I'm 22 years old and for financial reasons, I'm living with my parents now. A couple days ago, my father told me to "grow up". He was just being a crab ass, but the topic has been bothering me for days... What makes someone an adult? I'm a highly inquisitive, emphatic, sense seeking person... Does it make me childish to be curious?

I just want to know your thoughts. I know there might be different definitions due to age and cultural differences, and I'd love to hear them!

Also, throw some religious ideas about this in there :) how can an extremely religious people with their imaginary friend in the sky be considered adults?

Have at 'er!


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I'm 60, I'll let you know when it happens to me.

ditto, 52 years old, and my kids and wife tell me to grow up almost every week.

My 21 year old son lives here with us, for financiial reasons.


When I was 17, I graduated from school and left home, I could not wait to get away. I believe it was 20 years before I ever went back.


I was not pressured to leave, I just needed my own life, so it goes with what Kasu just said, I craved the independance part.

I did that part but I don't think it defined me as an adult. I am really tempted somrtimes to "be crabby" and have a similar discussion with my son, but I then remember what it was like to start out, it was lonely and there were lots of mistakes that were needless except in my quest for the independance I missed out on a lot of advice.

Yeah, I moved out... Many times, haha... The first times were because I did have a steady job and things were going good... I was on my own and I loved it! Well, except for being broke all the time! And then I moved home for a few more months. Then I got married. I was 19. My ex-husband was in the army and I moved 900 miles away and it was the worst thing at the time. I had nowhere to run to, but I was good at being an adult then. I had to face my problems and not run to my parents. When my marriage fell apart, I once again moved back with my parents for a year... And then moved 600 miles away... aaaaaand, now I'm back again, haha! So,  I've learned from mistakes, major ones, I've lived on my own, very independently... I think most of it has to do with my lack of job. I'm not living with my parents for free, and I help around the house(more than the "entitled" men do).


I'm glad to hear that you give your kid a break. I personally don't understand why parents want their kids out of the house so soon. It's so hard to start a life out of nothing, no matter what your age. In almost every other culture children live at home until married, and it's fine.

Oh well, I'll be out of here by early next year.... I'm thinking Florida this time :D

For me, most of the shit people call "adult behavior" is either idiocy, cynicism or something a kid could do if they had means and opportunity. I know a lot of poeple who, dispite the jobs and the families, are adolescents in everything but age. So for me, being an adult is essentially facing the world with clarity and perspective. That you don't always get your own way, even when it really, really matters. That you are responsible for your choices, even when you have no choices. That you are not particularly special. That learning new things is both the enemy of your comfort and the champion of your worth. And that no one owes you a fucking thing. I have met scant few babyboomers who ever grew up, and I don't know that I, at age 44, ever can grow up. But at least I know what it would look like if I did.
Growing old is inevitable, growing up is an option
lol, that is one for my wife.
I'm 48 and I don't view myself as a grown up because I did not meet the expectations of what I where I thought I should be in this point in my life. Now I am reaping the results of  my mistakes of the the things I failed to correct. I can't blame it all on delusion but back in my believing daze I use to pray for things to get better, well that obviously got me nowhere. It saddens me that I didn't get my head out of my ass sooner and put forth the action needed to make life better for my household. The damage has been done and not even sure if I can make a real difference now.

What?! You're only 48... It's not like you're going to die tomorrow! I don't know the state of your health, but assuming you're healthy and you don't get in any freak accidents, you've got another 20+ years ahead of you! And age doesn't matter. What you do matters. When you do it. There some chinese proverb that is always with me:

The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.

It's never too late to try.


This is true, I'm just going through some personal issues in my home. So it relates to me not being quite the responsible adult/parent/husband I needed to be.

I live in the desert so a tree would be a good thing...lol...problem is a lot of trees around here have thorns.

Plant an edible cactus? There's another discussion on here where a lady got yelled at for throwing a peach pit in a pile of leaves... Maybe she can help you out? Haha!

Good answers! Haha! The only thing I have come up with so far is:


You are an adult when you are knowledgeable about your surroundings, local, national and worldwide. When you realize that things are majorly f-ed up. Instead of bowing your head in prayer, you get angry and you get off your butt to FIGHT. I think being an adult means that you work hard to change things for the better of all mankind. Little actions of goodness and kindness go a long way.


But laziness isn't childish. Most children are freaking active, creative, and innovative. A child-like mind sees things in a different way. They haven't accepted that their world is unchangeable.

Grown ups should be changing the status quo while remaining positive. That you can have a good life and that circumstances can always change.


This is where I find religion faulty. While most preach about kindness, giving, loving neighbors, etc. I don't see them stepping up too often. My father, who is very religious, thinks that charity is a waste. He's got his own brand of Christianity... He's been "born again" or something. He is a hypocrite. He puts all his faith in a book he has never read, prays daily for who knows what and thinks that he'll get to heaven because he has accepted Jesus. He is definitely not a man that has followed biblical law and he doesn't go to church. And the worst thing, in my opinion, is that he doesn't care about anyone outside of his family.

My parents are the classic example of a husband going to work, coming home, expecting that everything will be handed to him because he worked hard. My mother's work is deemed insignificant by both him and my brother. Yet she works all day, comes home and makes dinner, cleans, manages the money. The whole shebang.

How is my father an adult? Because he goes to work? All other elements of his life are managed by my mother. He is a 50 year old child.


I don't really mean for this to be a criticism of my dad... I love him... But I don't respect him. I'm just glad I'm an atheist so I don't have to feel bad about it.

I think it's mainly a generational difference. He and my mother were raised in the 50s and 60s. Back then, men were waited on by doting wives. So, they just see it as the norm. I have a more communal perspective. I believe everyone living a house should pull their own weight. Especially since everyone in this house is, age-wise, an adult.

Pulling your own weight seems like a very grown up thing, hmm...


I'm adding it to the list!


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