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Becoming an adult

As one takes the road to maturity through the phase of adulthood, various influences can be taken from experiences. But, it must be distinguished that most influences come from one’s kind of family or the environment within the family. The stage of adulthood is an important and at the same time, a critical point in a person’s life.

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Majority of young adults still live with their own families thus, it can be assumed that parents, to be more specific aid in rearing the young adults.

From chapter 13 of the book, The Expanded Family Life Cycle Edited by Betty Carter & Monica McGoldrick, viewpoints and principles that might be grasped by some adolescents of both sexes were tackled. As adolescents progress in the long run, these outlooks can either be retained or chucked out. These viewpoints are interconnected in one way or another. Examples of the given values will be provided for further discussion. The list will start with the attempt of the adolescents on learning how to work. In a patriarchal society, men are expected to imbibe the concept of work earlier in their lives compared to the women.

A male fresh graduate will dive in; head first, to get a good paying job for a sense of accomplishment. Second on the list is self-involvement. In this aspect, an adolescent can engage in activities that will enhance skills, personality and maturity. Enrolling at a dance class or being part of a community work can be some of illustrations of diverting attention to the self, instead of sharing a relationship with somebody. Idealism, another concept in the life of a young adult is probably one of the signs of cheap maturity.

Cheap in a sense that idealism brings in the thought that life can be all rainbows and butterflies if taken seriously and carefully. But, in reality, life can knock you down in the most unexpected way possible. An example of this is when the young adult trust the wrong person. After experiencing such event, the adolescent will then find out that trust should not be given to everybody without any hesitations. Thus the young adult will then be arriving at the conclusion that the idealism regarding trust doesn’t exist.

Another example is when the parents of a young adult underwent divorce. The young adult will now form a concept that when he grows up, he will choose his wife carefully and have a happy married life. Then again, if and when fate takes a bad turn, such idealism will be broken. Aside from the parents or older members of one’s family, a young adult can look up to someone near to him. This is to feed such need of defining the self. Mentors can influence the young adult in a good or bad way, depending on what type of mentor he is.

Somebody who is musically inclined can pick a lead singer of a local band as an inspiration. On the other hand, somebody who wants to be popular at school may take in the role of a school jock who keeps on doing vices, seeing that the said jock gains friends and fame through those actions. Next is the concept of having a perfect love. Acquiring such notion is linked with the concept of idealism. Yes, the family can provide love and care but the young adult will seek live from a different level, a romantic level that is.

In that kind of love, one can share the other side of his or her personality. For an instance, a daughter who is an only child will long for someone that she can take care of because she doesn’t have any siblings to look after. Or, she might seek attention from a guy if she is not given enough time by her parents. The stage of adolescence is also the peak of curiosity. Thus, the inquisitiveness in trying out things comes into the scene. Alcohol and drugs are the common entities that deal with such curiosity.

The young adult can either get hooked on those vices when not used in moderation or just use it so to get something sexual experience or enjoy a party. At some point in time, the viewpoint of self-involvement that was introduced earlier will pass and will be replaced by the thought of becoming a householder. From simply enrolling at a dance class, the adult may find the need to give that up if he or she will get married. The adult might choose to save the money for a vacation with his loved one instead for paying for a dance class.

A sudden change of priorities will definitely take place due to the notion of becoming a householder in the near future. Also, the concept of having a mentor will change in late adulthood. Thinking that the vocalist of a local band is somewhat inspiring, the adult will come to realize that he or she has her own style of artistry in music. Hence, a realization that the idealism of having an achievement is not based on what the vocalist can do but of what the adult can do. The young adult who perceived the jock as the fame getter will think that excelling in school is a better way of stepping up.

As for the curiosity of trying the vices, some “habits” brought by the vices can change if the young adult will realize that all those are just for cheap thrills and should only be done in moderation if cannot be avoided completely. The differences done by the later phase of adulthood may have a positive or negative feedback from the family of the adult. A positive feedback can be solicited through being grateful of the sense of responsibility and independence while a negative feedback can be caused by the paranoia of the parents that they can no longer watch the young adult’s every move.

The transformations can bring about independence but this will not be achieved if and when there is still financial dependence to the parents. A son who is already an adult but is still supported by his parents on his needs at law school cannot fully say that he is already independent. The ego of the son might be affected but he can’t do anything with the set-up yet. The viewpoint of continuity versus innovation can be related to the said example. After finishing law school, the son has the choice to work in his town or travel elsewhere.

The parents, being as protective as they are might hinder him to work in a far place. The decision of the son in leaving can be influenced by the fact that his parents provided his needs when he was still studying. So, he may choose not to work in other towns. If he chose to leave, the concept of family dynamics can be applied given that he has siblings. The attention that the parents used to give him will be diverted to the younger ones. But by the time he comes home for an occasion, attention will be drawn to him again.

A different example would be when the eldest daughter got married but her husband died eventually. The daughter decided to move in with her parents since she doesn’t have a child. The room that was now occupied by a younger sibling that used to be owned by the eldest should be vacated since the eldest sister is now staying with them. Lastly, the manifestation of an adult’s progress can still affect the relationship of his or her parents. A busy household with two working parents can take for granted one’s relationship with the husband or wife.

If their children would leave, they can catch up for the lost times when they are focused on taking care of the children. Otherwise, the flame may have died out many years even before the children grew up. The upbringing of a person done by the parents will be reflected through his achievements, principles or even mistakes. It must be taken into consideration that the link between the stages of adolescence can strike a mirror effect to the adult, the parents or the family as a whole. The effects, be it in the same or a different pole, should be used for one’s improvement and not for a fall down life’s hill.