Why Acting Like a Kid Again Can Change Your Perspective on Life
by Laurie Harrington
April 8, 2019 .3 min read
Recently, I’ve been thinking about things we do and don’t do as adults versus the things we do and don’t do as children.
The accepted wisdom is that adults are the more advanced life form. I would argue that while this could be true, there are still at least three aspects of a typical kid’s life that every adult should make a point to revisit. Here’s how and why:
Kids are Always Learning
They might not even realize it, but kids are always learning. They simply can’t escape it.
It starts almost at birth as infants tend to repeat everything they see and hear. From ages four to five, all the way to the ages of 17 and 18, the majority of their learning takes place in an institutionalized setting since they spend roughly nine months out of the year in school.
And when they’re not in school, they’re still always learning, whether it be:
Learning how to tie a shoe
Learning how to ride a bike
Learning the words to a new song
Learning how to advance to the next level of a video game
So, why do we allow ourselves to outgrow continuous learning? Just imagine how much we could accomplish if we intentionally tried to focus on learning new things.
Kids Look to the Future
Have you ever heard a teenager reminiscing about the great time he/she had in elementary school? Probably not. And the odds of a high school student wanting to repeat his/her high school years are probably the same. The reason for this? Kids look toward the future as they believe the best is yet to come and they are more than happy to work toward it.
So, why do we as adults spend more time looking over our shoulders than looking toward the future? Imagine greeting each new day — and each new year — with the enthusiasm and optimism of a child.
Kids Keep up with the Times
How many teenagers do you know who still wear the same clothes they wore in elementary school? And how many teenagers do you know who still read the same material they read in elementary school?
Sure, kids don’t usually have the option of wearing ten-year-old clothes for the simple reason that they’re always growing. And, kids’ reading levels advance over time. Still, growing up shouldn’t be the only reason to outgrown things.
So, should we as adults be dressing the way we did a decade ago? And should we read the same things we did back then? No.
To really drive my point home, I want to quickly talk about my daughter. I remember back when she was in her late twenties she learned that her office organized an exclusive social group just for people aged 25 and under. She was shocked.
At a tender age, my daughter learned that things are perpetually changing and some people perceive others as not keeping up. While I’m not advocating that we let every fad turn our heads, I do think we need to stay in touch with the world, particularly if we want to continue to be viewed as vital parts of it. So, instead of living and reflecting on the past, let’s present ourselves today in a way that best suits who we are currently — and how we want to be perceived and valued.
Act Like a kid again. Learn and Grow and Dream Again.
Think of the tremendous changes you underwent as a child. Remember how different you were at the age of ten compared to the age of five, and then compare yourself at the age of 15 to the age of ten. How much have you grown in the past five years? What’s possible for you in the next five?
Maybe much more than you think.
Laurie Harrington is a spouse, parent, and professional writer now in her 40th year as a full-fledged adult. She’s happy to share what she’s learned along the way, as well as the occasional random thought.