Adult Children and the Peter Pan Syndrome

Sometimes I forget that I’m going to be 25 this year.

When I was young and pictured myself as a 25-year-old, I didn’t have a clear vision. I actually avoided visualizing that period of my life, because to me 25 was OLD, a time when you’ve started your downward descent from cuteness and you have to do a bunch of stuff you don’t want to do. And from what I’d heard, your 20s were a scary tunnel of uncertainty, a darkness through which you have to blindly feel your way. The light at the end of that tunnel is your 30s, where you have a well paying job, a home and a family.

But I look around and think “Woah. I’m in it NOW. Like, DEEP in it.”

And I think part of the reason I forget that I’m not a teenager anymore has much more to do with my entire generation than just me. A generation that coined the term “adulting” to be used in such sentences as “Adulting is hard” or “I forget how to adult”. The Millennials.

As 25-year-old Alex streams “Dragonball”, a bizarre Japanese cartoon from the 1980s, he can’t help but notice that the advertisers know exactly who is watching Dragonball these days. And it’s not children, but nostalgic adult children. One ad in particular for California vacations shows the parents goofing off like children in the background while the actual children face-palm in the foreground.


So not only are we asking for more cartoons, more toys, more playtime, we are actually being given just that. More and more often I am noticing this incorporation of child-like play in every area of life that Millennials participate in.

Are we a generation of Peter Pans who never want to face reality? Can we not function without a daily dose of recess??

HEY… I sure hope so!

There is a large chunk of the population that loves to make fun of Millennials. They call us the “me” generation, the “flip-flopping” generation, the “special snowflakes”. Even our own kind has turned against us. Millennials post video blogs and articles about how other Millennials SUCK and they’re embarrassed to be one. They cite problems such as:

  • Expecting to be handed everything
  • Communicating via social media ONLY
  • Low work ethic
  • Requiring special treatment
  • A need to rest, and not work hard until you die of working hard

Those videos make me so sad.

But I don’t stay sad for too long! I remind myself of the vision I have for the world, and the overwhelming evidence that we are heading to a happier, more fun place!

Consider this: Perhaps Millennials aren’t just a selfish generation who thinks they don’t have to do the hard work our ancestors did.

Perhaps Millennials are the first generation to accept the REALITY that one should work smarter, not harder.

And nurturing people’s personal strengths will ultimately help the whole.

And that incorporating fun and play actually makes people work more efficiently!

I am a strong believer in the idea that life is meant to be enjoyed in all areas. The idea that you work a job you hate until you can finally retire just in time to have a bunch of medical issues caused by years of stress has NEVER made sense to me.

Thriving Millennial businesses all over have done the research for us, and yeah. Happy employees make for better business!

Google employees are paid to play beach volleyball, go bowling or scale a climbing wall; activities that take place at the search engine’s main campus in California.

At LinkedIn, employees can play foosball or ping-pong when they tire of answering emails. At Zynga, arcade games grace the hallways.”

-Work Hard, Play Harder: Fun Boosts Creativity, Productivity

“Many of America’s future business leaders desire a casual work culture, in which fun features as a fundamental part of the nine-to-five, and corporate America is responding! Glance through any of the many lineups for “the best places to work”: Facebook, Twitter, SAS, and Google, (to name a few) are all successful, powerful, multibillion-dollar organizations, and they also each boast the reputation of being “fun” while thriving. The message: you can have fun and still be incredibly productive.”

-Millennials Just Want To Have Fun

Now, to talk about the “special snowflake” thing for a minute:

It’s hard to say whether people have always been this way and we ignored it, or if the people being born these days are actually a new breed of human. Because it seems these new young people are more intuitive, more sensitive, and more suited for this era. (Shout-out to all the indigo, crystal and rainbow children.)

There are tons of brilliant creative types or tech geniuses who may likely fall on the autism spectrum, and are an integral part in helping to build the amazing future that is coming! And because these people are more sensitive, they have different learning styles and working styles. And I think it’s amazing that we are taking that into consideration when it comes to the workplace.

Why should we encourage different learning/working styles in children when they are young, but once they’re adults just expect them to suck it up and do what everyone else has to do?

In conclusion, I want to say thank you to all you creative sensitive adult babies who are helping the world realize that life works better when you’re having fun!

Cha cha cha,

Your Peacefriend


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