Grow Up!

This has absolute­ly noth­ing to do with any­body who reads my jour­nal (as far as I know, any­way), or any­one in my house­hold or cir­cle of friends/family. It is a gen­er­al rant against an atti­tude I’ve seen too damned many times, espe­cial­ly in posts to alt­par­ent but also today in dot_cattiness:

In the Unit­ed States, except in fair­ly rare cir­cum­stances, you are con­sid­ered a ful­ly inde­pen­dent adult the day you turn 18. As far as the law, and most of our soci­ety, is con­cerned, you’re done with grow­ing up and your par­ents are finished.

If your par­ents have done a sucky job of rear­ing you, as of that day it becomes your and only your prob­lem, for­ev­er and ever. Your par­ents are not legal­ly oblig­at­ed to do a thing after that date. Whether or not you have fin­ished high school or learned to read or cook or bal­ance a check­book or get your own ass out of bed in the morn­ing, you are at that point respon­si­ble for what­ev­er hap­pens in your life.

Now, if you are for­tu­nate, your par­ents have been respon­si­ble and they’ve been train­ing you in Real Life 101. They’ve grad­u­al­ly been giv­ing you more free­dom and respon­si­bil­i­ty, giv­en you chances to test your wings a bit and fall flat on your face while there’s still some­one to help you back up to the nest (and a nest to return to). If you’ve actu­al­ly been coop­er­a­tive and tak­en advan­tage of the chances they’ve pro­vid­ed, you prob­a­bly have a decent rela­tion­ship with them anyway.

If your par­ents have attempt­ed to instill a sense of respon­si­bil­i­ty in you, and have attempt­ed to teach you the things that you’ll need to know to take care of your­self, but you’ve either adamant­ly refused to coop­er­ate or are sim­ply free­load­ing and expect­ing a free ride, you’re screwed. If your par­ents have any sense at all, the most lov­ing them for them to do is kick you out and refuse to speak to you until you have got­ten the clue and straight­ened your­self out.

If, how­ev­er, you are unfor­tu­nate and your par­ents did not raise you to be a respon­si­ble adult human, right there around your 6566th day of life, you are free to walk away from them and do what­ev­er it takes to fill in the gaps in your edu­ca­tion. They have no legal right to restrict you in any way, just as they have no legal respon­si­bil­i­ty toward you.

Whin­ing about what your par­ents have not or will not do for you becomes, on your 18th birth­day, a symp­tom of a char­ac­ter flaw. Yes, it indi­cates very strong­ly to the rest of the world that you suf­fer from enti­tle­ment can­cer. You believe that you have some god-giv­en Right to have oth­ers take care of you, pro­vide for you, and pro­tect you from the Cold Hard World and, most par­tic­u­lar­ly, the results of your own actions.

If your par­ents allow you to con­tin­ue liv­ing with them with­out pay­ing a fair mar­ket price for your room and board, be grate­ful. Thank them. Don’t bitch because they expect you to fol­low their house­hold stan­dards and respect their beliefs while liv­ing in their home. If you have off­spring and you’re liv­ing with your par­ents, you’ve just abdi­cat­ed your right to raise your child as you like—because you’re still in a depen­dent sit­u­a­tion, your­self. Your par­ents have a right to input about your child’s rear­ing, and if you don’t like it you should move your­self and the child out to your own place.

As long as you live in some­one else’s home, no mat­ter how old you are, that per­son is in charge. That’s the way it works. If you are equal part­ners on the mort­gage or lease, then you have equal say in what hap­pens. If you don’t, the per­son whose name is on the mort­gage or lease gets to call the shots. That’s life.

Col­lege tuition isn’t some­thing to which you are enti­tled. Assis­tance in mov­ing to some­where you want to live isn’t men­tioned in the con­sti­tu­tion. There is no law that states that your par­ents must pro­vide you with trans­porta­tion, or help you learn to dri­ve. Grand­par­ents have rel­a­tive­ly few rights with regard to their grand­chil­dren, but they also have absolute­ly no legal oblig­a­tion towards those grandchildren.

Now would you peo­ple grow the fuck up and stop whining?

Cur­rent Mood: pissed off
Cyn is a proud Mommy & Mémé, professional geek, avid reader, fledgling coder, enthusiastic gamer (TTRPGs), occasional singer, and devoted stitcher.
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