Borrowing a framework from Stephen Covey, we move through 3 stages in our lives – Dependence -> Independence -> Interdependence. The Dependence years are marked by childishness, the independence years are marked with rebelliousness and the interdependence years mark adulthood.
There are 2 phrases that best mark the transitions between the stages.
Stage 1 to 2: “I can’t blame other people for where I am. I need to take responsibility for my own life.”
Stage 2 to 3: “I can’t do this alone. I need to work with and give to the people around me to build my family/career/community/life.
If we can’t accept responsibility, we are no better than kids. If we don’t realize that this is all about building things together, we’re no different from adolescents. These stages have little to do with age. Dependence alone is guaranteed with birth. The rest totally depends on emotional maturity that we choose to acquire over the course of our time on this planet.
Age advancement is guaranteed. Growth is not.