Definition of a Sponge Kid The creation of any new word that enters the mainstream English language must always be based upon a solid word etymology that can support the meaning, substance, and relevance of the word in our modern society. Words like soccer mom and helicopter parent became a part of our everyday language because these words depict a the reality of our modern lifestyle…
It is based upon 2 different words -- a sponge and a kid. A sponge is a highly absorbent material that seems to keep on taking everything that is given to it without ever giving anything back. A kid is a child who is solely reliant in his parents for his existence. In the case of a Sponge Kid, I define that person to be over the age of 18, still living with his parents, without any regular source of income, and still receiving an allowance from his parents. Normally, an American child is considered to be capable of earning his own income and providing for his needs such as food and housing by the time that he or she turns the legal age of 18. There was a time when the children of that age automatically moved out because they went to college out of state and therefore had to fend for themselves. But times have gotten tougher for everyone and parents can no longer afford to help pay their child's tuition fee if the child opts to attend college out of state. In such situations, the now young adult child finds himself attending either a community college or a vocational school. He or she is no longer required to move out of the house due to the proximity of their parent's residence to their educational institution. Additionally. the money that the parents save on tuition fees trickles down to the child who now continues to receive an allowance from his parents. Giving the child the idea that he does not have to work nor help pay for the expenses around the house. Time was when a child could continue to live in his parent's house only if he agreed to pay some small token of rent at the very least upon turning 18. Parents no longer expect that of their kids these days because of the current economic climate in the country. I have a cousin who is now 21 and still jobless. As far as we all know, he had managed to complete a business degree at the local community college but he has yet to put his theoretical know-how to actual use. He still lives in the same house with his parents, in the same bedroom that he has occupied since the day that they brought him home from the hospital. Every time he is asked why he still does not have a job, he simply replies, “The economy just doesn't have any job to offer right now. It's not like I am not looking.” Not that he is to blame for his situation. His parents have not helped him become a more mature and responsible individual by their actions either. They have cuddled him and provided for all his needs without question. They claim to understand that he needs time to “get his groove” and “find that perfect job”. By supporting all his needs from a bed to sleep on, to the money in his pocket, they have helped create the perfect sponge child. A child who takes and takes from his parents without ever feeling the need to provide for himself nor reciprocate the act of kindness and financial help that his parents extend towards him because they “understand his situation”. A Sponge Kid is not to be confused with a Boomerang kid who actually leaves his parents home but finds himself returning to the family home due to certain financial difficulties. Boomerang Kids actually have lives independent of their parents and some of them, like in the case of my sibling, return home to save on money but actually contribute financially to the household in whatever capacity they can. In other words, ...
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