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20 Things Only Children Understand

20 Things Only Children Understand

For almost all of us, it seems as though our childhood years are far behind us. As adults, certain words hold different meanings to us now than what they meant when we were kids.  For instance, MTV taught us “grown-ups” a crib is a cool house in addition to the baby bed we once slept in. The name Barney triggers the thought of the luxury department store Barney’s instead of a giant purple dinosaur.  The word playtime…well you can use your imagination on that one.

The point is, we’re not kids anymore.  However, that doesn’t mean we don’t still remember what it was like to be one.  For those readers who are parents, you’re the luckiest of the bunch because you get to live out your childhood again through your children, except you’re not the ones screaming this time (or maybe you are).

So while we may be adults(ish), there are still some traces of inner-children in all of us, or so we hope.  Here are 20 things children understand that we should do to.

1). They understand the fun in making a mess

Messy baby boy in high chair with bowl of spaghetti on head

    When we were kids, making a mess was our specialty. It’s not that much has changed in that regard, but nowadays it’s way less acceptable than it used to be back then.  I can imagine the look of disbelief on my roommates faces if I tracked mud into our apartment and decorated our walls with crayon drawings.  It would be priceless to say the least, but not-so-excitingly followed by hours of “clean-up time.”

    2). They know how to have fun by themselves

    Sure, adults know how to have fun by themselves, but way less so than kids. As an only child growing up, I didn’t have siblings to entertain me while my parents worked.  However, I can’t say I was ever bored even when I was alone. After all, imagination counted for a lot in our youth. You could say I had a pretty wild one at that too.

    3). They understand what it’s like to be shameless

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    baby 2

      Looking back on photos from my childhood, I often find myself horrified by some of the outfits my parents dressed me in.  From tapestry-style vests to ridiculous flowery hats, my sense of fashion back then would be laughable now.  Despite this fact, it didn’t phase me as a kid and likely doesn’t phase most kids today.  That is, of course, until they reach middle school. Parents, don’t let your children wear scratch and sniff t-shirts on their first day of sixth grade. Trust me, I would know.

      4).They accept everyone

      As a kid, the world is your friend.  Children have the amazing ability to see past looks and get straight to what matters.  As long as you’re willing to play with them, kids are pretty much down to hang out with anyone.  Nowadays, the percentage of people we’d actually hang out with is about a solid five percent out of everyone we know.

      5). They can sense someone’s true nature

      BabySuspicious

        While kids seem to love everyone, they’re pretty perceptive too.  They can tell when someone doesn’t have the best intentions and are quick to pick up on falseness.  We may underestimate it at times, but kids know what’s up especially when their single parents were dating jerks *cough cough* Dad.

        6). They speak their minds

        In the adult world, we often have to fake niceness to seem amicable in certain situations.  Kids, on the other hand, have no problem speaking their mind. They’re honest to a fault, which is a great and terrible beauty.  It’s one thing when a kid says they hate one of their Christmas gifts, but it’s another when it’s the one you gave them.  Those moments are just embarrassing.

        7). They know how to get what they want

        toy-drive-2

          With cuteness comes power.  Kids, in all their chubby-cheek charm, know how to exercise their adorableness to get what they want.  I mean, how can you deny a doe-eyed, giggly tiny person?  The answer is you can’t.

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          8). They realize the joy in the holiday season

          Oh boy, don’t even get me started on the holidays.  To be fair, I loved them as a kid.  Christmas was the best time of the year and the Easter Bunny might as well have been my idol.  These days though, I dread the crowds Christmas brings to the malls, get terrible anxiety over picking gifts, and the Easter Bunny seems more like a giant demonic mascot than a thing of wonder. If only the holidays weren’t ruled by Hallmark and awkward family get-togethers, I think I, and every other adult for that matter, would feel differently.

          9). They understand the magic of Disneyland

          disney-girl

            Disney ignites the same response as the holiday season for adults – anger, impatience, panic, disenchantment.  It’s sad, but so true.  Unless you are experiencing Disneyland with a child and feeling second-hand joy from their reaction, Disneyland isn’t as great as it seemed when we were kids.  Then again, I live for those Mickey-shaped PB & J’s. Those are magical.

            10). They know their needs

            I’m not saying adults don’t know their own bodily needs, but we definitely suppress them most the time.  From being hungry at work to waiting until we get home to go to the bathroom, adults exercise control over all their needs for better or worse.  However, kids are all about the “now.”  What I mean by that is when a kid has to go, they go. When a kid has to eat, they eat. They don’t wait around for their stomach to shrivel up or their bladders to explode. Kids just do, whether we like it or not.

            11). They understand what it’s like to be gross and adorable all at once

            baby 4

              Kids, even in their undeniable cuteness, can also be undeniably nasty. From noshing on boogers to drooling everywhere, children know how to make our skin crawl with their disgusting habits. That being said, there’s something weirdly adorable about a baby trying to eat your hair. I know I’d coo over that slobber any day.

              12.) They feel all the frustrations in being handed the kid’s menu every time

              When I was a kid, I hated being handed the kid’s menu at restaurants instead of the adult one.  Even when I was young, I always felt older than I was and wanted to be treated like it. Now, this may not be the case for all children, but I know at a certain point kids don’t want to be treated like kids anymore.  As long as they have an option, that’s all that matters.

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              13.) They know the horror of taking liquid and chewable medicine

              baby 5

                The thought makes me cringe even as an adult.  The day I was finally able to start taking swallow-able pills was one of the best days of my life (I’m exaggerating but you get the point). Though it’s been awhile since I’ve had to take liquid or chewable medicine, I feel for all those children out there who don’t have the option of pills just yet.  Hang in their kids. Just keep chasing it down with Sprite and hope it doesn’t come up later.

                14). They see everything in rose-colored glasses

                In my eyes, kids are the eternal optimists of the world, until of course they grow older.  Everything they see and touch and visit entrances them into a blissful state of wonder.  Theme parks, costumed people, clowns – things that would normally send feelings of discomfort through some of us makes their eyes light up like no other.  What I wouldn’t give to see everything like children do again…

                15). They understand innocence

                Child-Photography-by-Monikha-1

                  As much as we all hate to admit it, there’s a sense of innocence lost when one becomes an adult.  While many of us try to keep our innocence about us, it’s incredibly difficult to do so in this day and age.  When surrounded by children though, I’d say a portion of our innocence returns in maintaining theirs.

                  16). They understand pure love

                  Not to go all sex-ed on everyone, but the idea of pure love pretty much tanked after puberty hit.  Unless you’re abstinent by choice (if you are, I commend you highly), the adult version of love, for the most part, involves mood lighting and romantic dinners followed by “dessert.”  When you’re a kid though, girls have cooties and boys are gross.  The birds and the bees don’t exist for these kiddies and that’s the way it should be.

                  17). They know what it’s like to be scolded

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                  discipline-for-child1

                    Okay, so to be fair, adults and children alike get scolded all the time.  The only difference is in the way we’re scolded now versus how we used to be scolded as children.  When we were kids, our parents put us in time out, spanked us, and told us “no” several times over.  As adults, our parents say I told you so, our bosses give us warnings for mistakes made on projects, and our romantic partners just yell at us to get their point across.  So it’s essentially the same, but I think I prefer the less passive-aggressive punishments I received as a kid.

                    18). They aren’t afraid to show weakness

                    Something about growing up forces us to develop a thicker skin.  If we trip, we get up and laugh it off.  If we’re rejected, we buy a bottle of wine.  But if kids trip, they cry; and if they get rejected, they’ll cry twice as hard in front of the one they liked.  It’s terrible to say, but adults are afraid of showing their weaknesses and for good reason.  Though I’d have to say, I value vulnerability over restraint any day.

                    19). They understand how to make people smile

                    Child-smiling

                      How can you not smile when looking at a child?  All they have to do is take one look at you and you’re done for.  And those giggles they make, don’t even get me started.  I’m smiling just thinking about it.

                      20). They know what it’s like to be a tiny person that everyone loves

                      It’s hard not to love a child, especially after all the points made above, and they know it too.  They can tell in your smile, in the way you hold them, and kiss their cheeks.  They know we love them, but they also love us too.  After all, it’s our smile that makes them smile, our hugs that warm their hearts, and our kisses that let them know they’re never unloved when we’re around.

                      Featured photo credit: Happy Days/Lana via flic.kr

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                      Last Updated on July 20, 2021

                      How to Overcome the Fear of Public Speaking (A Step-by-Step Guide)

                      How to Overcome the Fear of Public Speaking (A Step-by-Step Guide)

                      You’re standing behind the curtain, just about to make your way on stage to face the many faces half-shrouded in darkness in front of you. As you move towards the spotlight, your body starts to feel heavier with each step. A familiar thump echoes throughout your body – your heartbeat has gone off the charts.

                      Don’t worry, you’re not the only one with glossophobia(also known as speech anxiety or the fear of speaking to large crowds). Sometimes, the anxiety happens long before you even stand on stage.

                      Your body’s defence mechanism responds by causing a part of your brain to release adrenaline into your blood – the same chemical that gets released as if you were being chased by a lion.

                      Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you overcome your fear of public speaking:

                      1. Prepare yourself mentally and physically

                      According to experts, we’re built to display anxiety and to recognize it in others. If your body and mind are anxious, your audience will notice. Hence, it’s important to prepare yourself before the big show so that you arrive on stage confident, collected and ready.

                      “Your outside world is a reflection of your inside world. What goes on in the inside, shows on the outside.” – Bob Proctor

                      Exercising lightly before a presentation helps get your blood circulating and sends oxygen to the brain. Mental exercises, on the other hand, can help calm the mind and nerves. Here are some useful ways to calm your racing heart when you start to feel the butterflies in your stomach:

                      Warming up

                      If you’re nervous, chances are your body will feel the same way. Your body gets tense, your muscles feel tight or you’re breaking in cold sweat. The audience will notice you are nervous.

                      If you observe that this is exactly what is happening to you minutes before a speech, do a couple of stretches to loosen and relax your body. It’s better to warm up before every speech as it helps to increase the functional potential of the body as a whole. Not only that, it increases muscle efficiency, improves reaction time and your movements.

                      Here are some exercises to loosen up your body before show time:

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                      1. Neck and shoulder rolls – This helps relieve upper body muscle tension and pressure as the rolls focus on rotating the head and shoulders, loosening the muscle. Stress and anxiety can make us rigid within this area which can make you feel agitated, especially when standing.
                      2. Arm stretches – We often use this part of our muscles during a speech or presentation through our hand gestures and movements. Stretching these muscles can reduce arm fatigue, loosen you up and improve your body language range.
                      3. Waist twists – Place your hands on your hips and rotate your waist in a circular motion. This exercise focuses on loosening the abdominal and lower back regions which is essential as it can cause discomfort and pain, further amplifying any anxieties you may experience.

                      Stay hydrated

                      Ever felt parched seconds before speaking? And then coming up on stage sounding raspy and scratchy in front of the audience? This happens because the adrenaline from stage fright causes your mouth to feel dried out.

                      To prevent all that, it’s essential we stay adequately hydrated before a speech. A sip of water will do the trick. However, do drink in moderation so that you won’t need to go to the bathroom constantly.

                      Try to avoid sugary beverages and caffeine, since it’s a diuretic – meaning you’ll feel thirstier. It will also amplify your anxiety which prevents you from speaking smoothly.

                      Meditate

                      Meditation is well-known as a powerful tool to calm the mind. ABC’s Dan Harris, co-anchor of Nightline and Good Morning America weekend and author of the book titled10% Happier , recommends that meditation can help individuals to feel significantly calmer, faster.

                      Meditation is like a workout for your mind. It gives you the strength and focus to filter out the negativity and distractions with words of encouragement, confidence and strength.

                      Mindfulness meditation, in particular, is a popular method to calm yourself before going up on the big stage. The practice involves sitting comfortably, focusing on your breathing and then bringing your mind’s attention to the present without drifting into concerns about the past or future – which likely includes floundering on stage.

                      Here’s a nice example of guided meditation before public speaking:

                      2. Focus on your goal

                      One thing people with a fear of public speaking have in common is focusing too much on themselves and the possibility of failure.

                      Do I look funny? What if I can’t remember what to say? Do I look stupid? Will people listen to me? Does anyone care about what I’m talking about?’

                      Instead of thinking this way, shift your attention to your one true purpose – contributing something of value to your audience.

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                      Decide on the progress you’d like your audience to make after your presentation. Notice their movements and expressions to adapt your speech to ensure that they are having a good time to leave the room as better people.

                      If your own focus isn’t beneficial and what it should be when you’re speaking, then shift it to what does. This is also key to establishing trust during your presentation as the audience can clearly see that you have their interests at heart.[1]

                      3. Convert negativity to positivity

                      There are two sides constantly battling inside of us – one is filled with strength and courage while the other is doubt and insecurities. Which one will you feed?

                      ‘What if I mess up this speech? What if I’m not funny enough? What if I forget what to say?’

                      It’s no wonder why many of us are uncomfortable giving a presentation. All we do is bring ourselves down before we got a chance to prove ourselves. This is also known as a self-fulfilling prophecy – a belief that comes true because we are acting as if it already is. If you think you’re incompetent, then it will eventually become true.

                      Motivational coaches tout that positive mantras and affirmations tend to boost your confidents for the moments that matter most. Say to yourself: “I’ll ace this speech and I can do it!”

                      Take advantage of your adrenaline rush to encourage positive outcome rather than thinking of the negative ‘what ifs’.

                      Here’s a video of Psychologist Kelly McGonigal who encourages her audience to turn stress into something positive as well as provide methods on how to cope with it:

                      4. Understand your content

                      Knowing your content at your fingertips helps reduce your anxiety because there is one less thing to worry about. One way to get there is to practice numerous times before your actual speech.

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                      However, memorizing your script word-for-word is not encouraged. You can end up freezing should you forget something. You’ll also risk sounding unnatural and less approachable.

                      “No amount of reading or memorizing will make you successful in life. It is the understanding and the application of wise thought that counts.” – Bob Proctor

                      Many people unconsciously make the mistake of reading from their slides or memorizing their script word-for-word without understanding their content – a definite way to stress themselves out.

                      Understanding your speech flow and content makes it easier for you to convert ideas and concepts into your own words which you can then clearly explain to others in a conversational manner. Designing your slides to include text prompts is also an easy hack to ensure you get to quickly recall your flow when your mind goes blank.[2]

                      One way to understand is to memorize the over-arching concepts or ideas in your pitch. It helps you speak more naturally and let your personality shine through. It’s almost like taking your audience on a journey with a few key milestones.

                      5. Practice makes perfect

                      Like most people, many of us are not naturally attuned to public speaking. Rarely do individuals walk up to a large audience and present flawlessly without any research and preparation.

                      In fact, some of the top presenters make it look easy during showtime because they have spent countless hours behind-the-scenes in deep practice. Even great speakers like the late John F. Kennedy would spend months preparing his speech beforehand.

                      Public speaking, like any other skill, requires practice – whether it be practicing your speech countless of times in front of a mirror or making notes. As the saying goes, practice makes perfect!

                      6. Be authentic

                      There’s nothing wrong with feeling stressed before going up to speak in front of an audience.

                      Many people fear public speaking because they fear others will judge them for showing their true, vulnerable self. However, vulnerability can sometimes help you come across as more authentic and relatable as a speaker.

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                      Drop the pretence of trying to act or speak like someone else and you’ll find that it’s worth the risk. You become more genuine, flexible and spontaneous, which makes it easier to handle unpredictable situations – whether it’s getting tough questions from the crowd or experiencing an unexpected technical difficulty.

                      To find out your authentic style of speaking is easy. Just pick a topic or issue you are passionate about and discuss this like you normally would with a close family or friend. It is like having a conversation with someone in a personal one-to-one setting. A great way to do this on stage is to select a random audience member(with a hopefully calming face) and speak to a single person at a time during your speech. You’ll find that it’s easier trying to connect to one person at a time than a whole room.

                      With that said, being comfortable enough to be yourself in front of others may take a little time and some experience, depending how comfortable you are with being yourself in front of others. But once you embrace it, stage fright will not be as intimidating as you initially thought.

                      Presenters like Barack Obama are a prime example of a genuine and passionate speaker:

                      7. Post speech evaluation

                      Last but not the least, if you’ve done public speaking and have been scarred from a bad experience, try seeing it as a lesson learned to improve yourself as a speaker.

                      Don’t beat yourself up after a presentation

                      We are the hardest on ourselves and it’s good to be. But when you finish delivering your speech or presentation, give yourself some recognition and a pat on the back.

                      You managed to finish whatever you had to do and did not give up. You did not let your fears and insecurities get to you. Take a little more pride in your work and believe in yourself.

                      Improve your next speech

                      As mentioned before, practice does make perfect. If you want to improve your public speaking skills, try asking someone to film you during a speech or presentation. Afterwards, watch and observe what you can do to improve yourself next time.

                      Here are some questions you can ask yourself after every speech:

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                      • How did I do?
                      • Are there any areas for improvement?
                      • Did I sound or look stressed?
                      • Did I stumble on my words? Why?
                      • Was I saying “um” too often?
                      • How was the flow of the speech?

                      Write everything you observed down and keep practicing and improving. In time, you’ll be able to better manage your fears of public speaking and appear more confident when it counts.

                      If you want even more tips about public speaking or delivering a great presentation, check out these articles too:

                      Reference

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