 30-year-old and they're 13, I would probably do what Rikka's mom has done and insist that I have rights to go and hang out with these people whenever I see fit, too.
      All in all though, I think it'd be pretty dependent upon who the person was and how I felt about them if I let my kids hang out.
    11. Speaking as a mother, I would never let my children meet other people in the hobby or got to meetups alone. Personallly, I'm misanthropic, so I don't feel any real need for physical 'dolly friends' and I would definitely frown on my child meeting older people in any hobby.

      I don't mind forums, but face to face encounters are out of the question.
    12. honestly i dont have anyfriends here but one.....:(

      but when i do see people around 60 and childern around 13 i do get a little bothered.....

      sometimes i fear i might be 60 one day still will dolls talking to 13 year olds about dolls......i dont wanna be that creepy old guy but its a forum so its more safe then person to person
    13. I like hanging out with older people, I don't mean to sound full of myself but I'd like to think I'm more mature than other people my age, which is why I don't get along very well with them >.>

      SO I actually love seeing older people with dolls!! Plus, those are the people with steady jobs who can afford the LE's and MD's and overall pretty expensive ones ;) Teehee!
    14. as a parent i would not allow it without supervision, like alot of people have said here allready you have to know who youre children meet and hang out with. i know because when i was younger i have met people who are reeeeeeeeeeeally weird. and i dont trust society anymore. about age gap i have friends as of the age of 60.
    15. As a 28 year old I have to admit I am really not comfortable hanging around with people under 16 or so unless their parents are present or I know their parents really well. *I* know I'd never do anything inappropriate but no one else necessarily does. Not to mention, I feel like as an adult, if I'm hanging around with an unaccompanied minor I am to some degree responsible for what happens to them. And if their family and I don't have some kind of ongoing relationship, that's not a responsibility I'm comfortable with.

      I definitely wouldn't let my hypothetical child go to a doll meet unless they were with me or with an adult I knew and trusted, and I especially wouldn't let them go to the home of some doll collector I didn't know on their own. I'm sure most of the time it's fine, but still, better safe than sorry.
    16. Just out of curiosity (and keep a discussion), I hope you don't mind if I ask. I have no idea how old is your child, so I'm assuming that you mean a child around 10 years, so yes, I would not allow that too.
      But what if your son/daughter had, like, 15~21 years old? Which are the bad aspects that you think it might cause to have a dolly friend?
    17. I am 28 and I have five kids of my own. Although none of them are old enough to be into the hobby, in ANY hobby, I would not allow them to be around people much older than them by their own. My 10 year old son is just getting into Warhammer, and although he is begging to go to "meetings" and whatnot at the store by himself, and although I have met the store owners and they all seem like genuinely nice people, you just never know. I myself am not comfortable hanging out with younger teenagers by myself either - I don't want to be "mum" to them, and I don't want to be responsible for them. And the age gap along with my life experiences means I have almost nothing in common so there is no real "friend" thing there either. I think up until the age of around 16 I just would not allow it for my kids (and don't really see a "reason" for them to need the contact either). With supervision, sure it might be possible, alone, no way in hell.
    18. This, absolutely.

      Additionally, one never knows where conversations will go with any group of people. They can turn very quickly toward subjects that may seem harmless to adults but could be objectionable to a parent when they are taking place around their child. I do not want to be part of the group that gets tarred as deviant or dangerous (because the whole group gets tarred no matter who said it, usually) because their child came home and asked what -insert word parents may not want their children knowing- means. And it could be anything from something sexual to something about politics or religion, etc.; we don't know what the parents consider acceptable and what they don't. Something may seem harmless, but isn't. Mentioning that a doll's character is of a certain religion, or that they are bisexual or even just have a boyfriend or girlfriend, or other subjects that are casually discussed here (without any gory details that could be 'inappropriate' to a broader audience), might be way over the line to some parents.
    19. I really don't feel comfortable hanging out with anyone under 18 unless their parents are around. I do have kids but they are only 7 and 4. If they were interesting in the same things I am I would take them along. Mind you, I'm one of the Star Trek/Star Wars nerd generation who gather at conventions dressed in costumes. So if they aren't embarrassed, sure they can come along. It was my hobby first... I'll share.
    20. I have to agree here. Call me over protective, or maybe it is just my own past experiences coming into play, but no way is my child under the age of about 15-16 going somewhere alone with people I don't know. It isn't about the age gap so much as I don't think it is generally safe for kids to be wandering around on their own. My parents didn't let me go out alone till roughly that age. I could stay with friends, but my parents had to know them and know their parents. Now if my kids were in this particular hobby in this area I could see it being a slightly different story because I do know these people, many of them quite well. Several I am close enough with to trust them to babysit my kids who are right now 8 and 4. So should there be a time that my child of 12 or 13 wanted to go to a meet that I couldn't make and a trusted member was going to be at I would let them go with that member as long as everyone agreed to it. We do have some teens in our local group, but they all come with their parents unless they are over 16. I wouldn't want to take the risk of my under age child alone with strangers, or put pressure on strangers to feel that they had to "watch" my kid. To me that isn't responsible parenting.