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Grow Up Already! Why It Takes So Long to Mature

The school-to-work transition can take longer for young adults with ADHD, who don't mature at the same pace as their peers. Here's how parents can nudge without pushing.

8 Comments: Grow Up Already! Why It Takes So Long to Mature

  1. I realize this is an old article, but I can really relate to this! I had grandiose plans for my life after Graduation, but I wound up living on my bi-polar Father’s couch! He knew that I hadn’t grown up yet, but his answer was to scream at me constantly and offer me no constructive advice except to try to push me into working at the local factory(and I was a Theatre Arts graduate, and he was a LAWYER!). I only became independent when he abandoned me when I was 25, but age 35 as the age when the front of your brain finishing it’s development makes sense: that was around the time a found a better place to live, learned how to communicate with people better under pressure, and began taking regular trips to Britain and Europe(and I went to Oxford last year at age 60).

  2. I’d be interested in a followup on how this process can be affected or further slowed by related addiction or mental health issues, such as stress from trauma. Like most people with ADHD I didn’t start to feel like an ‘adult’ until well into my thirties. I have a case involving an associate who is over fifty and seems to just be reaching their late teens, in emotional regulation and behavior.

    Is that possible?

  3. Ms.. Kingsley, I’m a little confused. I have been taught that the brain doesn’t fully mature until around age 25. Does that mean we are lagging behind approximately 10-15 years in maturity? Are you saying that the executive functioning development (capacity) can take as long as 35-40 to fully mature? Or just the building of executive functioning skills?

  4. This article really helped me see that I’ not alone in the whole “Physically: older, Mentally: younger” thing. It’s comforting to know that my late-developing maturity is not my fault. I’m 17 years old high school junior, and I still act like I’m 12. My parents are CONSTANTLY hounding me to get a job, find an apartment, and to “get my head out of the clouds, and grow up”, but I don’t FEEL like I’m a 17 “young woman”, as they like to put it; Instead, mentally, I still feel like I’m 13. I haven’t looked into college, I have dreams, but they’re too “unrealistic” for people around me, and I feel like there’s something seriously wrong with me whenever my parents bring up comparisons of what i’m doing with my life (nothing) to what they did at my age.(had jobs, hung out w/ friends, had adventures, were independant.) I’m going to show them this article, and PROVE that what they’re dealing with when it comes to me is not uncommon for young people with ADHD.

  5. My senior high school years were chaotic, and looking back, I really should have had a gap year after school.
    For first and second year at University, I lived on campus in student housing where we did our own thing. Equivalent to group houses, each with 12 students. I soon grew up. Got tossed out of university, then had a gap year. Returned and flew.
    The gap year worked well, but those years could have been ordered a lot better.
    My daughter (no ADD) had a gap year, then flew through uni, then excelled in her first real job.

  6. Great article, albeit a bit of a plug for ADHD coaching 😊 but I will say that I may appreciate and make use f such a coach when our boy reaches his teens. Thanks, this article is a keeper!

  7. I like this article really much. It’s not a rehash like so much of the other articles featured on this site.

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