Adolescence (lat adolescere, (to grow) is a transitional stage of physical and mental human development that occurs between childhood and adulthood. This transition involves biological (i.e. pubertal), social, and psychological changes, though the biological or physiological ones are the easiest to measure objectively. (From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)
This is the classical description of the maturing process from childhood to adult. However the theme of this blog is those adults in their 50’s and 60’s who still exhibit preadolescent behavior. While they may have physically and chronologically passed through the stages of maturation they have psychologically and emotionally remained children. They think that when they graduated from high school or college that learning stopped and fail to realize that learning is a part of maturing and growing and should be welcomed with open arms. Many of these elderly preteens have not read a book since they left their last institute of learning. They have not learned to accept responsibility for their achievements or failures. They are overjoyed to be praised on incidental pursuits, new clothing, new jewelry, new cars, etc. And they often vicariously enjoy the wealth of others and are envious and jealous of what they perceive to be success. They don’t know how to accept honest evaluations of their successes and failures. They perceive honest evaluations of their efforts to be attacks even if the criticism is positive and designed to improve them professionally and socially.
Much of this behavior stems from a poor self-image and the inability to accept oneself as one is. They have not heard or have forgotten the proverb told by a wise pastor with whom I once worked. He said, “where you are there you are.” These immature adults think that if they change their location life will be better. They may move thousands of miles across the country in an attempt for a better condition, But wherever they are there they are. As these elderly preteens move from place to place to solve their problems they find that the new location only adds stress to their immaturity. In places they think to be places of safety i.e. with people they think will accept them unconditionally, they find that those they think will accept them unconditionally are the ones that expose their immaturity even more, even if the exposure is unintentional. and even if those they move to be around are their own children. It is a wise child that helps their parents to stay current with technology, but is is a sad child that has to train his aging parents to be adults.
In the time of life when the older should be assisting and guiding children to adult responsibilities it is shameful that the children of preadolescent adults have to put up with the temper tantrums of 50 and 60 year old moms and dads who often act out as the spoiled brats they are.