"When I'm 18, I'm moving out!"
As a teen, I voiced that opinion countless times, yet when that magic age finally rolled around, I secretly hoped everyone had forgotten what I said and I'd be granted a reprieve. My parents had known all along what I had to learn for myself. Eighteen felt
no different than seventeen. The last laugh was on me. Eventually--with a few years of college under my belt--I flew the coop around 21 and never looked back.
But today's young adults around the same age are either staying put or packing up the old duffel bag full of dirty laundry and returning to the parental home.
Is thirty the new twenty?
Developmental psychologist Jeffrey Arnett refers to the period
between age 18-25 as the "emerging adulthood" years. "The new life course has become much more spread out and flexible," Arnett says.
Our society is a bit schizophrenic on that issue.Take all the time you need to find a good job.
Young adults aged 19-29 make up the fastest growing segment of the uninsured
population. Once Pomp and Circumstance has played for the last time, these "legal kids" are dropped from the parental insurance umbrella quicker than one can say, "Do you want fries with that?" One serious hospitalization and this uninsured "kid" has one heckuva bill that ends up in collections...bye-bye, credit report.You're WHAT?
The family home will never stop the biological clock of anything emerging--or merging--for that matter. Through support of abstinence
-Just Say No-programs-the Societal We casts quite the immature eye toward the fact our biologically intact children are walking Parent Traps. History repeats itself as the forty-fifty somethings find themselves singing "Itsy Bitsy Spider " once again -raising their own grandchildren
-while the twenty-somethings (or younger) developmentally find
themselves.We can get you help.
Not all young adults are the Picture of Developmental Perfection that Dr. Arnett paints. Many find themselves caught up in the counterculture, only to emerge with a drug addiction that can fast make waste of a life off-track. Florida is a state that chooses the punitive
approach over the rehabilitative approach, so good luck obtaining a low cost rehab center for your uninsured young adult child. The Florida Department of Health listed
drug and alcohol abuse as a major public health concern for young adults 20-24 years of age. The DOH indicated back in 2002 "At the same time young adults are experiencing catastrophic health events, their access to health care is more limited."
Is it time to officially redefine youth as did Turkmenistan, extending adolescence to age 25 while postponing old age until age 85? Under that system, a youth is defined as a person between 25-37 years of age, reaching maturity at age 49. With that sort of legislated life cycle, our country's grandparents currently raising their own grandchildren may very well look forward to raising their own great-grandchildren.
Maybe it all boils down to simple Boom logic. The Baby Boom generation--born between 1946-1964-- have simply reaped what they've sown. Keeping their kids young and close to home in effect causes Baby Boomers to feel eternally young themselves. The unfortunate unforeseen side effect of "Boom! What you do to me!" is "Boom! What have we done to you?"
Meanwhile, our "kids" are claiming the "Boom Boom" 5th... " Let the fun begin, I told my friends, I'm gonna do, All the things that I've been wishing, And wanting to..."It's enough to make Freud take to his couch.
Labels: abstinence, baby boomers and their children, extending adolescence, uninsured young adults