The law considers you an adult at 18. You can vote. You can watch 'A' films. You can even marry (if you're a girl).
But there are many other milestones which mark one's movement towards maturity. My 7 year old daughter crossed one last week, when she asked for - and got - her very own email id.
I thought we'd let her use it under supervision. But here's what happened. Within two login sessions she had figured it all out. The third time I looked over her shoulder she scolded,"Mummy, don't see my password."
Such is life!
I gave her a short lecture on the importance of sending emails only to people she knows. Like her cousins, mamas and maasis. I gave her the analogy of the park. "You don't take chocolate from strangers, do you?"
But honestly, there's not much I can do. Sometime in the near future she will discover Yahoo messenger or Googletalk and, she could meet anyone online. She may think it's okay to say hello - after all 'hello' is not a chocolate. But hello can lead to anything..
OK, so I sound paranoid. But she is just 7 years old. I remember feeling like a full adult at 16. I thought I knew everything there was to know. I did not want any 'interference'.
For the current generation, the age of 'full adulthood' - in their minds - may be as early as 11 or 12.
Technology is racing ahead of biology. Sure, we will adapt and cope. But there is uncharted territory ahead!