Article Have you ever wondered why the person you are dating, are married to or work with behave like kids? 0 2019 Life coaching Relationship coaching life coaching Lifecoachhub Pty Ltd LifeCoachHub
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At What Age Do Adults Grow Up, Seriously?

TAGS: coaching, life coaching, business coaching, coach, life coach, self help, personal development relationship, stress at home, stress at work, adult relationship, children, dating, parenting, parents, life coach, career coach, relationship coach, trapped, moving on, dealing with people

Just Deal With The Behaviour

What it means to be an adult

You might have heard people say or maybe you’ve said it to your uncle, colleague or spouse, “You are behaving like a child!” And you meant it. I mean, there are tons of TV shows dedicated to the childish things that adults say and do. What's going on?

Does turning 18 magically turn one into an adult?

Oh No.

I spoke to a gentleman who was categorical and said that we become adults as 28. Still, you can agree with me that there are 28, 37 and even 53-year-olds who do not behave like adults, and 12-year-olds who do!

Being an adult is about “being.” It is about behaviour and responsibility, not a government-issued ID. It is a mark of contribution to the progress of families, companies and humanity at large.

Why did we miss a turn? Can the conditions we grow up in, keep us from growing up by confining us to a childlike mental and emotional age?


We could be stuck at the age of 7, 11 or 16. Or, a lot of our present-day fears, decisions and actions could be informed by our experiences at a much younger age.

Thus you might be married to a “7-year-old!” Your house-help might be “12,” your boss could be a hot-blooded “16-year old”, and your 3-year-old might be the only person “acting his age.”

Why are you reading this article – because you know that the onus is on you to keep that family or company together? Or because you know you cannot stomach another day of cleaning up the mess this "child-adult' has made. Or you know you are trapped. Either way, you know. You have the awareness, but hate the level of responsibility it puts on you. You may jokingly say, “I have seven kids, including my spouse, my business partner, my cleaner and my cat!” Except for the fact that deep down it drains and frustrates you.


Adults vs. Grown-Ups

What to do? If you are genuinely interested in preserving your sanity, health and joy, I have some pointers for you.

First, accept that adults may not be grown-ups or vise-Versa. Which unfortunately means that you cannot expect them to behave as such. Just deal with the behaviour at hand and forget what “should be.” The issue then is, how will you deal with the anger and stress their behaviour is causing you.

Second, deal with anger and stress. Child-adults will not “help and support you” as a fellow adult because they are stuck at the age of 10. You could be expecting too much from a person that cannot give it – until they raise their awareness. Yes, you are the only one with ‘eyes to see” what’s going on. Will you be the grown-up? The help and support you need are available from other sources. Seek those who exude desirable traits of stability and maturity, including professional a life, success or relationship coach

Third, do you believe that you are the grown-up in this equation? Are you behaving like one? The measure of an adult is the level of maturity. The calmness with which you handle situations as they arise - the situation that IS, not the situation that you wish could have been. If you are the adult – you are the responsible one – responsible for helping everyone else stay calm and “grow up.” Also, show some sympathy and be gentle. You catch more flies with honey right – where flies are the behaviours you dislike. See, the main reason we don’t grow up in the first is we lacked love, support and a safe space to “break out of the cocoon of childhood.” So, you are better served, offering them love and compassion than complaining and regretting. Hold space for them to emerge. Again, get help for yourself first. Adulthood is not about sacrificing your life, far from it; it’s about power and influence. It’s about reclaiming your joy.

Why don’t people grow up?

Events in our childhood – parents that weren’t “adults” themselves and genuinely didn’t know what to do with us:

  • Trauma
  • Bullying
  • Unprocessed loss/grief
  • Unhealed abandonment wounds
  • Fear-based education
  • Fear-based religion
  • Lack of emotional outlets
  • Not being allowed to feel or speak or have an opinion
  • Persistent shaming
  • Blaming or excessive praise
  • Lack of positive discipline
  • Lack of etiquette training

The list is quite extensive.

And yes, a lot is chalked up to “our parents’ did this to us.” Be that as it may, the done deal is done. The point is not to revise the past (or point fingers) but rather to learn from it and heal, and even help others improve. To grow up. Then, as an adult, create that life that we envisioned for ourselves, without blaming anyone around us for not “playing the role” that would be more convenient for us.

So, do have more power than you give yourself credit for, or you give away too much power? Your next adventure kicks off with your realisation that you are the adult. Speaking of which, here are some grown-up questions?

  1. What are you doing that is not very mature of you?
  2. Are you a great parent to yourself, or are you too strict/lenient?
  3. Are you in an “adult relationship” at a personal level, professionally or in business?

If you have children …

Are you raising adults, or are you raising children?


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