People who have never and probably will never grow up.
In psychology there are a number of terms that describe these individuals: arrested development, narcissistic, egocentric. Dan Kiley even wrote a book about immature men whom he believed were suffering from what he terms “The Peter Pan Syndrome.”
There probably should have been a sequel about immature women, maybe “The Wendy Syndrome,” although admittedly such a book would not have done as well as there tend to be far more immature men than women in our society.
If you would like to have your children to grow up and join the ranks of immature adults, please consider the following tried-and-true guidelines that are sure to work.
— Do things for your children that they can do for themselves. This is especially important as this fills your child with shame which will lead to the belief they really can’t do anything for themselves.
— Rescue them from suffering the consequences of their own mistakes.
— Teach them that they are above the laws that are really designed to manage (control) the common people.
— Tell them that they are better than others.
— Raise them to believe that “it’s all about me.”
— Keep them financially dependent. This is especially important after they have completed their schooling.
— Refrain from giving your children responsibilities.
— Lower your expectations.
— Show them how to avoid rather than face problems.
— Teach them that those who make it in life do so because of luck — the lottery, gambling, inheritance and so forth.
— Encourage them to believe that other people owe them.
— Show them how to do only as much as you must do to get by.
— Assure them that promptness isn’t important. Others can and should wait on you.
— Expect others to step over, avoid, or clean up your children’s mess.
— Teach them that life is their fantasy. Reality sucks.
— Encourage the belief that adult responsibilities drain the fun out of life.
— Teach them to live for weekends and vacations. Work is a necessary evil.
— Cultivate the belief that a six-pack of beer will solve most any problem.
— Make excuses and defend their misbehavior.
— Most important, as parents, model immaturity in your daily lives.
As attractive as never growing up may appear on the surface, as we become adults, even if hung onto tenaciously, immaturity ultimately proves frustrating.
Growing up and growing mature go hand-in-hand. It’s exhausting and depressing to resist the natural growth process and resist normal development.
We are all meant to grow and mature, to reach our potential. This is certainly not a bad thing. With the responsibilities of adulthood come joys that can’t be understood or appreciated in childhood; not merely the joys of achievement but also joy in knowing you lived up to your potential.
Of course, challenges can seem overwhelming in adulthood. But stepping up to the plate and measuring up to the challenge can be exhilarating. Accomplishment can bring a pleasure unfathomable in childhood; a depth of understanding that brings greater appreciation for life.