I believe that magical age of adulthood is exactly what it is supposed to be. It’s easy to say parents should continue to support their children once they have passed that magical birthday but the problem is if parents continue to supply their eighteen year old the same way they would their two year old, the parent is actually hurting them. My two at the ages of fourteen and twelve, know that at sixteen they will be expected to have a part-time job to pay for the luxuries a sixteen year old wants. They both know that upon graduation they are required to have a part-time job and continue on with their education or a full time job. It may seem harsh, but I had rather have two self-sufficient adult children than one or both free loading in my basement at forty.
No, I wouldn’t kick them out at eighteen but reality would hit hard. No job means endless nights spent with the parents because they can’t afford to go out. At sixteen I worked full time while attending school, at eighteen I did the same. My parents didn’t give me everything that I wanted, and for that I am thankful, because I learned to do it on my own.
There is no guarantee of a tomorrow, and I would actually want to know that when I leave this world, I prepared my two to take care of themselves. Life is hard and it’s expensive, but that is life and it’s easier learned early in life than it is later in life. Sure you let them be kids and enjoy life, but you also have to teach them to want to better their lives.
For example I have a nephew who is over the magical age and quickly approaching legal drinking age. His grandparents, my in laws, raised him. He was allowed to do anything he wanted and giving everything his heart desired, never once having to learn to do anything for himself. Now while I applaud that he actually made it through high school and with a diploma to boot, he has a wife and a baby. Where do they live? With my father in law who is in poor health and for whatever reason continues to support him and his family. It doesn’t matter that the father has found himself relying on his own children at times because he doesn’t bring in the money to support an additional family.
My nephew has certainly taking the stand that everything in life is owed to him and he never has to work. His only income is the food stamps that he brings in and the few hours his wife does work, other than that nothing. He can’t be bothered to mow the lawn or clean up after his family, because in his mind he shouldn’t have to and it’s someone else’s responsibility. Money that he does come across doesn’t go to help with the bills it goes to whatever crazy purchase he and his wife want to make. The problem is when my father in law who is in poor health, is gone, those two ‘adults’ aren’t going to have a clue and they have a baby.
Even if you push the age up a few years and say parents should be responsible until their child is twenty one, the same problems are going to exist when they are twenty two. How many eighteen year olds are willing to lose those privileges of being an adult? When you force the responsibility back onto the parents, then the privileges should go to. That’s my two cents, though.