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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 September 18, 2020

                      13 Helping Points When Things Don’t Go Your Way

                      13 Helping Points When Things Don’t Go Your Way

                      For the original article by Celestine: 13 Helping Points When Things Don’t Go Your Way

                      “We all have problems. The way we solve them is what makes us different.” ~Unknown

                      “It’s not stress that kills us, it is our reaction to it.” – Hans Selye

                      Have you ever experienced moments when things just don’t go your way? For example, losing your keys, accidentally spilling your drink, waking up late, missing your buses/trains, forgetting to bring your things, and so on?

                      You’re not alone. All of us, myself included, experience times when things don’t go as we expect.

                      Here is my guide on how to deal with daily setbacks.

                      1. Take a step back and evaluate

                      When something bad happens, take a step back and evaluate the situation. Some questions to ask yourself:

                      1. What is the problem?
                      2. Are you the only person facing this problem in the world today?
                      3. How does this problem look like at an individual level? A national level? On a global scale?
                      4. What’s the worst possible thing that can happen to you as a result of this?
                      5. How is it going to impact your life in the next 1 year? 5 years? 10 years?

                      Doing this exercise is not to undermine the problem or disclaiming responsibility, but to consider different perspectives, so you can adopt the best approach for it. Most problems we encounter daily may seem like huge issues when they crop up, but most, if not all, don’t have much impact in our life beyond that day.

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                      2. Vent if you have to, but don’t linger on the problem

                      If you feel very frustrated and need to let off some steam, go ahead and do that. Talk to a friend, complain, crib about it, or scream at the top of your lungs if it makes you happy.

                      At the same time, don’t get caught up with venting. While venting may temporarily relieve yourself, it’s not going to solve the problem ultimately. You don’t want to be an energy vampire.

                      Vent if there’s a need to, but do it for 15 to 20 minutes. Then move on.

                      3. Realize there are others out there facing this too

                      Even though the situation may be frustrating, you’re not alone. Remember there are almost 7 billion people in the world today, and chances are that other people have faced the same thing before too. Knowing it’s not just you helps you to get out of a self-victimizing mindset.

                      4. Process your thoughts/emotions

                      Process your thoughts/emotions with any of the four methods:

                      1. Journal. Write your unhappiness in a private diary or in your blog. It doesn’t have to be formal at all – it can be a brain dump on rough paper or new word document. Delete after you are done.
                      2. Audio taping. Record yourself as you talk out what’s on your mind. Tools include tape recorder, your PC (Audacity is a freeware for recording/editing audio) and your mobile (most mobiles today have audio recording functions). You can even use your voice mail for this. Just talking helps you to gain awareness of your emotions. After recording, play back and listen to what you said. You might find it quite revealing.
                      3. Meditation. At its simplest form, meditation is just sitting/lying still and observing your reality as it is – including your thoughts and emotions. Some think that it involves some complex mambo-jumbo, but it doesn’t.
                      4. Talking to someone. Talking about it with someone helps you work through the issue. It also gets you an alternate viewpoint and consider it from a different angle.

                      5. Acknowledge your thoughts

                      Don’t resist your thoughts, but acknowledge them. This includes both positive and negative thoughts.

                      By acknowledging, I mean recognizing these thoughts exist. So if say, you have a thought that says, “Wow, I’m so stupid!”, acknowledge that. If you have a thought that says, “I can’t believe this is happening to me again”, acknowledge that as well.

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                      Know that acknowledging the thoughts doesn’t mean you agree with them. It’s simply recognizing the existence of said thoughts so that you can stop resisting yourself and focus on the situation on hand.

                      6. Give yourself a break

                      If you’re very stressed out by the situation, and the problem is not time sensitive, then give yourself a break. Take a walk, listen to some music, watch a movie, or get some sleep. When you’re done, you should feel a lot more revitalized to deal with the situation.

                      7. Uncover what you’re really upset about

                      A lot of times, the anger we feel isn’t about the world. You may start off feeling angry at someone or something, but at the depth of it, it’s anger toward yourself.

                      Uncover the root of your anger. I have written a five part anger management series on how to permanently overcome anger.

                      After that, ask yourself: How can you improve the situation? Go to Step #9, where you define your actionable steps. Our anger comes from not having control on the situation. Sitting there and feeling infuriated is not going to change the situation. The more action we take, the more we will regain control over the situation, the better we will feel.

                      8. See this as an obstacle to be overcome

                      As Helen Keller once said,

                      “Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experiences of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, vision cleared, ambition inspired and success achieved.”

                      Whatever you’re facing right now, see it as an obstacle to be overcome. In every worthy endeavor, there’ll always be countless obstacles that emerge along the way. These obstacles are what separate the people who make it, and those who don’t. If you’re able to push through and overcome them, you’ll emerge a stronger person than before. It’ll be harder for anything to get you down in the future.

                      9. Analyze the situation – Focus on actionable steps

                      In every setback, there are going to be things that can’t be reversed since they have already occurred. You want to focus on things that can still be changed (salvageable) vs. things that have already happened and can’t be changed. The only time the situation changes is when you take steps to improve it. Rather than cry over spilt milk, work through your situation:

                      1. What’s the situation?
                      2. What’s stressing you about this situation?
                      3. What are the next steps that’ll help you resolve them?
                      4. Take action on your next steps!

                      After you have identified your next steps, act on them. The key here is to focus on the actionable steps, not the inactionable steps. It’s about regaining control over the situation through direct action.

                      10. Identify how it occurred (so it won’t occur again next time)

                      A lot of times we react to our problems. The problem occurs, and we try to make the best out of what has happened within the context. While developing a healthy coping mechanism is important (which is what the other helping points are on), it’s also equally important, if not more, to understand how the problem arose. This way, you can work on preventing it from taking place next time, vs. dealing reactively with it.

                      Most of us probably think the problem is outside of our control, but reality is most of the times it’s fully preventable. It’s just a matter of how much responsibility you take over the problem.

                      For example, for someone who can’t get a cab for work in the morning, he/she may see the problem as a lack of cabs in the country, or bad luck. However, if you trace to the root of the problem, it’s probably more to do with (a) Having unrealistic expectations of the length of time to get a cab. He/she should budget more time for waiting for a cab next time. (b) Oversleeping, because he/she was too tired from working late the previous day. He/she should allocate enough time for rest next time. He/she should also pick up better time management skills, so as to finish work in lesser time.

                      11. Realize the situation can be a lot worse

                      No matter how bad the situation is, it can always be much worse. A plus point vs. negative point analysis will help you realize that.

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                      12. Do your best, but don’t kill yourself over it

                      No matter how bad your situation may seem, do your best, but don’t kill yourself over it. Life is too beautiful to worry so much over daily issues. Take a step back (#1), give yourself a break if you need to (#6), and do what you can within your means (#9). Everything else will unfold accordingly. Worrying too much about the outcome isn’t going to change things or make your life any better.

                      13. Pick out the learning points from the encounter

                      There’s something to learn from every encounter. What have you learned from this situation? What lessons have you taken away?

                      After you identify your learning points, think about how you’re going to apply them moving forward. With this, you’ve clearly gained something from this encounter. You’ve walked away a stronger, wiser, better person, with more life lessons to draw from in the future.

                      Get the manifesto version of this article: [Manifesto] What To Do When Things Don’t Go Your Way

                      Featured photo credit: Alice Donovan Rouse via unsplash.com

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