Centuries ago the stone cold reality was that childhood was often short lived. It was not uncommon for boys as young as 12 or 13 to drop their toys for plows and business suits while young women traded in their dolls for housework and motherhood. As time went on, another option opened up for children and that option was a chance for an education. With this option it provided youth with a chance to transition from childhood into adolescence, giving them a time from 12 to 18 to attend school and stay at home until their education was complete. The adolescence period lead them on over to adulthood.
It appears that society is experiencing another phase being added, it is a trend of young people that are entering a pre-phase going from childhood, onto adolescence and then over into a kid adult before leaping into adulthood. The definition of Adulthood according to the wikipedia dictionary states it as, Adulthood can be defined in terms of biology, psychological adult development, law, personal character, or social status. A kidult is define by the Urban Dictionary as: A person in transition between childhood and adulthood.
Traditional the kidult phase, as with all phases is short lived, and is very natural. However, there is a caution, an enabling doting parent can actually hinder the kidult phase and find that the kidult stage lingers on longer then necessary and to no one’s benefit. The kidult phase starts around 18, just as a child is graduating high school and determining what they want to do or be when they grow up. We have many more options then years past and we can’t fault with an 18 year old for not knowing what they want to be, because obviously many of us adults do not always feel we have reached our ultimate “To Be Goal” yet.
However, we can as a society realize that this is a stage where many of our young are being introduced to an independence they have been longing for, but are not necessarily prepared for. A kid adult can be anyone within the 18 to 34 ranges, an individual that is putting off the adult responsibilities and reaping the benefits of their parent’s hard work.
Being a kidult is not necessarily a bad thing but it should be a temporary status if anything. A kidult, in my opinion has the right idea in the beginning, they desire a few additional months or years to establish themselves in a career, finish an education or are in between a hard ship phase, divorce, change of plans, or just starting over. What better place to be, then among family who loves you right? Yes, temporary…
A kidult needs to eventually move onto the next phase. To get to that next phase of adulthood the first thing a kidult needs in their game plan is a goal. Establishing a time frame for this goal and recruit a few individuals who will assist in making oneself accountable to this goal.
Second is every kidult needs to get a job, if they do not have a job, their job is to get a job.If they are working towards a degree they need to be focused on their education.
Third is they need to contribute, there is no such thing as a free lunch. An established monthly dollar amount should expected from the kidult, as a “rent” that goes towards household expenses, food, utilities, ect. This is not only a good learning tool for greater financial understanding but it also promotes a healthy respect for the household.
Fourth a kidult needs to begin to have the mindset that with independence comes responsibility. Every one of us needs to take responsibility for his or her own actions. Pay your own bills. Be mature about overall rules and demands and listen to council (whether it be a parent, a boss, a teacher, a pastor, ect.). Remember if one acts like a child they will be treated as such. Staying positive, it is so easy to get down when your confused about the direction you are headed in and overwhelmed with the responsibilities that lie ahead too often kids just plunge directing into adulthood sink or swim or decide its way too easy to just stay at home. Think of the kidult phase as a way for both the kid adult and parent to see this as a short -term time opportunity to still be together under the same household and to encourage one another to set their plans for success in motion.
The kidult phase can be an opportunity for a young adult to find himself or herself and establish a career to gain control, before setting off on their own. This is a time to assert independence while saving money as well. If your kidult is not ready for this step then it might be best if they fly the coop and experience their own version of the school of hard knocks, but most kidult just need a bit of direction, the freedom to fall on their face every now and then and someone to value them enough to clip their wings when it is time, so they can soar. Every great flyer has had to have a flight plan’s you watch your kidult grow up into adulthood savor the time you had together in watching their flight plan in progress.
A piece of advice for those parents of kidult, use this as a learning time, encourage your adult child to dream and to dream big and follow up by expecting them to take ownership for their own dreams. You’re not doing your kid adult any favors by robbing them of their own experience to problem solve and take on responsibly this is detrimental to their growing up. If your child wants the status of an adult, then he or she has to behave like one thus, they deserve the experience and the chance to fall down a few times and this comes with the territory. Allow them to help out and take care of things for themselves – there is no reason that he or she cannot handle the basic necessities of life and expand from there.
And, to all the kidult, being able to afford your own place one day, and taking the responsibility it takes to maintain it, is not expected of you immediately, it requires a plan of action and it can be done and it can be fun. Look forward to your future and give it your best shot. Adulthood can be a truly amazing course to be on and it doesn’t happen over night!
Cheers to your new plan of action!