Perpetual adolescence


#1

Okay, so I was looking out my window the other day at a neighbor. His trash cans have not been emptied in two weeks, he has the house in the neighborhood with every added bonus possible and a tv large enough to be viewed from the alley (the tv is in his upstairs entertainment room). He's dating someone but basically lives by himself in a 3 bedroom house. Granted because I'm friends with his dad I have a little more knowledge than being a nosey neighbor, but he, as well as a few other neighbors, seem to be in their late 20s to early 30s and seem to have not grown up, worrying more about their multiple toys. That's fine that they do what they wish with their own money, but it got me thinking about many my age who just don't grow up. There are many in my family who are this way too. I just don't get it, being an adult isn't that bad, and being married and having a family is way more fun than the self-centered life a decent percentage of the population over 24 live. I get that not everyone who is single is self-centered nor that everyone that is married is self-less. I just don't get the attitude (yes, I must admit, I have selfish tendencies, but then my dd calls my attention to her needs that she needs me to help her with, or my husband's smile and hard work challenges me to give more, which I am thankful for both). Two weeks ago I had a cousin complain that she doesn't get to socialize much at family parties because of her one-year-old son because she's always following him around. I told her "welcome to parenthood".

Are there people who will never grow out of adolescence? Why do you think that is?


#2

there are LOTS of men and women in perpetual adolescence. this reminds me of a comment i made in another thread today about singles groups and those who are professionally single.

i think there are various reasons why they remain this way. i know in my case, i had an over protective, controlling mother. add to that my witnessing my parents divorce.

i think for some people, they remain in perpetual adolescence possibly because their parents didn't expect responsibility from them. the parents bailed them out of situations, gave them too many things without letting them work for it, etc.


#3

[quote="gmarie21, post:1, topic:203587"]
Are there people who will never grow out of adolescence? Why do you think that is?

[/quote]

Would you believe that sociologists have identified and labeled this phenomenon? :D Extended adolescence is definitely something we are seeing a lot more of, unfortunately. Some of it has to do with parenting, some of it has to do with the way our school systems tend to be structured (childhood seems to be extended when mostly spent with same-age peers), some of it reflects general societal norms regarding familial expectations/roles, and economic factors can play a part in it, too.

Great thread idea! I'm really curious to see what people think!


#4

[quote="gmarie21, post:1, topic:203587"]
That's fine that they do what they wish with their own money, but it got me thinking about many my age who just don't grow up. There are many in my family who are this way too. I just don't get it, being an adult isn't that bad, and being married and having a family is way more fun than the self-centered life a decent percentage of the population over 24 live.

[/quote]

There are several reasons for this. Part of it is probably due to the fear of commitment. I think the way that our educational system is structured also doesn't help. Kids are taught to mooch off of parents more instead of getting a real job. Sure, there are some teens who get jobs when they are 15-16 but there are many that rather mooch. I think that the almost total eradication of the apprentice system is also another contributor to the problem. Another problem is that many of them have been conditioned to believe that they need to have as much fun as they want before they "settle" down.

I get that not everyone who is single is self-centered nor that everyone that is married is self-less. I just don't get the attitude (yes, I must admit, I have selfish tendencies, but then my dd calls my attention to her needs that she needs me to help her with, or my husband's smile and hard work challenges me to give more, which I am thankful for both). Two weeks ago I had a cousin complain that she doesn't get to socialize much at family parties because of her one-year-old son because she's always following him around. I told her "welcome to parenthood".

Are there people who will never grow out of adolescence? Why do you think that is?

It is well known that many of these people were taught in school a lot about self-esteem and putting themselves first. Values such as selflessness and sacrifice never occurred to them. Combine that with all their toys and consumerism and this is what you get. Granted, in my case, all through my 20's I still lived at home since the jobs I was working at paid a paltry amount. This is another problem too. People in their 20's are staying in college more since it seems that one has to have a master's degree to get into many of the more high paying jobs. The system is broken and what you are seeing is just a small symptom of it.


#5

I think that "perpeutal adolesence" is often in retaliation for the way younger people are treated in the world and workforce. Years ago, a new worker was introduced to a job, mentoured, etc.

Today new workers are thrown in, blamed for mistakes, put on low salaries. We are easily fired and hired and often put through stupid training programs.

So in response to this world that treats us like garbage we reward ourselves.

Now, I personally, do not but the working conditions of people my age (especally since the resession) is pretty poor. Employers know they can do whatever and we need to keep our jobs...not to provide for a family but to pay off college debt. We have the expense of families and NONE of the reward.


#6

could it be that in today's society we are asked to grow up faster than we should?

especially here in North America, in contrast to Asian countries. here i've met people in their early 20s who way more mature than most people my age i know (i'm in my 30s). when i had a team at my old job when i was in the Philippines, all of them were fresh off college and you can really tell. they're more comparable to highschool kids here than college grads. i don't know if its a good thing or bad thing. i guess professionally its a bad thing. but they seem to enjoy life more


#7

Before I moved to where I live now and became Catholic, I was one of these people. I wouldn't have thought so then...but looking back now, I know that I was. And the first time I went to visit my friends from where I lived before after I gave up drinking and had become a moral individual, I was in shock. I was like "really, this is ALL you're going to do?!". I'm still surprised at some things people post on Facebook about what they're doing over the weekend.

I think my step-sister and her husband, despite being in their forties and having two 20-something kids, are still here. They are always looking for a good night out and more interested in having a drink (or 50 :rolleyes:) than in being grown-up. For example, my dad (this is my step-dad actually, my step-sister's dad) had a family reunion last summer. I had gotten the invite months in advance and had been kind of trying to decide what to do about it. After all, I didn't know a lot of these people and I wasn't TECHNICALLY related. Plus it was quite an expense. For the dinner and main thing it was going to be $40 a person. :eek: So, taking myself and my then fiance was going to be over $100 after gas and everything, as it was about 4+ hours away. As we got closer to needing to make a decision though, my dad let it slip that none of his 3 biological daughters would be attending. :( You could tell he was upset and really wanted them to go. The step-sister I'm talking about here told my dad that she couldn't afford to go because she would have to pay for herself and husband, the two kids plus the kids' significant others (don't even get me started on that). Well, OK, Dad agreed it was expensive. But about 2 weeks or so before the reunion they found out that for the same weekend my step-sister had bought tickets for those same people (all 6) to go to the Broncos game in Denver. Still a 4 hour drive not to mention all the expense that goes along with a trip to a game. Ugh. I was so frustrated for my dad, that they couldn't give up some "fun" to spend time with a group of people that they may not know but that they were actually related to. My dad's dad had 11 siblings, and this was the only time that many of the kids had met or been together.


#8

I sense a kid who never had to do chores and was spoilt at home.


#9

People take longer to grow up because we try to shield ourselves from failure too often. Everything is ultra managed and put in a controlled environment. I think that you can only teach so much before people need a hard lesson so they can learn. As long as we prop up people that are failing or are not doing anything we will have a lot of people that never grow up.

I see a lot of helicopter parents. They do everything for their kids. College men make a mess of their dorms and when it comes time for moving out at the end of the semester, there is a hoard of moms just waiting to clean up the mess the son has made. I see less dads and more mothers involved in kids lives. A mother isnt as tough as a father most of the time. Moms are too nice in most cases and they feel bad about being hard on their kids. Kids realize from a young age that they can do a lot of things and get away with it. It is hard to grow up when you get used to the sheltering and good treatment from a parent.

I see this in Europe even more so than America. In many countries in Europe there isnt the same stigma against staying at home. Italy has a lot of men that never leave home at all. I think that parents are enablers. They think they are doing their children a favor but all they are doing is making their situation even more untenable. It is a never ending cycle. The next generation ends up messed up since adolescent parents have trouble raising kids on their own. A child cannot effectively raise another child.

Parents need to be a little less nice and a little more tough. I think too often that instead of being family and being a parent, they want to be friends with their kids. This takes out the parent figure and makes the parent just another friend. Kids resent this as they think parents try too hard to impress them and they can see what a lack of discipline can do.


#10

Perpetual adolescence seems to be a new plague. It helps if you start telling them, say, in grade school, that they need to be out of the house and on their own by age 18.


#11

[quote="JimG, post:10, topic:203587"]
Perpetual adolescence seems to be a new plague. It helps if you start telling them, say, in grade school, that they need to be out of the house and on their own by age 18.

[/quote]

Just don't complain when this ultra expensive world kicks their butt, they get lured into a sinful living together relationship/divorce, and they end up rejecting religion as a quaint ideal that humanity has outgrown. I work with these 18-22 year-olds that are kicked out of the house. It isn't pretty. They should be capable of scratching out a living, but throwing them to the dogs of this world is not the right thing to do unless an outstanding opportunity for growth presents itself (scholarship/job to dance/engineering school in some other place).

Asian immigrants have a much better and far more intelligent approach. They and their extended families live together, share the bills, and consequently save a ton of money even while working what are considered menial jobs. If one of them gets a new car, they all save together to buy another member a new car. Humility and unity are far better values for families than the "sink-or-swim" approach.

Good old Satan is licking his chops at all our universities as parents send their kids away to live at these schools. You almost can't blame these young men and women for turning toward the evils of the day; they're trapped in an environment competing with a master intelligence that presents powerful convincing arguments about embracing the values of the day.

As to the original poster, there is nothing wrong with a single guy living in a house by himself if he are not bothering folks and causing mayhem. If these guys are Christian and conservative , let alone Catholic, it's nearly impossible to find a woman sharing and attempting to live those views. I suspect it is even harder for a single woman in the same position looking for a decent guy. The nation has become a moral sewer. Throwing people to the dogs and criticizing them for not marrying is not the answer.


#12

I guess I'm dense...I don't understand why a bachelor in his early-30's living in a 3-bedroom house with a big TV qualifies as an adolescent in a grown body.

Perhaps this gentleman wishes to have a family someday and is prepared to share this house with her so they can have children?


#13

The Asian example is certainly worth trying, providing the over 18 year olds are either in college or working. Too many seem to plan on doing nothing until mom and dad’s money runs out. And it will.


#14

To further clarify, I'm not suggesting that parents simply kick the kids out of the house at age 18 with no warning. I am suggesting that plans for adulthood--i.e. out of high school--ought to have been part of the conversation, and the planning, for the previous four years.

The expectation would be that after high school, they are either in college or trade school, or looking for and finding work, and if still living at home, contributing to family finances.

And if they are going to more schooling, they should also be looking at the numbers: cost, fees, student loan availability, and how they can pay back those loans, and whether their chosen educational major will allow them to break even on student loans. No point in mortgaging their future working life for something that isn't cost effective.

Many should be considering the option of joining the military right out of high school, if possible. The GI bill currently will pay for most of the cost of college, and the jobs available in the military are more interesting than those available in starting civilian jobs.

Yes, it's a tough job market right now. It has been so in the past as well. Those who do some planning will survive and thrive.

And as for sinful relationships, they should realize that can ruin their future more permanently than a poor credit score.


#15

[quote="JimG, post:14, topic:203587"]
To further clarify, I'm not suggesting that parents simply kick the kids out of the house at age 18 with no warning. I am suggesting that plans for adulthood--i.e. out of high school--ought to have been part of the conversation, and the planning, for the previous four years.

The expectation would be that after high school, they are either in college or trade school, or looking for and finding work, and if still living at home, contributing to family finances.

And if they are going to more schooling, they should also be looking at the numbers: cost, fees, student loan availability, and how they can pay back those loans, and whether their chosen educational major will allow them to break even on student loans. No point in mortgaging their future working life for something that isn't cost effective.

Many should be considering the option of joining the military right out of high school, if possible. The GI bill currently will pay for most of the cost of college, and the jobs available in the military are more interesting than those available in starting civilian jobs.

Yes, it's a tough job market right now. It has been so in the past as well. Those who do some planning will survive and thrive.

And as for sinful relationships, they should realize that can ruin their future more permanently than a poor credit score.

[/quote]

Excellent advice.

I would slightly disagree with the military route because you are at their mercy and can easily end up following the orders of a fool and losing life and limb, well, I won't go into it here (and I'm not cheap shotting any particular political leader). As a military brat, I know the powerful opportunities the military provides and the risks/costs as well. But the college money is indeed good. It also instills discipline, but again that should have already been done at home.


#16

[quote="SarahR, post:12, topic:203587"]
I guess I'm dense...I don't understand why a bachelor in his early-30's living in a 3-bedroom house with a big TV qualifies as an adolescent in a grown body.

Perhaps this gentleman wishes to have a family someday and is prepared to share this house with her so they can have children?

[/quote]

That's what I was thinking too. Maybe the guy would love to be married and have kids, but hasn't met the right woman. I can personally relate to this. I'd like to get married and have someone to love but I don't see it happening so I bought a big TV and an Xbox/PS3 so I can still keep myself entertained when I'm home by myself, which is pretty much whenever I'm not at work.


#17

[quote="SarahR, post:12, topic:203587"]
I guess I'm dense...I don't understand why a bachelor in his early-30's living in a 3-bedroom house with a big TV qualifies as an adolescent in a grown body.

Perhaps this gentleman wishes to have a family someday and is prepared to share this house with her so they can have children?

[/quote]

He has a girlfriend and has been dating her for quite some time. Actually his friends in the neighborhood make fun of him for not growing up and acting like a college student still. It's his money so I could care less (though I can't stand that for some reason his garbage hasn't been collected in two weeks and that he parks his three vehicles everywhere but in his garage). I guess the idea of perpetual adolescence catches my curiosity. Again, the same goes for family members too, I just don't get the go out and party mentality past the age of 24.


#18

I'm 31, single, have a girlfriend, and live alone in a three bedroom townhouse that I own. My tv isn't that large by today's standards, but I do have three large monitors for my computer.

As far as I know, I don't have any peeping-tom Catholics in the neighborhood so I guess I'm safe from their judgments.

Really, the OP seems to be rather judgmental. 24 is not a magic party/not party age, and it is not up to gmarie21 to decide for this man how long he should date his girlfriend or what the proper size is for his tv.

Maybe there is a lot more to this story than posted and I see some additional information has already been added, but really the original post makes gmarie21 look a lot worse than the "perpetual adolescent".

If you are concerned about this guy, go over and have a talk with him. You may be surprised about what you learn.

[quote="gmarie21, post:1, topic:203587"]
Okay, so I was looking out my window the other day at a neighbor.

[/quote]

You were doomed after your first sentence.


#19

I had a maxim when I was in my twenties that most guys were not worth dealing with seriously (i.e., dating with any consideration of marriage) until about the age of 25. A small portion, though, were essentially mature by the time they could date. A similar portion were never going to be ready no matter how long you waited.

It could have something to do with the facts that:

1) When Mom and Dad married, divorce was rare. Now it is common even in families where divorce was unknown a generation earlier. The chances of divorce are much higher in couples who marry younger. This means that young people who don't marry still see their friends trying it and going down in flames.

2) Family-wage jobs aren't available to the vast majority of 18 year olds, as was the case when my parents married when Mom was 18 and Dad was 21. Instead of starting a career and having a nest-egg by 21, people get out of college with a stack of student loans--and maxed credit cards, too, if they're not sensible--to cover at age 22...if they don't dawdle around in college. Financial problems are one of the top reasons couples divorce.

3) Few high schools give their graduates a competent education in personal finance. It is predictable that single college graduate is going to look at his paycheck and think that a big TV is a more reasonable purchase than paying off his college loans more quickly than absolutely required by the conditions of his loans. Some, too, will be able to cover both.

My brothers weren't perpetual adolescents. They were very concerned, though, about the number of their friends who were "madly in love" one year, married the next, bad-mouthing each other the next, and divorced the next. It would be hard to argue against their fear of commitment. One didn't marry until he was over 30. From his way of looking at it, he skipped the marriage that was only going to result in heartbreak and alimony payments, and went right to the one that worked. (He and his wife did not live together before marriage.)

My brothers all bought a home appropriate for a family when they were able to make a down-payment, though. They saw it as a sensible investment. Four of the six are living in the houses they bought as bachelors. One of these has grandchildren; the other two have no children at home anymore. (The fourth has never married, and probably never will.) All of them did realize a financial gain by the first house they chose. It is perfectly reasonable, then, for a bachelor to live in a three-bedroom house. If nothing else, his mortgage keeps his friends from hitting him up for personal loans.

And yes, they listened to their older brothers and cousins. They bought their chrome, guns, and other toys before they married. These luxuries take a small part of a bachelor's income, compared to his house payment and his student loans, but they aren't even a possiblity for a young married couple. It is a rare young man who puts off those luxuries until he has his kids in college....and that is when they are going to be able to afford them again. Selfish? Maybe. Fairly predictable, though.

Having the money to spend on some luxuries for yourself does not mean you are ready to marry. Actually buying some luxuries for yourself doesn't mean you are an adolescent, nor that you don't donate a big chunk of change every month to worthy causes, either!

As NoAvailableName pointed out, there is such a thing as minding your own business....well, unless you're on the hunt for some donors with some cash on hand for the local Catholic schools. You never know! :thumbsup:


#20

[quote="NoAvailableName, post:18, topic:203587"]
I'm 31, single, have a girlfriend, and live alone in a three bedroom townhouse that I own. My tv isn't that large by today's standards, but I do have three large monitors for my computer.

As far as I know, I don't have any peeping-tom Catholics in the neighborhood so I guess I'm safe from their judgments.

Really, the OP seems to be rather judgmental. 24 is not a magic party/not party age, and it is not up to gmarie21 to decide for this man how long he should date his girlfriend or what the proper size is for his tv.

Maybe there is a lot more to this story than posted and I see some additional information has already been added, but really the original post makes gmarie21 look a lot worse than the "perpetual adolescent".

If you are concerned about this guy, go over and have a talk with him. You may be surprised about what you learn.

You were doomed after your first sentence.

[/quote]

Oh, I have talked to him, again, his friends in the neighborhood, (the ones who watch his dog and house when he's away) joke about his adolescent behavior to him and infront of others (and I can see the movies he's watching from my driveway, he has a mini-theatre style screen). He also has been nasty to his father infront of all the neighbors (foul language and all). But his behavior just prompted me to question the bigger question of perpetual adolescence. Again, I know married people with children who are this way who also make me question about this topic (yes, I phrased it wrong in the beginning, just sharing what made me question it outloud). I don't get the parents of young children bragging about getting drunk, the couple who don't have children and live practically separate lives but are married and fine with not seeing each other much even traveling separately, or singles who have parties like they are still in college. I just want to understand. Also, as a parent, I want to understand how to help my children not be perpetual adolescents, young at heart, yes, immature for their whole lives, no.


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