I taught school for over 40 years from grades 4-12 and everything from physical education and art to Western Civilization and Business Law. I also coached boys’ and girls’ cross-country and track and girls’ basketball. My teams were made up of highly motivated young men and women who wanted to learn how to get the best out of themselves while still having fun. As the years passed, the athlete’s motivation seemed to wane, and the fun the athletes wanted had little to do with the sport. I was also meeting regularly with parents for academic progress reporting. I found that the more time went by, the less the parents were interested in helping their children achieve success through their own efforts. The parents seemed to be a mix of adult (age, parents, jobs) and child (blaming everyone else for any failing on their child’s part, lack of responsibility for their child’s or their own actions, more concerned with vacations than with their child’s education. Call each of them a “kidult.”
According to the Urban Dictionary, a kidult is a so-called grown-up who doesn’t want to grow up (or at least act like an adult) and would instead prefer so-called “children’s” stuff for entertainment, like cartoons, toys, comic books, Disney movies, etc. He or she also enjoys colorful “kiddie” snacks like breakfast cereal and Spaghetti-O’s and dresses like a teenager or perhaps younger. May or may not be great parents as well as being able to take on adult responsibilities. Not necessarily too immature at least in the public.
We can run into the same problem as unbelievers. Yes, we are subject to the same trials and temptations that unbelievers face. When Paul wrote to the Hebrews, he noted that, You have been believers so long now that you ought to be teaching others. Instead, you need someone to teach you again the basic things about God’s word. You are like babies who need milk and cannot eat solid food. For someone who lives on milk is still an infant and doesn’t know how to do what is right. Solid food is for those who are mature, who through training have the skill to recognize the difference between right and wrong. (Hebrews 5:12-14) Each was behaving as a spiritual kidult.
A kidult can look like an adult, act like an adult, and talk like an adult, but he’s missed the whole responsibility thing. According to him, his kids shouldn’t be held responsible for their actions and he, as a parent, also refuses to claim any responsibility. With that kind of attitude, you can begin to understand why so many teachers get burned out and leave their profession. Yet we are told in Galatians to pay careful attention to your own work, for then you will get the satisfaction of a job well done, and you won’t need to compare yourself to anyone else. For we are each responsible for our own conduct. (Galatians 6:4-5)
So, who is to blame? The child? The parent? The teacher? A kidult? The child will not be punished for the parent’s sins, and the parent will not be punished for the child’s sins. Righteous people will be rewarded for their own righteous behavior, and wicked people will be punished for their own wickedness. (Ezekiel 18:20) Attitudes and lifestyles are passed down from generation to generation. That’s why so many families are bound by substance abuse. On our own, we are unable to break the bondage. But good start would be to remember that no matter what we do, each of us will give an account of ourselves to God. (Romans 14:12)
So maybe it’s time to “man up” are start taking responsibility for yourself and help those around to do the same. And don’t allow yourself to become a kidult.