There is, apparently, a new developmental phase brought about by the economic crisis and, in the case of our state, the mining boom. Where previously children transitioned into adolescents then into adulthood now there is an intermediary phase between adolescent and adult which has been jokingly referred to as being a ‘Kidult’.
I have a Kidult living in my house and it’s not a pleasant business. Although officially adult in age these young people cannot afford to move out and be independent, especially if they are studying. The excessive cost of housing and lack of availability has seen the average age of children leaving home rising to 27!
The unfortunate side effect of these kids staying home so long is that it stunts their development. In our case my eldest reverts to childhood patterns of behavior and I tend to mother her more than I should. She is frustrated by household rules and routines and the lack of autonomy. The other downside is that kidults tend to be nocturnal creatures. Late night socializing and a desire to sleep until lunchtime aren’t that easy with younger siblings in the house.
I really feel for the kids these days. I couldn’t wait to have my independence and I wish that my daughter could have that too. Short of a lotto win I’m not sure how we are going to be able to help her or her siblings to fly the nest. When I was buying my first home the average deposit required was around $5-10,000. We recently enquired about the deposit required to purchase a 1 bedroom flat only to discover that the banks would want a deposit of $65,000!
I guess we’re going to be a very full household for a while longer than we thought. In some ways maybe we as a society are reverting back to the way things used to be with extended family all living together.