Peter Pan is a fictional character from the novel by J. M. Barrie, who plays a boy who lives in the land of "Neverland" and refuses to grow up, turning time infinite.
It's normal for teenagers and young people to show these features, always wanting to postpone their responsibilities, however, the time to address them must come. However, when referring to the Peter Pan syndrome, it is not referring to young people who have immature attitudes; it is adults who refuse to accept their responsibilities. Their behaviour can be quite astonishing sometimes, since in many cases their children tend to show greater maturity.
Why does this happen?
This syndrome can occur due to a very happy childhood, or conversely that the person in question had a very unhappy childhood. In the first case the individual tries to maintain that state of bliss associated with infancy, while in the second case, the individual wants to regain that lost time.
These are men who refuse to accept the responsibilities, sometimes spending their family's money on a whim. These are individuals who do not recognize their faults, they also tend to have episodes of anger, rebellion, arrogance, dependency, manipulation, denial of aging and fear of growing up.
They also tend to have issues of low self-esteem and are insecure or have a strong fear of loneliness, although they do not always show it. They tend to be selfish, and have little sensitivity to other's feelings. It should be noted that they are quite often narcissists, i.e. they love themselves unconditionally.
We should avoid these people
As parents, we can prevent the development of this syndrome, assigning small tasks to our children according to their age, although we believe that our children should grow comfortably and be happy, we must not forget that discipline is an important part, which allows them to develop healthily. Allow your child to participate in household chores, or tasks that represent challenges, so that he or she can learn how to solve problems and addresses the consequences of their actions. It is not recommended that a child lives in a hostile environment or with a lack of affection, as this may also favor the development of this syndrome.
How to help?
This syndrome has also been associated with Wendy syndrome, the selfless wife and mother who takes care of covering up the shortcomings of the others. This wife/mother assumes the role of Husband, reinforcing the behaviour of her son. It is believed that Wendys had no attention from their parents during their childhood, and try to compensate for this gap by giving their husband all those things which they did not receive from their parents and wider family.
We must be aware that Peter Pan people will make decisions according to their own desires, and the attitude to change has to come this way too. If he does not fulfil his obligations and his attitude does not change, then you should consider seeking the advice of an expert.
The Wendy woman should not give him the role of son of the family, on the contrary she should remind him of his age and his responsibilities should not be limited: Say "No" if you think he deserves it. Learn to play your own role in family life and let your partner learn to respect you and help at home.
If Peter Pan has trouble identifying his mistakes, then record the steps, for example what went wrong, so you can visualise and correct them. Try to avoid assuming his responsibilities yourself: Although this can be supportive to an extent, it will not help in the longrun. It is also a good idea to share housework, but if he is unco-operative or unwilling to cope with the situation, see a therapist.