Maintaining a childlike sense of wonder and humor well into adulthood can be a lovely trait. For instance, an adult who laughs about the silliest things, and banters with skill, is a treasure. An adult who pouts and whines when faced with confrontation? Not so much. Learning the signs you're raising a man-child is crucial, so you can guide the kid toward adulthood with confidence and competence.
Defining the man child is tricky. According to the website for Psychology Today, a man-child refuses to talk seriously about the future, and more or less acts like a middle schooler well into the adult years. The word immature is often used to describe man children. Of course, lingering immaturity is fun to a point — I'm a lifetime fan of juvenile humor, for instance — but when it comes to the nitty gritty reality of adulthood, man-children tend to flounder.
Chances are, one of your sincerest parental wishes is to have your kid grow into a self-sufficient, capable adult. Along the way, however, it may be tricky to tell which behaviors are OK at a certain age, and which ones need guidance. After all, it is expected that a literal child will act like a child. Whining and pouting go with the territory, at least until a certain age. To help your kid grow into a confident, competent adult, keep an eye out for these signs.
1. He Whines Constantly
Whenever your kid wants a snack or a break from homework, an endless stream of whining ensues. But as noted by the website for Parents, letting your kid cope with minor frustrations for a moment is one way to address the whining habit. In time, the kid will learn to grab an apple or buckle down on homework alone.
2. He Obsesses Over Immaturity
Sure, most kids act a bit immature now and then, and all people grow and develop at individual paces. But as noted by The Hincks-Dellcrest Center, a kid who regularly behaves in a babyish way may need additional guidance. At some point, acting silly will not get you out of a stressful situation.
3. He Has Poor Stress Response
Learning to manage stress in a healthy way is a lifelong pursuit for most people. If your kid has a meltdown at the first sign of a setback, then it may be time to step in. According to Kids Health, helping your kid consider real-life ways to reduce the stress load can help. Supporting the ideas that will work can help your kid learn problem-solving skills.
4. He Expects You To Do Everything
Granted, most people don't particularly enjoy doing chores. But as noted on Stylecaster, one of the hallmarks of a man-child is a lack of desire to complete normal adult tasks. Teaching your kid about everything from paying bills to washing clothes, and expecting help when appropriate, can set the stage for real-life responsibility.
5. He Hates Responsibility
Sure, kids aren't ready for a full load of adult responsibility, being children and all. But as noted by Bustle, a prime sign of the man-child is the desire to shirk all responsibility, all the time. Giving your kid age-appropriate tasks, such as walking the dog every day, can start to make accountability a habit.
6. He Is Hyper Competitive
Competitiveness is encouraged by many schools and sports, and the desire to improve yourself is noble. But maintaining your chill is important, too. As noted by LovePanky, man children tend to get overly competitive about most everything, even playing board games. Teaching your kid to stay cool in these situations is a valuable life skill.
7. He Shifts The Blame
Accepting responsibility for your own mistakes is a crucial (albeit difficult) part of growing up. As noted on the website for Psychology Today, emotionally immature adults tend to blame others for their problems. But your kid can learn that, although it might feel sucky at first, being accountable for your mistakes is a crucial life skill.
8. He Demands Attention
Most kids are attention fiends at certain ages, but this behavior is obnoxious when it carries over into adulthood. According to Psych Central, however, by praising your kid for appropriate behavior and ignoring misbehavior, you might be able to put a damper on the spotlight seeking. Barring any physical or developmental problems, this may help your kid learn to seek attention in an appropriate way.
9. He Throws Tantrums
Toddlers and tantrums tend to go together. But according to Romper, immature adults can throw tantrums, too, sometimes complete with pouting and moping. Working with your kid on more appropriate ways to express disappointment is crucial.