February 25, 2014

At what age is a young person considered an adult?

For all of my life the age of maturity has been 18. An eighteen year-old individual is considered old enough to vote, join the military, buy a car, get married, get a job without the permission of a parent, enter into a lease, take out a loan, and do all of the other things associated with adulthood.

Think about it. Many of the young men who fought, died, and won World War II were 18 years old. By the time I reached the age of 18, I had been on my own and fending for myself for a year.

I was hardly alone. Most members of my immediate peer group were on their own and functioning as independent adults at least by the age of 18.

In fact, reaching the age of 18 has—for all of my lifetime—been a special rite of passage for young people; the long-awaited and eagerly anticipated year they completed the transition to adulthood.

However, thanks to the job-killing policies of the Obama administration and the ill-advised attitudes of helicopter parents, the age of adulthood is being delayed in America. Instead, America is bent on turning adults into children.

The age of 18 is sometimes referred to as the age of responsibility, a more appropriate name than the age of maturity since people do not automatically become mature by reaching their 18th birthday. Some of the most immature people I know are their 20s and 30s. In fact, irresponsible young people who have reached the age of responsibility are becoming the norm in America rather than the exception.

The reader will not have to look far to find people in their 20s and 30s who have moved back home and live with their parents and who still behave like teenagers. Young adults who are more interested in continuing their lives as hedonistic pleasure seekers than becoming responsible adults represent a new and disturbing trend in America.

What is even more disturbing is that big government and helicopter parents are not just cooperating in turning adults into children, they are encouraging it.

We have come to a point in American society where we refer to individuals under the age of 35 as “kids.” And truth be told, many adults in this age group deserve the designation because they still behave like kids.

When I was a teenager my peers could not wait to reach the age of 18 and either get a job, join the military, or go to college. What we did not want to do is continue living with mom and dad and acting like perpetual teenagers.

The attitudes of today’s young adults are different. At a time in their lives when their parents were raising kids, too many of today’s 30-something adults are still living with mom and dad, have no job, are not going to college, and would not even consider joining the military.

In short, too many young people who have reached the age of responsibility are doing everything they can to avoid responsibility. According to a Pew Research Report, almost 22 million adults ranging in age from 18 to 31 still live with their parents.

Let me be clear on this issue. I have no problem with young adults living with their parent’s provided they take responsibility for helping out with domestic chores, use the interlude to save money to purchase the big-ticket items required for setting up a home of their own, and use the time to prepare for a future outside of their parent’s home.

My problem is with young adults who are living with their parents for the sole purpose of avoiding adult responsibilities; responsibilities such as supporting themselves, paying their own bills, washing their own clothes, preparing their own meals, washing their own dishes, and solving their own problems. These adults who want to continue living and behaving like teenagers are going to be a huge drain on America’s economy and moral fiber. Right now they want their parents to take care of them.

When the frustrated parents finally wise up and show their do-nothing adult children the door, these thirty-something teenagers will want the government to take care of them and the Democrats will be only too happy to oblige. What a world.