Should you ever act like a child when you’re not? Many times I have heard an adult say something similar to: “S/he should ‘grow-up’ and stop acting like a child.” Often times, the statement is shortened to simply: “Grow-Up!” Is it true that when people grow-up, they should and/or do stop behaving in a childish manner?
Before continuing this from the adults point of view, let’s consider what it means from the child’s perspective. Is it appropriate for a child to act childish? I think it’s not only appropriate, but also quite normal. Childish means: “of, relating to or befitting a child.” But, I have heard many adults tell many children to grow-up. What do we mean when we tell a child to grow-up? Do we want the child to stop acting like a child? I’m not a child psychologist, nor do I have any expertise in the field of child behavior, other than what was acquired from my experiences of being a parent and teacher. Of course, since I was once a child, I do have the same experience that we all have, or will have, of personally going from childhood to adulthood. Having stated that, I don’t think a child should not act as a child.
“Genius is the recovery of childhood at will.”
Ok, so what about acting like a child when you’re not? Suppose you see an adult acting childish? What do you think when you observe this behavior? Do you think it is inappropriate behavior? Many adults, when observing other adults acting childish, react with disgust and/or repulsion. Why is this?
As we grow up, I think we should expect that, sometimes, children will act as adults and adults will act childish. This, in my opinion, is normal. A child who always acts as a child, truly is a person who needs to start “growing-up.” We should expect a child to show signs of becoming an adult, but we shouldn’t expect a child to always show these signs. Alternately, an adult who always acts as an adult is a bit overwhelming. S/he tends to be intimidating, stuffy, rigid, serious, unyielding and often times, hypocritical. I write, hypocritical, because when someone always “acts like an adult,” the person never admits, through actions, the childhood that produced her/him. Such a person seems to be unreal from my perspective. Of course, these may be just my childish thoughts. :-)
“It’s never too late to have a happy childhood.”
I thing we should sometimes act like a child because that’s who we are. As we grow-up, learn, and do new things, we shouldn’t regret or despise who we once were. The child that we used to be is still in us! That child deserves the respect, love and tenderness we could, would and should give to any child. Let’s think of this “child,” that was in our past and is still part of us as adults, as our esoteric child who is always mysteriously present. Let’s give this child the respect and direction it needs – like any child we love. If we reject this esoteric child, then we reject our past. If we reject this child, then we start down the road of “self-hatred.”
“The things which the child loves remain in the domain of the heart until old age. The most beautiful thing in life is that our souls remain over the places where we once enjoyed ourselves”
So, why should you act like a child when you’re not?
☞ Perhaps, when you are wanting to respect yourself for who you were and now are.
☞ Maybe, when your adult and mature self says you need to, for your own good!
What do you think?