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Old 01-05-2015, 10:28 PM
Location: Northeastern US
18,147 posts, read 12,010,893 times
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Originally Posted by elyn02 View Post
Recently, the daughter of a good friend of mine told her parents that she can do what ever she wants now that she was an adult. I wondered how I would respond if my daughter declared this to me. I guess my response would be, an indicator of adult behavior is realizing that you can't do whatever you want. But I believe that is something we try to drill into children when they are young but it is a lesson that is usually taught in a very direct way. So now I am thinking, how do I get my daughter thinking she can do whatever she wants now to realizing that she really can't, especially as an adult.
I don't know how seriously to take such declarations of independence. Kids have to differentiate and be their own person and they are usually clumsy at it and sometimes unkind. Life has a way of beating the attitude out of many kids, but some dig in their heels. For all my grousing in prior messages I am prone to think that most kids from reasonably stable and loving homes come around, at least to the extent that they become reasonably productive citizens and can settle down into something resembling a normal relationship with parents, siblings and extended family. Even my wayward stepdaughter has the potential to do that, although she has burned so many bridges and harmed so many trust relationships that nothing will ever be the same, either.

One problem that is under-discussed is when the child is of a very different personality from one or both parents. Parent and child can be ships passing in the night ... it can be very traumatic, particularly when the personalities thrown together are, say, an aggressive narcissist with a gentle, empathic sort of person. The latter gets walked all over whether it is the parent or the child we are talking about.

Another problem that's far more widespread than you'd think is adult children cutting off relationships with their parents for nothing resembling good and sufficient provocation. Lots of heartache there. In some ways it's even worse when kids like that don't cleanly cut them off; that's the source of a lot of elder abuse.

Bottom line, parenting isn't all it's cracked up to be, although sometimes you get the brass ring ... adult kids that are functional and do you proud and give you a decent amount of appreciation and respect for your efforts on their behalf.

I learned long ago not to judge people by their offspring, though.
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Old 01-06-2015, 10:52 AM
Location: On the "Left Coast", somewhere in "the Land of Fruits & Nuts"
8,864 posts, read 9,962,029 times
Reputation: 6659
Default hat does being an ADULT mean? What are the criteria? What does being an ADULT mean to YOU? (parent, responsibility)

It means emotional & spiritual 'growth' thru experience, personal & collective responsibility, and simply facing up to the fact that no matter what, I always gotta clean up after my own 'sh*t' now (with no excuses, no 'blaming', no 'poor me', whatever)!
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Old 01-06-2015, 10:57 AM
Location: Phoenix, AZ
18,986 posts, read 12,581,800 times
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Definitely depends on what aspect one is looking at...physical maturity, intellect, emotional maturity, responsibility...

I tend to think that regardless of age, many people really don't ever accept some of the things they should as adults. This sentiment has been voiced in many ways here. I think that a problem with many marriages is you get one very mature individual, or somebody who marries young and "grows up", stuck with someone who is forever a dependent and thinks that's normal. Someone who can't be alone because they just don't know how to function as an adult, and don't WANT to know. It gets really frustrating for the partner who finds themselves supporting the overgrown child. I'm in that situation myself...I can forgive my kids for being immature because they are kids...it's harder to forgive the man who is a decade older than me, and hasn't known anything about our finances, and lives as a slave to his own impulses, in not so blissful ignorance of the needs of others...since he won't ever grow up and move out, there may come a time when I walk away, once my obligation to raise our sons is discharged.

But that brings me to some of the questions to ask, to determine if one is functioning as a mature adult (absent issues of actual disabilities)...

Are you a slave to your impulses? Can you put off gratification now for the greater good or a better outcome later? Are you aware of the needs of others? Are you respectful of others? Are your expectations in life realistic? Do you feel confident in your ability to make significant decisions without asking permission? Are you self destructive or self empowering? Are you self aware? Are you honest with yourself or forever justifying bad behaviors in your own mind and to others? Do you take responsibility? Do you make excuses?
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Old 01-07-2015, 02:40 PM
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There are a lot of standards people have here to determine what it takes to be an adult. In your opinions do you think most people in society meet these standards?
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Old 01-07-2015, 10:17 PM
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Yes I don't think being adult means just an age or having responsibilities . That could be any number from different opinions. Being an adult is based strictly on emotional maturity .
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Old 01-07-2015, 11:30 PM
5,462 posts, read 2,738,503 times
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Originally Posted by UserNamesake View Post
Home ownership?
Having a diploma, degree?
Living on your own with a steady means of non-government provided income?
Married w/ children?
Being a parent?
Being able to legally buy booze/marijuana [in applicable state(s) of course]?
Being able to vote?
Pretty much debt free, paying bills on time?
Do you have to be effectively managing some sort of responsibility in life to be an adult?
Does it mean not being imprisoned/confined in a correctional/psych facility?

...or is it more to it?

Is it congruency of thought and action, both of which are productive and "responsible?"
Is it steadiness and trustworthiness?
Is it an absence of volatility and labile emotions?
Is it having a high social/emotional IQ?
Is it effectively carrying out an authoritative role (personally and professionally)?

Is it possible for someone who has lived in their mom's house for nearly their entire lives and never been married or a parent on government assistance to be more (if that's possible) of an ADULT than someone who is a homeowner, married with kids and employed?

Is it being over 18?
Over 21?

Based on behavior and effectiveness regarding responsibility, is it possible for a married homeowner whose a parent and is 30+ to still be viewed as a child instead of an adult?

What makes YOU an Adult?
In my country of origin, adult means,

1) You can vote.
1) You can smoke
2) You must to go to a job.
3) You must marry
4) Have a kid

Till these happens, parents consider you as a child.
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Old 09-20-2018, 02:18 PM
Location: Willowbrook, Houston
1,443 posts, read 1,367,686 times
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Being an adult means you're able to stand on your own with sporadic assistance. You stand by your decisions and own them, good or bad.
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Old 09-20-2018, 07:12 PM
Location: Rural Wisconsin
16,714 posts, read 6,645,138 times
Reputation: 33159
To me, an adult is someone is responsible for his or her life in every way, and instead of giving into instant gratification and living only for the moment, strives to make decisions based on what will be best in the long-term and (as AcresHomes44 said), takes responsibility for those decision, good or bad.
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Old 09-20-2018, 07:43 PM
417 posts, read 173,273 times
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Supporting yourself.
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Old 09-20-2018, 07:54 PM
Location: Henderson, NV
7,088 posts, read 8,102,466 times
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Literally just someone who is 18 or older.

If we're talking about perhaps "responsible adult," then it would be making decisions in your long-term best interest, knowing how to manage your money and your life effectively, and taking ownership of your actions.
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