UNITED STATES—I had an interesting discussion with someone recently about what constitutes someone as an adult. Is it turning the age 18, what about 21, is it having a job, owning a house, having children. I mean we all have our own interpretation of what it means to be an adult, however, my focus is more on when do we decide to start giving responsibilities to those who might be of legal age, but haven’t fully reached that stage of being a responsible adult.

Yes, it is a loaded topic and question to say the least; however, I think it all begins with the question of if they have a job. I’m a firm believer that if you’re capable and able to work, you should be working. So if a person has a job you have to start giving them responsibilities especially if they live under your roof. Nothing annoys me more than when a person claims to be an adult, yet they take on no adult responsibilities. I mean how can you call yourself grown if you’re not willing to do what grownups do: um, we pay bills.

Even if as a parent, you’re not ready to force your child to pay a bill, that is fine, but you should absolutely force them to contribute to the household in some sort of fashion. How so? They can purchase groceries, household items, their own clothing; the key is you want to get them to realize they have to contribute in some sort of fashion.

Here’s the problem with NOT forcing your young adult to take on responsibilities: they become a spoiled brat. They become entitled and just lazy. That is never a good thing America. If you allow bad behavior, that bad behavior will only continue until it is impossible to stop and then reality hits that young adult like a ton of bullets. They have difficulty adjusting to the fact that nothing in life is free. You want a cellphone, you have to pay for it, you want to watch Cable, it’s not free, lights, gas and shelter, and they all cost money America.

I’ve never understood the logic of those going to college and not having a job. I think it’s so vital to have a part-time job at the minimum while in college. Why? It teaches the importance of time management, but at the same time it helps build work skills. I mean I couldn’t imagine going 22 to 23 years of my life and not working or being thrown into the real world as we call it, right after graduating from college. Why? It’s a major adjustment; one that most young adults are not prepared for. Any responsibility is better than no responsibility because in essence you are training and teaching your child of things to come in life. They learn how to manage money, they learn how to adapt and they learn how to appreciate what they have while they have it.

I will be damned to allow a child of mine to live in my household who earns a decent living wage and think he or she will just come and go as they please, waste electricity, water, eat me out of a home and not contribute a single dime along the way. Not happening on my clock. The sad reality is that I know a ton of people like that in real-life and because of that it leaves me reeling at times. We are coddling our children too much.

We’re not allowing them to grow-up, and as a result we are raising adults who aren’t quite adults. So when challenges strike them in life they don’t know how to react, respond or cope with a minor struggle that they would deem the end of the world. The sad reality is that it’s not even close. Life is all about living and learning and if you don’t take on responsibilities you can never learn anything.

Written By Kelsey Thomas