Articles rise_of_the_kidult

Published on September 6th, 2005 | by Alex and Brett Harris

Kidults: Adolescence Is Permanent

This is part 1 of 6 in the series Rise of the Kidult

Social scientists have discovered a new category of age: adultescence. TIME Magazine announces in its January 2005 cover article ‘Meet The Twixters:’ “In the past people moved from childhood to adolescence and from adolescence to adulthood, but today there is a new, intermediate phase along the way. The years from 18 to 25 and even beyond have become a distinct and separate life stage, a strange, transitional never-never land between adolescence and adulthood in which people stall for a few extra years, putting off the iron cage of adult responsibility that threatens to crash down on them”

These “kidults” still live with their parents and hop around from job-to-job and relationship-to-relationship. They lack direction, commitment, financial independence, and personal responsibility. They are boomerang kids, adult teenagers, and they are much more than a generational hiccup or a temporary fad.

In fact, according to sociologists, psychologists, and demographers they are a permanent trend. So much so that many countries have already named them: they are called “Kippers” in England, “Nesthockers” in Germany, “Mammones” in France, and “Freeters” in Japan. In many countries they comprise over 20 percent of their age group, and the numbers are rising rapidly. In Italy, for instance, over 50% of young people over age 20 still live with their parents.

In America the percentage of 26-year-olds living with their parents has doubled since 1970, from 11% to 20%. That means one in five American 26-year-olds lacks the financial independence, personal responsibility, or courage to leave the shelter of their parent’s roof.

How do we explain this? Unfortunately, we can almost predict that the world is going to say something like: This is OK! Irresponsibility is good!

In fact, several of the prominent social scientists that have studied this new life stage see it as a positive development. They argue that these “adultescents” aren’t lazy; they’re just reaping the fruit of decades of American affluence and social liberation. They believe that “this new period is a chance for young people to savor the pleasures of irresponsibility, search their souls and choose their life paths.”

Jeffrey Arnett, a developmental psychologist at the University of Maryland says, “It’s too easy to write them off as overgrown children. Rather, they’re doing important work to get themselves ready for adulthood. This is the one time in their lives when they’re not responsible for anyone else or to anyone else. So they have this wonderful freedom to really focus on their own lives and work on becoming the kind of person they want to be.”

Only a culture with exceedingly low expectations of young people can view the existence of these twentysomething Peter Pans as a positive thing. A proper look at the situation will lead us to the conclusion that whatever cultural machinery used to turn kids into grownups has broken down and that their replacements: adolescence, and now, adultescences, create “adults” without the moral backbone and financial wherewithal necessary to take their place in the adult world.

It is becoming increasingly obvious that putting off responsibility does not prepare us for responsibility. And that only radical action will allow us to escape the irresponsibility and ill preparedness our culture cultivates and expects.

NOTE: Please understand that this post is largely preliminary. In two extension posts I’ll be examining more in-depth “why” our generation is having trouble growing up and what we can do to change that. For now, please use the comment section to interact on these questions, don’t feel like you need to answer all of them, but pick at least one:

1.) Is this development surprising to you? Why or why not?

2.) Do you think the idea that adultescences is a time for young people to be irresponsible and carefree is any sillier than the idea that adolescence serves a similar purpose? Why or why not?

3.) Do you know any Kidults? Without giving any names, briefly describe their lifestyle.



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About the Author

are the co-founders of TheRebelution.com and co-authors of Do Hard Things and Start Here. They have a passion for God and for their generation. Their personal interests include politics, filmmaking, music, and basketball. They are both graduates of Patrick Henry College in Purcellville, Virginia.



  • Heather

    I am from a cuban background, and in our culture it is fine for an almost 30 year old to be living at home. I’m not saying that it’s a good thing. but I know people who are intheir twenties, live at home, and just mooch off their parents. They don’t do anything around the house (and they have a MMORPG gaming addiction, but would never admit it) *cough* my brother *cough* all he does is play the game, sleep, and eat. I don’t like that. but if the person works around the house and does thier share, I think it’s fine

  • wafaa hanna

    I agree with you but to a certain limit .I’m from different culture (Egypt) and I have been in the USA for 20 years .I find it very helpfull to our teens generation to encourage them to stay home and HOLD A JOB till they finish their under grad school .By that time they are mature and strong enough to face the storms we have in our society .Also it is cretical age (teens ) to strengthen the family bond wich we have ben lacking in our life tsyle

  • John M. Kirton II

    While I can agree that many 20-somethings may not have the maturity to “leave the nest”, have you NOTICED just how expensive it is to live on one’s own? Car insurance, home or renters insurance, accelerating gas prices, car payments and rent (not including general living expenses) can easily inundate a person!

  • http://www.therebelution.com Brett Harris

    Everyone: Alex and I are not against twentysomethings staying home with their parents as long as necessary. We just have a problem with them mooching off their parents while running from responsibility. Thanks for reading!

  • http://tragicbeautiful.com/blog/ Debra

    I’m more then a bit late in coming to your blog; a good Kiwi friend sent me the link to the first post in the “Twixter” series as she had pointed out that I fall very squarely into this generational developement, at the emotional peril of my parents.

    Anyway, is answer to your questions as I read, and as based on my opinions, I’ll be commenting.

    1) I was honestly very surprised when my friend brought it to my notice; this is just further proof to how oblivious one can be when they are involved in the middle of something. But based on the way our society behaves, changes, and treats its younger population, I am not surprised.

    2) I think it serves a slightly different purpose. At the older age, we have the ability to expirience more and do more then dabble in something- we can dive in head first and hope we don’t crack our skulls open on the bottom of the pool. Is this better? I don’t know. The only thing that comes to mind is cliched, but time will tell soon enough.

    3) Me! (No, I’m not entirely proud of this.) 25, living at home, unemployed, very unstable relationships of just about every kind, could be a very long list.

  • http://www.advancinghiskingdom.blogspot.com Marshall Sherman

    I’ll answer Question #1. Maybe the next person can answer number 2.

    1.) Is this development surprising to you? Why or why not?

    Not a bit. This actually isn’t a new development. It’s just a new discovery. It’s been happening for the last 2 decades. It has to have been, because people just don’t all of a sudden become like that. It’s a culture, it’s an upbringing. It’s an I-grew-up-in-America-so-I-have-the-right-to-do-what-I-feel-like attitude.

    So really, this doesn’t surprise me. We can see it on TV, in the movies, and in Hollywood.

    Awesome post, and you’ve hit the nail on the head.

    :-P

    Marshall

  • http://www.TheAccount.blogspot.com David Ketter

    1.) Is this development surprising to you? Why or why not?

    Not really…I mean, we see it EVERYWHERE we look. Has it really taken these “experts” that long to recognize reality?

    2.) Do you think the idea that adultescences is a time for young people to be irresponsible and carefree is any sillier than the idea that adolescence serves a similar purpose? Why or why not?

    I don’t think that any idea lacks more intelligence than “adolescence.” If anything, the stupidity of them both is equal. Ancient society’s had it figured out – once a kid turned 13 or 14, he/she was an adult. They might still live at home until they married (which could be a short time or not) but they were adults and had to take on adult responsibilities. It made for a stronger and healthier society.

    3.) Do you know any Kidults? Without giving any names, briefly describe their lifestyle.

    No I don’t. See them? yes. Know them? No.

  • http://smarthomeschool.com Alex King

    I’ve got to concur with your answer to #2 David – I was going to say the same thing. The age has been slipping back over the years. It makes you wonder – if it keeps going at this rate, will maturity eventually be extinct? Will there come a point when there is nearly no responsibility at any age? It’s a scary thought.

  • http://www.nathansheets.com/blogs Nathan Sheets

    1.) Is this development surprising to you? Why or why not?

    Not really. Being 20 myself I see this in my own life. I don’t live with my parents, but I am still dependant on them in many ways. I spent the last year in Switzerland, figuring out what to do with my life, and now I am finishing college in the States with my parents’ help.

    3.) Do you know any Kidults? Without giving any names, briefly describe their lifestyle.

    Yes, I know many. They live at home, may or may not have a job, and rely on their parents for everything. They party a lot, spend money on things like clothes and electronics, and they have no long term goals.

  • http://www.rebelution.blogspot.com Brett Harris

    Good questions, Alex. In the last thirty years marriage and family have been pushed back half a decade. Many adult responsibilities are being shouldered 10 to 15 years later than they used to be.

  • Grace Petitmermet

    3.) Do you know any Kidults? Without giving any names, briefly describe their lifestyle.

    Yes, I met dozens of kidults and not only in the age range of 18-25 but also from 25-60. One of the main characteristic is not wanting to take responsibility or be responsible for their actions, words, and/or deeds. Also they blame circumstances or others for what has happened to them or what will happen. The root of this problem is how one covers their sin. It is nothing new because it happened at the fall. Adam blamed Eve and Eve blamed the serpent. They lied to themselves and did not face the ugliness of their sin and this is what the kidults do too.

  • Karen K

    Not only do 20-somethings act like kids, it’s not uncommon to see 40 year old men and women dressing and acting like kids as well. I wonder why there is such an attraction. It’s not at all fulfilling to live without responsibility and to feel insignificant. People are being fooled into believing that freedom is the opposite of responsibility.

  • http://www.rebelution.blogspot.com Alex Jordan Harris

    Karen, I don’t think it’s so much an “attraction” as it is a logical continuation of the myth of adolescence. Irresponsible and immature teenagers become irresponsible and immature adults. We’re seeing the fruit of our culture’s low expectations over the past 20-50 years. With expectations even lower, and media more powerful, it will only get worse… There needs to be a backlash. A rebelution.

  • elien

    1.) Is this development surprising to you? Why or why not?

    no. this does not surprise me. i think that this culture stemmed out from the movement of women from the home to the workplace and the birth of the career woman. diligence has always been a part of america’s puritan culture. once the women took on other roles besides motherhood and being a wife (i.e. working), they began making up for lost time with their children by spoiling them. if the children are raised like that, then mostly likely they’d be kidults.

    i think it’s sad, but i wouldnt, for a second, have society revert back to the “Pleasantville” days where women’s only purpose was to be wife and mother to put an end to kidult culture.

    i think that it would be good public policy if the government were to impose a tax on parents,who still have their kidults live at home.but i can’t think of a way how that would be enforced, without coming off as fascist.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    the other side: new york city is very expenisve. neighborhoods which used to be considered poor are being invaded by spoiled, rich, white kids whose parents pay for their rent. the property value increases and the original (can’t afford 1200/month rent)new yorkers are being pushed farther into the periphery, where rent is not as expensive, but transportation is a killer. affluent, usually white, people who have their parents pay for their stuff should be classified as the kidults. with minorities, it is not the same. we live with our parents still due to our disadvantages in education (property tax funds education in new york state. how many people can u tax for property, when over 90% of nyc rents?) and everything that is the outcome of that.

    in spite of what the media may have the world think about ghetto children, no one chooses to be poor. no one wants to suffer. and if u took a walk in a ghetto neighborhood, u realize that people work hard, but the wage increases do no go up as fast as the prices do. people who grew up poor shouldnt be considered kidults. you always see minority kids working in fast food joints while in school. if that isnt responsibility, then i dont know wut is.

  • http://www.rebelution.blogspot.com Brett Harris

    Elien, excellent point regarding minority kids. Those who are poor aren’t trying to extend financial insecurity and as an extension, adult responsibilities such as marriage and family. Their postponment is a result of real need.

  • Adrielle

    Thank you, Brett and Alex, for beginning this blog. I have truly enjoyed reading the challenging and encouraging articles published on this site.

    1. Is this development surprising to you? Why or why not?

    This development does not surprise me in the least. I have seen it played out in the life of a close relative as well as in the lives of some formerly homeschooled friends.

    2. Do you think the idea that adultescences is a time for young people to be irresponsible and carefree is any sillier than the idea that adolescence serves a similar purpose? Why or why not?

    I agree with David.

    3. Do you know any Kidults? Without giving any names, briefly describe their lifestyle.

    Unfortunately, I know several Kidults. The ones I know live at home and may or may not have a job, depending on the time of year. They do not reimburse their parents for room or board. Some of them have been saying for the last two years that they are going to work on getting a GED, but as far as I know, they have made little or no progress in that direction.

  • http://www.livejournal.com/users/sari9800 sarah faith

    This is so embarrasing, but two of my 3 brothers are kidults. I am the youngest and I married at 21, while 30 and 25 year old brothers just moved out of my parents house last year. The 30 year old did live away from home for a few years when he was going to college (7 years and no degree). The only reason that they no longer live at home is because one of my brothers is fairly motivated and he pushed them to buy a house together.

  • Allegra

    I find what you guys said scary. I myself am still a younger teenager, but I dread growing up. For some reason, I have it in my head that growing up is one of the worst things that can happen to someone. This idea probably comes from observing kids my age or just a little older who are maturing, but don’t have time to play with the smaller kids and less grown-up teens. Doesn’t growing up involve keeping your sense of humor, playing with little kids, but just getting more responsibility and learning how to deal with it effectively?

    Well, now you know what I think!

  • http://malitzminutes.blogspot.com/ Jill

    Now I am scared! The experts werent raised the way I was. And to think that our young irresponsible people will be our future leaders. Will they live long enough to “grow up”? Thanks for the post.

  • http://malung-tv-news.blogspot.com dave bones

    This is totally me all the way. Are you saying its bad to be like this? Who is judging whose lifestyle?

  • Crystal Simone (17)

    #1: This development is absolutely unsurprising to me. American society has coddled children into irresponsible monsters. I have babysat children who have no concept of discipline or accountability for one’s actions. it’s ridiculus to think of what those children will be like as adults. their automatic response to anything tough is “it’s not my fault!” and unfortunately i think that’s not going to suddenly stop at 25, why should it? at least they’ll be consistent in their inconsistency. Anyone who needs affirmation in that school of thought just needs to watch one of the Nanny 911 shows or maybe Honey We’re Killing The Kids to get a concept of what these children are like.

    #2: The idea of adultescence or adolescence being a time for kids (or kidults) to be irresponsible and carefree is absurd. don’t get me wrong, adolescents should enjoy their freedom from bills and marraige and such while it lasts, but they (we) also need to learn what it means to be responsible. The adolescents have also got to learn to be empathetic. Correct me if i’m wrong, but the majority of people in our world are gravely lacking in the compassion area. Hopefully Christ will get to the forefront soon because it’ll take divine intervention to fix our society.

    #3: I don’t know any kidults. The older people that i know that live at home are all going to college and they’re just trying to cut their expenses.

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  • http://None Becky

    I’m 50-something and need to say that I have cousins who are also 40-50 somethings who are adultescents! All three in one family have never married, the female has multiple master’s degrees (including in Christian education!), has turned down marriage offers, and works in a warehouse hardware store. Her older brother has gone to the university off and on for 32 years, has had short term “jobs” tutoring, etc. and still calls elderly relatives (I mean in their 80′s!) for help when he has car trouble. The other brother still lives and home, dabbles in the family business and works on hobbies. So I have seen this at close range for years~perhaps these were the “pioneers” of this movement~Ha! It’s a sad state and we are doing our best to prevent this in our two teens.

  • Amy W

    The article points to a very real and dismaying phenomenon but it has not taken into consideration other cultures. Many societies throughout history and across cultures have functioned well with intact, extended families. There is no biblical mandate for young people to move away. I think the author was addressing the problem of irresponsible dependence but used intact generational living as proof. We must be very careful to recognize that the modern American idol of independence is not the godly standard. Mature responsibility is not defined by going away from your family of origin.

  • Nat

    Now wait a minute……

    Jesus stayed with His folks until He was almost in His 30s! We know He died around age 30, and before then He had approximately 3 years of ministry. That means, for certain, He was still with them at the age of 25 (and, if He died at 33 as many think He did, then up until age 30–literally!).

    And then, up until recently, it was quite common for young women to remain at home. Indeed up until recently a young woman only left her parents when she was married. (The difference, of course, was that they usually married at 15 or 16). But it’s still the same sort of idea.

    The one difference i would say is that “staying with one’s parents” didn’t equal immaturity. Instead when people stayed with their parents back then, they did so in order to help provide for their parents. These people nowadays, though MOST CERTAINLY not all of them, seem to be freeloading. And that’s where this turns into a societal problem.

  • http://www.beautiful-grace.blogspot.com Maria

    I have seen you mention kidults before. Quite frankly, they are ridiculous! At first it confused me a little, but as I digested it, I realized that it is what thoses young men or women are doing that makes the difference.

    There is nothing wrong with staying home. I probably will stay home. But a young man who helps in the family business, is responsible, earns his own spending money, and supports his family, is not a kidult. A young woman who helps manage the household, take care of younger children, and earns some money for her family and herself is not a kidult.

    Although I don’t really know many kidults, I could name young people in their twenties who aren’t responsible. They don’t necessarily live at home, but that doesn’t mean they’re mature.

  • Randy

    Folks, can we not compare Jesus’s life to the typical American young adult. He was an apprentice carpenter at a very early age and the reason why he’d stayed with his relatives was because those times were tribal where tribes/clans worked and travelled together. And transport, in those days, wasn’t exactly cheap or quick. Hence, you’ll see Persians in Persia, non-overseas-military Romans in Rome, Hebrews in Judea, Chinese in China, and Indians in India.

    In contrast, America’s the melting pot of many of the world’s nations (with a 70% majority of western and eastern European ethnicities). What ties these peoples together has to do with class, racial, religious, and educational experiences. And as a modern nation-state, individuals, couples, nuclear families, etc, have to move/travel, etc to find work and develop careers across the entire continent. With the above in mind, it’s astounding that we have kidadults who never grow up because it’s not really the American way. Americans were once, a self-reliant/self-made culture (see Bonanza, Superman, etc), and the hallmark of being someone is to build a life though it doesn’t have to be dull because adults can also get together and play dodgeball, paintball, go hiking/rafting, etc while maintaining careers, households, etc w/o being an “all work and no play makes Jack a dull person” today type of corporate drone.

  • Aria

    Would you rather see 20-year-olds becoming marrying and becoming parents before they’re ready or waiting until they’re 30 and have the maturity necessary? We live longer that we did 500 years ago, when it made sense to be an adult by 15 because they lived until 45 or 50. So a third of their lives were to be children, 2/3 as adults. It makes sense to be young and carefree until 30 in these days of living to be 90.

    Don’t talk down about those whose choices don’t hurt you. This comes from someone who moved out on her own at the age of 18 by choice. Those who are my age now (25) and still live at home aren’t hurting me. Put you time into fighting child molesters or something worthwhile.

    This fight on fun in part of what’s leading people away from Christianity.

  • Over 25

    I second that! Stop casting stones. There are hard modern economic and social realities that you teenage folks haven’t even encountered yet.

    It is difficult to find a good job. Most entry-level jobs don’t pay enough to buy or rent one’s own home. This is the reality. Employers are no longer loyal to their employees as they used to be; therefore keeping a job is as much of a challenge as finding one. This, too, is the reality.

    And I see nothing wise in taking “adult responsibilities” like having children when you’ve barely started your own life. Our modern society, thankfully, gives us the opportunity to wait until we are a bit “older and wiser” to have children. We should use this opportunity. So, judge not until you walk in those shoes.

  • http://www.therebelution.com Alex Jordan Harris

    Aria and Over 25: We understand the changing (and hard) economic and social realities. We do not advocate buying a home you cannot afford, marrying a spouse you cannot support, or having children you cannot raise. However, we do advocate a focused effort to be financially and emotionally secure enough to do so, sooner, not later.

    To look at it from another angle, the problem is not when young people get married at 30 instead of at 20 (though there are still consequences). The problem is when they put off marriage and kids, not to become more mature or responsible, but to serve themselves and to enjoy the freedom of irresponsibility. Being “young and carefree,” to borrow your words, Aria, does not result in “the maturity necessary” to be a responsible spouse or parent. That is what concerns us.

    Our criticism is not in any way intended to address the many young people who are living with their parents, unmarried, and/or financially insecure because of circumstances entirely beyond their control. But as the TIME Magazine article clearly states, these “kidults” are in a different category.

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  • Emily

    Thank you for this article. I’ve been grousing about “kidults” for years. They drive me nuts. Probably because I know quite a few. They prefer to live with their parents, but if they can’t, they live in groups to offset the need for a “real” job. They have no goals in life, unless it’s some vague pipe dream. They earn little money and save none. Whatever income they do have is blown immediately on the first whim that pops into their head… video games, movies, take-out food, clubbing, clothes. This doesn’t stop them from complaining in their very next breath how hard life is, how they have no money for food or rent, or how they never have any fun. They have very poor relationship skills, preferring to “cut and run” should things turn sour rather than staying and working things out. They blaim others for their problems, and if that doesn’t work, then they blame the circumstances. It is NEVER, EVER, their fault they are in the situation they are in. Sadly, one of the “kidults” I know is pushing 40. I’m guessing he will never grow up.

  • Laura

    I have seen some kidults, and I know some kids my age (16) who will probably become kidults. It is a sad thing to watch develop. Being a young woman I will stay under my father’s authority until it is transferred to my husband. Staying at home and helping my family will be preparing me for my future home. I think it is very different for young men though; the Bible commands them to go out and prepare their fields.

    Thank you!

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  • Jason Jones

    Just wanted to say that it would be difficult to really say why people are gaining financial independence so late in life. I feel- that there are possibly many individual situations and explanations for that.

    Now as to say why people like the so called “childish things”… I will use myself as one example. I do live on my own. I pay my own bills. I have an aggressive savings plan. And I pursue further education. However- in addition to enjoying adult activities and relationships, I also enjoy the creative and expressive side of “childlike things”. I suppose it is that “kids really do have the most fun”. And “yes”- I do live in somewhat of a pretend life. But none the less, I keep “playtime” in proportion with “doing what I have to do time”.

    Conclusively- I do believe that people need to be more responsible, fair-minded, and show a better moral example to teach our future generations. However- I think that kidding around, fun, and even doing some pretending is fine for adults. Balance!

    People need to loosen up and be like a kid, but without making the poor mistakes often associated with the poor judgement and priorities of a child.

  • Brittany Schmidt

    I read your article “Addicted to Adultescence” and it is so true and sad.
    1.) Is this development surprising to you? Why or why not?

    No, unfortunately it is not suprising. I see this selfish behavior trained into kids around me. It starts with their parents meeting their every whim and as they grow they are never taught to work hard which leads them to thinking the world revolves around them. And as they grow they oftentimes never are brought to a sense of responsibilitly which is reflected in every area of their lives. From the way how they treat women to their addiction to video games to their unability to keep a job.

    2.) Do you think the idea that adultescences is a time for young people to be irresponsible and carefree is any sillier than the idea that adolescence serves a similar purpose? Why or why not?

    No I don’t! We are choosing who we will be for the rest of our life in are teenage years. I am very glad you made that as one of your questions. I am sick of the idea that because I am 17 I am not expected to be responsible, reliable or able to think of anything no relating to guys and gossip!

    I can’t answer the last question, because I will rant and rave. Thank you so much for addressing this subject. I long to be a wife and mother someday, but there are so few real men out there. I am not saying us girls are blameless, but it is so hard to be a lady when their are so few gentleman to treat us as such. I pray that the Lord may use your articles to wake up this generation of sleepers.

  • Linda

    Most – no, all of my friends are the so called kidults.. Everyone is around 25, lives with their parents or in a student dorm and have NO responsibilities whatsoever.

    Some are still in college, because they wanted ANOTHER education on top of the one they already have. (In Holland education doesn’t cost so much as in the USA) .. all of them have boyfriends/girlfriends who vary from month to month.. They all look at us (22 and 25) as weird, being married and having a baby.. we’re the aliens in society, the kidults have become the norm.

    One thing in defense of the ‘italian kidults’ who live at home for (too) long.. It’s VERY hard to get a house in italy, and if you are appointed to one, it’s VERY expensive ;)

  • Vijay

    Question 1
    18 is not the age children should leavehome to fend for themselves.It is ludicrous.This is the age when they go through physical,cognitive,emotional,social and transition in the self concept:discover themselves,new experiences,new incoming informations,go through self organization and self growthand begin to become individuals. This is the period they acquire new knowledge learn new life skills,experiment with life.It is a crucial period when they should not be confined or distracted by burdens and demands to run their own lives.They need all the support from the parents to become a responsible and complete individual. What more pleasure children could offer to their parents by being with them?What makes one think one cannot become responsible and self sufficient by being with parents?This is one of the ludicrous nonsensical thinking of the western world promoting individuation,not the Eastern family tradition of collectivism and family bonds.

  • kitti

    Laura: You’d do that? Stay under your father’s authority until you got married, I mean. I could never do that, it’d would drive me totally insane. Of course, I suppose he hasn’t had much control over me since I was five…

    1) As a teenager, it doesn’t surprise me. It’s rather hilarious to watch these people make fools of themselves, honestly. And then swiftly add the things they do to the things I won’t. I desperately look forward to getting away from my parents. I’d rather deal with bills and work and saving money and having people see my goals as pipe dreams (“making a living off alternative comics? You must be mad!”) than deal with parents who declare that since I’m a teenager I *must* think I know everything. (What, am I supposed to be sorry ’cause I’m idealistic and you’re cynical, Dad? *shakes head* He’s such a jerk sometimes. )

    2) I don’t understand the mindset at ALL. I’m already cracking my skull against the wall waiting to be on my own, to be able to make a difference, and the idea that I might be expected to be an immature idiot for even LONGER makes me want to curl up and DIE.

    3) No, not personally. Most of my family has INCREDIBLE independence issues, they all need a lot of their own space, and by extension most of the adults I’ve met are quite capable of living on their own. Occasionally they self destruct a bit, but usually they recover fairly quickly… At least, the ones my parents still associate with do.

  • Ruth

    I totally agree with what Brittany said. It drives me crazy, the way that people are always telling me to act more like a typical 17 year-old. So what if I act like a 30 year-old who has kids? I’ll be able to raise my kids better with experience now.

  • Ruth

    Not that I have any kids right now!!!

  • Lisa

    The kidults I know have been coddled all their lives by their parents and grandparents. They have never had to work for any of the big-ticket possessions they own. Things like cars, computers, furniture, big appliances and of course, CASH – have all been laid at their feet, simply for the asking (or hinting).

    I have watched as one of these kidults mooches electricity off the parent (rather than use his own, since he has his own apartment), he mooches internet service rather than use his own which is provided to him at no charge via his employer, long distance phone service, he gets to pay 1/3 of the electric bill as opposed to what he should be paying (HALF the electric bill, since he has one half of the house as his apartment), and he gets his parents to do whatever he wants at the snap of a finger.
    The grandparents are no better than the parents in this regard, and everyone in the immediate family basically trips over each other’s feet to accommodate this kidult’s every whim. Pretty sickening.

    Incidentally, this kidult does have a job that pays him pretty well, but uses very little of his own money to pay for anything. He mooches bottled drinking water off of one of his parents, too – and uses 3/4 of the jug for himself. He doesn’t pay the rental on the water cooler. Daddy does.

    I think this situation stems from parents wanting to be ‘buddies” with their kids rather than PARENTS. This kidult will never leave and strike out on his own.
    He has it too good right where he is. Why would he leave?
    He has no direction in life, no long-term goals (or short-term, for that matter), only one or two friends, and hangs mostly out with those who bend over backwards to please him – mommy, daddy and the grandparents. He is not required to stretch himself, to grow, to learn, to provide solely for his own needs and wants.
    He has never had to struggle for anything – and probably never will.
    He is 26.

  • Barb

    This development is not surprising to me because our culture worships recreation and our top priority is happiness. As long as he’s happy….. We’ve all heard that phrase before, right? Since happiness is defined as being able to do whatever we want whenever we want, it’s not surprising that kids grow up shunning responsibility. That interferes with the goal of happiness!

  • Alexander Kaehler

    (whew) Read al the posts! There are quite a few which I’d kind of like to reply to, but are waaay to far up.

    Also, I wish somebody would delete those 2 spam/advertisemnt-for-some-dumb-pointless-thing-messages.

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  • Elisabeth Gruber

    Alaxander Kaehler: yeah, i agree… those kind of messages are pointless and irksome…

    2.) Do you think the idea that adultescences is a time for young people to be irresponsible and carefree is any sillier than the idea that adolescence serves a similar purpose? Why or why not?

    I think that is exactly the purpose of adultescence… to create an even longer span of time that growing up can be procrastinated…

    While I think it is ok for parents to let their kids stay with them when they grow up, I dont think their parents’ house should be allowed to be treated as a place where they can live and just be reckless and irresponsible… it should be a place where they can stay until such a time as the he can support himself enough financially to live on his own.

    Maybe Americans will finally be completely grown up when we are old and decrepit and in nursing homes… but then again, some other intermediate stage will probably be invented that will give old adults the excuse that they too can be irresponsible and carefree like they were back when they were “adolescences” and “adultescences”. (that is supposed to be a sarcastic paragraph)

    ~Elisabeth J. Gruber

  • Nana Jane

    I don’t know what the legislation is in other countries but, in Australia, people can get their Driving Licence at 16 and 17 years of age, they can also get married and, as far as I know, have credit cards at those ages. At 18 they can (and must) Vote and are legally entitled to imbibe alcohol outside the home and parental control.

    Given the distances to be driven and the lack of public transport in rural areas in this country a driving licence is almost a must at 16.

    At the same time, it is as equally an adult and responsible undertaking as all the above activities. Taking responsibility for peoples lives and having a say in the running of our country, what can be more adult than that?

    Given that people (“kids”) expect, nay, demand, the right to these adult activities then surely it must folloby extension that they are well accepting the rights and responsibilities of being adults AT THAT TIME.

    If you wish to be treated as an adult……………………then act like one. what could be simpler.

    My “kids” and grandkids know we are here to help them up if they fall down and that our home is their home if they are down on their luck and need some breathing space. Just phone ahead so I can get the beds ready.

    But, we struggled to educate them and worked hard to instill work ethic and a sense of responsibility. Stand on your own 2 feet and we’re right behind you all the way…..

    Now some of them are telling us that life is too hard and they may have to go without some luxuries. Umm, it’s not OK to stay at Mummies breast until you are 30 or 35 or “have found yourself” (you were never lost!) and Mummy and Daddy have needs as well.

    I don’t want to hear people carping and complaining about not being able to instantly afford the 4 bedroom executive home or the 2 bedroom flat (apartment) and glossy new car when they are wearing designer clothes, saving for holidays and there are starving children in the world!

    Nor do i want to hear them complain there are no jobs available when what is on offer is below their “dignity” or qualifications. These are spoilt brats who want it all handed to them on a plate.

    As a retired employer I can tell you that my first choice with job applicants would be the person with the quals who took a job sweeping streets and kept applying and applying for the job/career they REALLY want – that person is the one who knuckles down and takes responsibility for themselves and understands that life is not a bed of roses, someone responsible that i could rely on. Not a “nancy” who would fold at the first sign of adversity or pressure.

    40 is the new 30 – what a load of tripe!

  • Jill

    Even though this is a little late….. Yes, I do know several kidults. They are struggling to find what God has for them. They are trusting in Him, but they are waiting so much on Him that they are afraid to move and take a step in faith. When God has a plan for us, sometimes He lets us find it on our own. If we take the wrong step, He will show us where to go.

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  • Shane H

    This does not surprise me one bit.
    Because of our culture there is less pressure on children to make there way in the world and leave to go support them self.
    In some cases but very very few they are not able to take care of them self but that is not the issue the issue is the ones who don’t wish to make it on there own.
    So as I said it does not surprise me with the culture today.

  • http://DontHaveOne Richard

    I think it’s scary when someone wants to live with thier parents. From age 17 onward I was desparate to leave my parent’s home, and did so the first reasonable opportunity I could.

    It’s the parent’s fault though. It is thier job to give thier children a sense of direction, discipline, and maturity. My parents made me and my sister sweep floors for 5 cents until we could afford a 50 cent chocolate bar. My parents were involved in our lives and were our role models. They taught us right from wrong. They shielded us from media that would expose us to unhealthy messages.

    It’s true that housing is very expensive these days and good jobs are hard to come by. But that’s no excuse for taking responsibility, even if it is more difficult to do say today than ever before. Come hell or high water, I was determined to move out of my parent’s place,despite my wage and rent costs.

    I often feel I am one of the very few real “men”I know. None of my male friends have any serious plans of gettting married and being a father. It’s embarressing the male gender that too many malse are too busy playing video games than rising to the challenge of being a husband and father. Those are role I proudly aspire to.

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  • http://5kidsandadog.wordpress.com MommaKnows

    You guys have hit the nail on the head so many times it is frightening! I work in youth ministry, and I see irresponsible teens become irresponsible ‘kidults’ frequently. Our culture has taught them that “It’s all about ME” and that they should have fun and enjoy life, and as long as they are happy nothing else matters. The trouble comes in when all of the happiness they are seeking in so many places comes to nothing, since our happiness should be found first and foremost, in Christ. My stepdaughter (who never allowed us much input into her life when she was younger) and her boyfriend both fall into this ‘kidult’ category, and they added a baby to the situation, which hasn’t helped. Debts piled up, and all she can say is “I don’t know who can help me.” !!! Not us, that’s for sure. She has dug herself a big hole, and life is going to teach her some hard lessons. There is no moving home, no financial help, at least not from us. Other relatives invariably will step in and bail her out. It teaches them nothing, and they will go on in their adultescence. It is such a sad state to be in, and to see kids you care about living in. It makes me want to grab some parents and say WAKE UP! It is one thing to give your college student or young, working 18-19-20 year old a place to live while they get on their feet. It is another entirely to foster financial dependence, thereby teaching them total irresponsibility.

  • Lauren

    I’ll answer #3.

    I know two “kidadults.”
    The first is my friend’s 21-year-old sister. She is just living at home while she goes to a college that is 15 minutes away from their house. I think that’s OK, but the second person is just slacking off. He lives at home because he doesn’t have a real job, or even see a need for a real job, because his parents are able to completely care for him financially and in other ways too. My mom says this is getting too common. She said that if I live at home after I graduate from high school, I have to pay rent. Everyone who knows about that says this wrong, but I think that it is fair.

  • Bob Calhoun

    I have been reading this site for about an hour or so, and I am absolutely delighted by what I have found. I am a living example of the “kidult” you have described, except I finally learned how to outgrow that stage. I cannot tell you how much I wish someone had told me these things when I was your age!

    I am 29 years old, and I am just starting my third year of medical school. I couldn’t get into a state-side school because my grades in college were terrible, because I didn’t work hard enough. Now, I’m at a school in the Caribbean, which, while a good school, costs about twice as much as stateside medical schools. It’s not because I’m not bright – I scored within the 99th percentile on 2 sections of the MCAT, and I’m a member of MENSA. It took me so long to get here because I spent about 6 years of my life as a “shining” example of what a “kidult” can be.

    When I graduated college, I literally slept on my best friend’s couch for 2 years and shared an apartment with him for another 2 years after finally getting a job. Every so often, Josh (who expects to become a VP of an internet company within 2 years) would ask me, “Bob… when are you going to apply to medical school?” I would always reply, “I’ll do it tomorrow… ” and I never did. I hopped from bad job to bad job, not even really bothering with relationships. I was depressed, unproductive, and hopeless. And then, something happened. Josh gave me a kick in the pants and helped me gather my courage to study for the MCAT. I pulled 18-hour days for 6 months, studying to master everything about that test, and I pulled a 32 when it was all said and done. However, when I applied to med school, I was rejected because my grades were so bad. I got pretty depressed, and I gave up for awhile.

    My friends and I moved up to St. Louis and got a house together, but Josh got a job offer in California shortly after arriving and left. The rest of us decided not to continue living together, so I suddenly found myself faced with the challenge of learning how to live alone and support myself. I worked for a year in a nursing home, getting experience I could use to pad my CV for medical school. And then the guy who owned the nursing home decided to sell the place, and I suddenly lost my job. After trying unsuccessfully for a few months to make ends meet, I had to move home. That’s where I met Jen, and my life did a complete turnaround.

    My fiancee is a capable, competent, ambitious young woman who graduated Summa Cum Laude from the same Alma Mater where I got a cumulative GPA of 2.81. She got into vet school on the first try, and I am always amazed by how much hard work she puts into what she does. Just meeting her spurred me into action, because I knew that if I didn’t start using the potential I had, I would lose her. That simple decision caused me to grow exponentially, until I am the man I am today.

    I applied to another medical school, this time in the Caribbean, because they don’t have as strict a set of admissions criteria. I got here and found out that I was definitely not in for an easy time. The education is harder, because they use their attrition rate as a screening tool instead of the application process. I’ve been away at school for 18 months, and I will finish my Basic Sciences curriculum – at age 29 – in less than 3 weeks.

    The past 3 years of my life have been a period of incredible development for me, and I wish that it had all happened about 8 years ago. I can only imagine the things I would be doing with my life right now if I had just had the courage to do what I should have been doing all along instead of conforming to the idea that a man’s 20′s are a time of irresponsibility and shiftlessness. I’m just glad I discovered the truth about myself before it was too late.

    Thank you so much for posting this website. As soon as I get home, I plan to buy your book, and I have already bookmarked this website. Once I have passed the first part of my Licensing Exams and I have a break before clinicals, I will be exploring it more thoroughly. I have shared it with my family, and I hope that they will share my excitement about it.

    All the best to you.

    Sincerely,

    Bob Calhoun

  • Nate Baihly

    Thank you for this great and insightful article. Also i want to encourage anyone around the ages of 14 and up to get a job! I have one and it has changed my life. I now have my own spending money (mostly for books, BUY Do hard things if u dont have it!) and a sense of responsibility. (depending on ur state’s laws u might not be able to do this until u r 15 or 16 or u can get an unofficial job like mowing a neihbors law or something)

  • Nate Baihly

    lawn

  • Gonzo

    I’ve been living half as an adult half as child for too long and I finally wake up.

    I left home at 17, I always lived with money from scholarships (I was born smart, I never had to study too hard to get good grades). I finish my undergrad in physics as the program said, when I was 21, then I spent 1 year doing research, and went straight for my PhD. I’ve been in the academia all my life, I still feel deeply inside as an undergrad. Our grad students parties look like the same as I used to attend in my early 20s.

    Living on good scholarships transferred my dependency in my parents money to the “state” money. I was responsible at work, did good research, but, back home (rented apt, cause I never earn enough money to buy a house or safe for one) I behaved like a kid, I cooked simply stuff, I watched TV, I played sports, I did the ME, ME, ME things all the time.

    I don’t feel ready to start a family. I could do very well for academic standards, but the payment just sucks, we do science cause we like it, but it feels that society takes that literally and pays us the amount of money just to survive (and we work almost 24hrs a day for 7 days a week, make a Google search and you”ll find what I’m talking about, society force us to become the stereotyped mad scientists).

    I will take the pragmatic path from now on, “do what you love” has been a bad dream that didn’t help me to grow up in any other dept besides a narrow intellectual one. After I get my PhD I’m going to the industry, I already got an offer. They will pay me 3 times more than what a postdoctoral fellowship (yes, in basic science, the usual path after a PhD is not being a professor but a badly payed and stressed postdoc, with payments similar to a plumber) can offer me. I am gonna turn 29 and I do want to grow up in other depts.

    Some people may say, well done, you worked hard for it, but at 28 it feels that I just lost my youth. At this point I would have been settled down in a career already and maybe planning to buy a house, but I took the tough path. In terms of relationships, I’ve always been a shy guy, so I dated very little. So I am far from those people that do nothing and move from relationship to relationship, yet I do feel that, since they have more experience in the real world (not in the Ivory tower).

    I am so frustrated for living so poor and overworked since I left college that I will use the next 5 years to save money (lots), and enjoy life without responsibilities beyond work (I am pretty confident that I will do fine at work). I won’t grow up (as the article wants) until I recover the time lost.

    I do not agree with the article, I am sure that kidults will do better when is about to finding a career and their soul mate, believe me, being in Academia (lots of theory) had thought me that experience (relationships, jumping from job to job, etc) is the best teacher, and the more experience you have in many different aspects of your life, will make you a better human being. Do just one thing for almost 10 years sucks.

    The article was written by someone from another generation, of course they know nothing about mine one. We are what our parent made of us. If I ever have kids (something I think I will start looking for after the age of 35) I will made them aware that there is not better school that the experience. And that life is not perfect.

  • Emily

    Yes I’m guilty as charged. I’m 25 and I live at home (with a nominal rent). I don’t balance my checkbook, keep a tidy car/room and I sometimes let my impulses get the better of me—especially when it comes to chocolate.

    Although I’m Kidult who could take on more responsibility both financially and domestically, I will say this: I’m not the Failure to Launch variety whose mother makes pancakes every morning and dishes out money for every my impulse. No, I’m more of the Robert Barone from Everybody Loves Raymond who has a stable full time job and plans to save it up for that apartment—but doesn’t get around to moving out.

    Regardless of what category of Kidult, I fit in, after reading some of the comments, I have a say one word: “ouch, ouch ouch.” Some of those comments are just painful. Take for example. “Unfortunately, I know several Kidults.” Are we the dreads of society? or “they are ridiculous” Do you really know us? or “people who live with their parents are scary.” After reading that one. I thought about becoming a hermit.

    While, I find it refreshing to find an intellectually stimulating site designed for teenagers, I just have one reminder: please be kind. This blog is not only read by teenagers, but twenty-somethings like myself. Some who live at home. Please think about what you say and how you say it. Imagine if you were saying these things to your older brother/sister—would you still use the same tone?

    Also, if it is any encouragement life as a Kidult is not what it‘s cracked up to be. While it may appear that Kidults are living it up, most of us are in tough position. We face the stark transition from the aggrandizing comments from our parents, teachers and professors who like us to the cutting comments of our bosses who don‘t always like us. If there’s one thing I learned from my boss, it’s that I can’t do anything right. No, this transition isn’t easy. And given the unstable economy and increases job competition, it won’t get any easier. More and more people will have to live at home.

    Finally, this is my encouragement to Kidults like myself: don’t get discouraged. God can take any background and redeem it. I think of the story of the Prodigal Son. The Prodigal son was the ultimate Kidult who lived it up in parties, women and fine dining. While he wasn‘t the best steward of his resources, Luke focuses more time describing the Father’s joy than the son‘s failures. Delighted that his son came home, the father ran to him before his son had a chance to hide or mumble, “I’m sorry.” I like to believe that God celebrates our steps towards maturity—no matter how small or who sees it.

    I know that growing up is hard—especially for us older folks (like me) since we have to unlearn bad habits. I know that many people look down on me for being “youthful” and it takes forever to earn trust, but I can‘t get discouraged. When I do reach maturity (although I question if any fully reaches maturity), I will have more compassion for the next batch of Kidults plugging away at life since I’ve already been there.

  • http://impersonate-jesus.blogspot.com/ Jeremy

    In China i see the same thing. Many young collage students have yet to learn the realities of life. When they go to find a job, it is common for them to switch a few times before they settle. For many highschool guys gaming means skipping classes. Many collage students still hold on to unrealistic dreams. I feel the need for them to grow up. To become more responsible and more productive.

  • Maria

    I think this is a wonderful post and really points out a problem with today’s culture; however, don’t be too quick to judge a 25 year old who is still living with his parents. Jesus stayed with his mother until he began his public ministry at the age of 30. Of course, He was staying to help her and support her – not to mooch off of her. Some 20 somethings I know are still living at home, but they are productive members of society and a great blessing to their families.
    I do want to make it clear, though, that I agree with your general point.

  • Alicia

    Yes, I know a family of kidults who attend our church. Four children ages 20 and over still living with their parents. They work with their dad in his remodeling business, which is their family’s only income. Only one has an outside job, which gives him part-time work, and he uses his income for other pursuits. Each one is talented in various areas, but none of them seem to have initiative. Their 16-year old brother is the mother’s main kitchen help.

    They are all the nicest people, some shy, some teasing, but a lot of fun to be around. I find myself thinking about them often – perhaps because out of 8 kids there is only one girl, so age-wise there are “potentials” in the family. (I know, pretty twisted.) But I can’t think seriously about a relationship with someone who is content to stay where it’s safe, never gaining life experience, not even stepping outside themselves to help the family.

    Another 20-something I know lived at home with his parents for the last year. But he was employed by his dad in a totally different scenario than the first family. He switched to working part-time and was active in music, children’s work, and audio recording at our church. For the summer he applied to a Christian camp to work as a counselor, and he ended up with a job for the whole year on staff at the camp. While he was living with his parents, he was also taking charge of his life and not depending on his parents to get him to the next step.

    I don’t know if you can tell the difference between the two in what I’ve typed here, but there is a significant difference. Both are very nice, fun to talk to, and not “scary” to be around. But the directions their lives are taking, due to each individual’s initiative, are nearly night-and-day different. The contrast is more apparent when you know the people, of course.

    There’s another family of six who attend our church. Their youngest is twenty, their oldest is married with a family. All but the oldest went to college for at least a year and came back with debt. Know what they did? They found a very small house that the three of them could rent together, and all three went to work at separate jobs to pay off their separate debts. All three have their own lives, not one of them is looking longingly toward their parents to save them from their mess. At least one of them is going to continue college part-time so she won’t incur any more debt.

    The first family is not serious about life. Not really. The other two cases I mentioned couldn’t be more serious about life. That doesn’t mean they have no fun. The serious young adults can often have more fun than the kidults, because they have clear direction.

    All that being said, I find myself drifting towards kidultness. I’m almost 19, and am going to college in the fall, halfway across the country from home. I plan on using this opportunity to grow up mentally. With the Lord’s help, I can be emotionally mature, even at 19. Some excuses may be given for kidultness, but a serious young person is vastly more admirable and attractive than a 28-year-old goofing away his life.

    Death comes when you least expect it. Do you want to be remembered as the young person who had good intentions, but could never get away from the computer long enough to do anything about them? It is in your power to do hard things, great things, with your life right now. Why would you waste the limited time God has given you?

    These are questions I must ask myself daily.

  • Alicia

    Whoa – I’m sorry. I didn’t realize how long that was going to be!

  • Kat

    I think that Aldous Huxley’s novel “Brave New World” is a relatively reliable look into our future with the current trends: one of the many terrifying characteristics of that future society is encouraged lack of backbone and adult thinking. As someone posted earlier, maturity becomes extinct.

  • Tyler Y

    Here are my question responses:
    1.) No. It is the result of the gradual decrease in demand for responsibility, which can trace back as far as the Renaissance.
    2.) No, they’re equally foolish. Being idle during either time period is a wasting of precious years in one’s life.
    3.)They’re not all that bad or anything. They’re often cool, fun-loving, and intelligible people. But they’re lack of responsibility will cripple their potential to lead a fulfilling life.

  • Iron Bottom Sound

    These kids want to live their whole lives “in communion with nature,” like the do-nothing blue alien slackers in “Avatar.” To bad they can’t find an affordable leafy cocoon in Bed-Sty.

  • anna

    1) in fact it is not surprisiong to me at all! i mean look at all the technonlogy we have to do stuff for us. in George washington’s time (yes i read your book) they had to ride horses everywhere. the myans and aztects and incans had to walk everywhere. now we have cars. we have computers, iPods, a bunch of techonology that does stuff for us. even something like calculators that we probably use everyday.

    2) i think the idea of kidults is just as bad as the idea of thinking that your teen years are the time where you can party and not think about life too much and have fun. :( i know a lot of people like that……. which brings us to question 3……

    3) yes i do know some. i know 3. they are my stepsisters. my second oldest (my oldest stepsister is the opposite of them) is roughly 24 and has two children. one of them is roughly 2 and the other is 8. she doesn’t have a job or a house. she is at the bad side of a divorce. and she has absolutly no money. she smokes i think she drinks too. then there is my 2nd youngest. she just turned roughly 22 yesterday. and she is just like her older sister. although she did quit smoking, she has no job, lives with various people, and has no money. she steals money and once she signed a contract that she could not keep so we (me my mom and my stepdad) had to pay 12000 dollars to keep her out of jail. that was about 2 years ago. and we gave her 900 dolars to rent an apratment. she will never pay that back. and my stepdad just keeps giving it to them! my youngest stepsister just turned 19 yesterday too. she does not have a job she is like my 2nd youngest stepsister. she has no where to live. she has no job. we paid for her to go to summer school so she could graduate but now that she graduated she didn’t go to college and is doing nothing, she smokes too.

  • Louise

    wow, this blog has been going on for over 4 years, must be an interesting subject…

    I haven’t been able to read every single post, but did anyone suggest the possibility that, because of less employment opportunities, young adults have been obliged to stay in school longer, therefore postponing their entry in society as contributing citizen? How can one be expected to get married and have kids if without any financial revenues? Where is the place for young adults in a society where parents (baby-boomers) are largely occupying all the spheres? Is it possible that young adults have been marginalised through unemployment, and are reacting accordingly?

    (sorry for the English, I am French).

    Louise

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  • http://bit.ly/bhhfzf Carmelo Arlington

    Hello just thought i would tell you something.. This is twice now i’ve landed on your blog in the last 2 weeks searching for totally unrelated things. Spooky or what?

  • Gabriel Austin

    The phenomenon has been carefully and well studied by Fr. Tony Anatrella, in such of his books as ADOLESCENCES INTERMINABLES.
    I would put down much of the dissatisfaction with careers to the college and university programs which prepare students to become bureaucrats in one of the large bureaucracies of corporations, governments, and the colleges themselves.

  • Beth

    I am a 25 year old college student, who came across this site as I am preparing a bible study for the middle and high school helpers for my church’s VBS this summer. (As read I ‘Do Hard Things’, I wanted to know more about this site.) I am not proud to say that yes I still live at home and so do all of my siblings. Now to call us all kidults, might be right in some peoples eyes, but that would be judging a book by it’s cover.

    I was my grandmother primary care giver my last two year and a half years of high school and being home schooled and getting my GED through the local junior college. The Lord gave the time to be with her and care for her in her last days. After that I did take a break for a year, but as anyone who care for some one like that you should be able to understand that. I then started at the local junior college and then a year latter went off to a small bible college.
    I have tried to move out on my own and did for almost a whole year, but the Lord not so subduedly(more like a 2×4 to the back of my head) sent me back when my mother had cancer, when I was ask to leave my bible college. That was one the hardest time in my life and the only thing that went through my head was I had to take that with grace ( and that did not come from me but from God.) I was told that I could come back that school in a year so I worked two part time jobs for a whole year (while working in my church’s Awana program) when that time was up and I reapplied and turned again I knew that door was closed.
    Now over a year has passed, I find yes I want the life that one my best friends from high school has married and with a kid and her second on the way.

  • Beth

    (Sorry my computer glitch)
    ….Then I think that I could also have the life of another friend who went the other way and is really playing the kidult with a husband who is not a believer and turned into a whole new person I don’t know (and truth don’t want to know anymore.)
    I have seen people that have made comments on here that can be hurtful and are, but wonder if some are not looking at the full picture of some the people you have given the title of kidults, that might be more behind the mask, and God still kneading the clay for that pot and pulling the pebbles out. To say that I don’t want the same things many younger ladies of have dreamed having (marriage, husband, children) would be a lie, but some the joyful things about my some what sorry life (and yes it is a little sad, I’m not going to lie) I don’t have the wrong man in my life in fact I have never dated and I know that right one is out there, I have a great relationship with my church and the kids that I work with who I love as if they where my own.
    I have gone on for quite some time here is my point, we are called to love everyone even the kidults and who don’t care what life brings them, but in truth many are hurting and some time just need a chance be given have responsibility. I am not saying you shou

  • Beth

    (sorry again a glitch)

    I am not saying you should become there best friends (if you sleep with dogs you’ll wake up wit flies) but give them Christ love, and some day soon they might surprise you.

    Beth… part time student, part time children/ youth worker… full time lover of God

  • Gavin

    This lifestyle kinda does yet doesn’t suprise me. People need to come out of their comfort zone a little bit and start making some important decisions in their life. Like how they want to live it instead of just living with your parents and being broke half the time. They need some help and guidence to do so as well, so if you d oknow anyone like this you should try to help them out a little bit. Maybe even pray for them to find something to do with their life.

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  • Angel

    I see your point, but please be careful not to judge people. I’m in my early 20s, unemployed (I got laid off), and living with my parents (I don’t like the idea of being a single woman living alone). But what I really want is a job, somewhere else to live, a husband, and kids. I know the way people look at me sometimes for being an unemployed single woman in my 20s who lives with my parents, but they don’t understand my situation. This isn’t something I’m choosing.

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  • http://shrimpinabasket.blogspot.com Jeannie

    I think what Alex and Brett define a “kidult” as someone who in general is irresponsible and dependent on everyone else to support then. Society has gone from patriotism and responsibility during WWII, to rebellion and “free love” during Vietnam and onward. I am helping take care of my friends grandma and she told me that during WWII after Pearl Harbor, everyone was so ticked off that there were 16 year olds lying about ther age to get into the military (please understand that I do not condone lying.) We have gone from that to a lot of kidults who think things like military are beyond their abilities. It’s sad to see how far we’ve digressed as a society. Many of us were raised to believe that we were the center of the universe and society owed us.

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  • Corinna

    1.) Is this development surprising to you? Why or why not?

    Not at all. Just look at media messages in Hollywood.
    I know of a 21 year old girl in India. She lives with her family, but works very hard every day, goes to college (I think) and still has fun with her friends.

    2.) Do you think the idea that adultescences is a time for young people to be irresponsible and carefree is any sillier than the idea that adolescence serves a similar purpose? Why or why not?

    Yes. I think it’s sillier. That’s because the body is fully developed, so there should be no reason why the mind isn’t catching up with that (unless the person is mentally handicapped).
    The teenage years should be spent wisely, but they cannot yet assume full adult responsibility at least till they are 17 or 18, because they are still physically developing.
    It’s a period of growth and getting to know yourself, seeking God’s will for your life.

    3.) Do you know any Kidults? Without giving any names, briefly describe their lifestyle.

    Oh, yea! Let’s gossip about people’s lifestyles, without giving names so that we can claim we are really not gossiping. I don’t care if you’re not giving names, it’s still gossip, and gossip is wrong!

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  • Bonnie

    I read about this in your book (Do hard things) it rely is sad that some men and women seem to never grow up.I hope that this will go away and not continue on like the teenager fab.

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  • Amber

    1.) Is this development surprising to you? Not really, people just keep wanting to have more fun rather then resposibility…sad :(

    2.) Do you think the idea that adultescences is a time for young people to be irresponsible and carefree is any sillier than the idea that adolescence serves a similar purpose? Yep…adolescence is the time in life when teens should be “doing hard things,” learning to interact with adults and their peers, taking on greater resposibility, planning for the future, etc. Adultescence shouldn’t even exist. You should be an adult by that point.

    3.) Do you know any Kidults? Without giving any names, briefly describe their lifestyle.
    Not much of anything other then try to have fun 24/7. :S

    Oh bother adultesence

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  • Rachel

    1) The new trend of extending adolescence is in some ways suprising, but in other ways it is not. People only started extending adolescene back about 100 years ago when adulthood was raised from about 15 or 16 years old to 18 years old.
    2) I can have some childlike tendencies myself , such as not keeping promises I make to myself. If we as young people aren’t good examples in our own culture and keep dropping our expectations , they might raise the legal age to even older.

  • Rachel

    Kidults are just as bad , if not worse than irresponsible teens.

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  • Pamela Mae Ortiz

    Thank you brett and josh for this blog. To be honest i was a little disturbed after reading this brcause it made me wonder if i am being a kidult or not. Ever since i read your book “Do Hard Things” i have been striving to do my share in being a rebelutionary. However i believe that change does not happen overnight, that is why i am taking things one at a time.

    With regards to this blog post i believe that culture has to be taken into consideration when categorizing people as kidults. I come from the Philippines and here, it is fine for a 20 to 30 -something person to live with their parents. Some even live with their parents after getting married, that is why extended families are very common here. It is not a matter of delaying adulthood or maturity or independence, it’s just that culturally we Filipinos are very family-oriented. however i would like to emphasize that even though living with your parents even after finishing college is fine, it is EXPECTED that you start being independent by finding a job and helping with the expenses especially if you have other siblings. Also it becomes your responsibility once you are through with schooling to aid your parents at home. So even though these adults live with their parents, they do not entirely escape responsibility. Responsibility comes in different forms anyway.

    On the same note, i would also like to point out that aside from culture, current evemts should also be minded. For example right now in the philippines, employment is very very difficult to find, and jobs are scarce even to those who have college degrees. Take my case as an example. I am 21 years old and still living with my parents. I am partly dependent on them as of the moment because i am not yet a regular staff nurse in the hospital i am working. I am a registered nurse but there are no openings for nurses here in my country. I have tried other jobs but it does not work for me, therefore temporarily i am partly ependent on my parents for my daily needs. The small stipend i recieve in my hospital stint is not enough yhat is why i still need their help. Am i considered a kidult then? I don’t think so, because i fulfill my responsibilities through other means by being a dependable older sister for my brothers. Besides i dont shrink at responsibility. Right now i am fighting tooth and nail to get into a masters degree without burdeming my parents with additional expenses.

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