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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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                      Published on May 4, 2021

                      How To Spot Fake People (And Ways To Deal With Them)

                      How To Spot Fake People (And Ways To Deal With Them)

                      They say we are the average of the five persons we spend the most time with. For a minute, consider the people around you. Are they truly who your “tribe” should be or who you aspire to become in the future? Are they really genuine people who want to see you succeed? Or are they fake people who don’t really want to see you happy?

                      In this article, I’ll review why it is important to surround yourself with genuine individuals—the ones who care, bring something to our table, and first and foremost, who leave all fakeness behind.

                      How to Spot Fake People?

                      When you’ve been working in the helping professions for a while, spotting fake people gets a bit easier. There are some very clear signs that the person you are looking at is hiding something, acting somehow, or simply wanting to get somewhere. Most often, there is a secondary gain—perhaps attention, sympathy, or even a promotion.

                      Whatever it is, you’re better off working their true agenda and staying the hell away. Here are some things you should look out for to help spot fake people.

                      1. Full of Themselves

                      Fake people like to show off. They love looking at themselves in the mirror. They collect photos and videos of every single achievement they had and every part of their body and claim to be the “best at what they do.”

                      Most of these people are actually not that good in real life. But they act like they are and ensure that they appear better than the next person. The issue for you is that you may find yourself always feeling “beneath” them and irritated at their constant need to be in the spotlight.

                      2. Murky in Expressing Their Emotions

                      Have you ever tried having a deep and meaningful conversation with a fake person? It’s almost impossible. It’s because they have limited emotional intelligence and don’t know how they truly feel deep down—and partly because they don’t want to have their true emotions exposed, no matter how normal these might be.

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                      It’s much harder to say “I’m the best at what I do” while simultaneously sharing “average” emotions with “equal” people.

                      3. Zero Self-Reflection

                      To grow, we must accept feedback from others. We must be open to our strengths and to our weaknesses. We must accept that we all come in different shapes and can always improve.

                      Self-reflection requires us to think, forgive, admit fault, and learn from our mistakes. But to do that, we have to be able to adopt a level of genuineness and depth that fake people don’t routinely have. A fake person generally never apologizes, but when they do, it is often followed with a “but” in the next breath.

                      4. Unrealistic Perceptions

                      Fake people most often have an unrealistic perception of the world—things that they want to portray to others (pseudo achievements, materialistic gains, or a made-up sense of happiness) or simply how they genuinely regard life outside themselves.

                      A lot of fake people hide pain, shame, and other underlying reasons in their behavior. This could explain why they can’t be authentic and/or have difficulties seeing their environment for the way it objectively is (both good and bad).

                      5. Love Attention

                      As I mentioned earlier, the biggest sign that something isn’t quite right with someone’s behavior can be established by how much they love attention. Are you being interrupted every time you speak by someone who wants to make sure that the spotlight gets reverted back to them? Is the focus always on them, no matter the topic? If yes, you’re probably dealing with a fake person.

                      6. People Pleaser

                      Appreciation feels nice but having everyone like you is even better. While it is completely unrealistic for most people to please everyone all the time, fake people seem to always say yes in pursuit of constant approval.

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                      Now, this is a problem for two reasons. Firstly, these people are simply saying yes to things for their own satisfaction. Secondly, they often end up changing their minds or retracting their offer for one reason or another (“I would have loved to, but my grandmother suddenly fell ill.”), leaving you in the lurch for the 100th time this year.

                      7. Sarcasm and Cynicism

                      Behind the chronic pasted smile, fake people are well known for brewing resentment, jealousy, or anger. This is because, behind the postcard life, they are often unhappy. Sarcasm and cynicism are well known to act as a defense mechanism, sometimes even a diversion—anything so they can remain feeling on top of the world, whether it is through boosting themselves or bringing people down.

                      8. Crappy friend

                      Fake people are bad friends. They don’t listen to you, your feelings, and whatever news you might have to share. In fact, you might find yourself migrating away from them when you have exciting or bad news to share, knowing that it will always end up one way—their way. In addition, you might find that they’re not available when you truly need them or worse, cancel plans at the last minute.

                      It’s not unusual to hear that a fake person talks constantly behind people’s backs. Let’s be honest, if they do it to others, they’re doing it to you too. If your “friend” makes you feel bad constantly, trust me, they’re not achieving their purpose, and they’re simply not a good person to have around.

                      The sooner you learn to spot these fake people, the sooner you can meet meaningful individuals again.

                      How to Cope With Fake People Moving Forward?

                      It is important to remind yourself that you deserve more than what you’re getting. You are worthy, valuable, precious, and just as important as the next person.

                      There are many ways to manage fake people. Here are some tips on how to deal with them.

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                      1. Boundaries

                      Keep your boundaries very clear. As explained in the book Unlock Your Resilience, boundaries are what keep you sane when the world tries to suffocate you. When fake people become emotional vampires, make sure to keep your distances, limit contact, and simply replace them with more valuable interactions.

                      2. Don’t Take Their Behavior Personally

                      Sadly, they most likely have behaved this way before they knew you and will continue much longer after you have moved on. It isn’t about you. It is about their inner need to meet a void that you are not responsible for. And in all honesty, unless you are a trained professional, you are unlikely to improve it anyway.

                      3. Be Upfront and Honest About How You Feel

                      If your “friend” has been hurtful or engaged in behaviors you struggle with, let them know—nicely, firmly, however you want, but let them know that they are affecting you. If it works, great. If it doesn’t, you’ll feel better and when you’re ready to move on, you’ll know you tried to reach out. Your conscience is clear.

                      4. Ask for Advice

                      If you’re unsure about what you’re seeing or feeling, ask for advice. Perhaps a relative, a good friend, or a colleague might have some input as to whether you are overreacting or seeing some genuine concerns.

                      Now, don’t confuse asking for advice with gossiping behind the fake person’s back because, in the end, you don’t want to stoop down to their level. However, a little reminder as to how to stay on your own wellness track can never hurt.

                      5. Dig Deeper

                      Now, this one, I offer with caution. If you are emotionally strong, up to it, guaranteed you won’t get sucked into it, and have the skills to manage, perhaps you could dig into the reasons a fake person is acting the way they do.

                      Have they suffered recent trauma? Have they been rejected all their lives? Is their self-esteem so low that they must resort to making themselves feel good in any way they can? Sometimes, having an understanding of a person’s behavior can help in processing it.

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                      6. Practice Self-Care!

                      Clearly, putting some distance between the fake person and yourself is probably the way to go. However, sometimes, it takes time to get there. In the meantime, make sure to practice self-care, be gentle with yourself, and compensate with lots of positives!

                      Self-care can be as simple as taking a hot shower after talking to them or declining an invitation when you’re not feeling up to the challenge.

                      Spotting fake people isn’t too hard. They generally glow with wanna-be vibes. However, most often, there are reasons as to why they are like this. Calling their behavior might be the first step. Providing them with support might be the second. But if these don’t work, it’s time to stay away and surround yourself with the positivity that you deserve.

                      Final Thoughts

                      Remember that life is a rollercoaster. It has good moments, tough moments, and moments you wouldn’t change for the world. So, look around and make sure that you take the time to choose the right people to share it all with.

                      We are the average of the five people we spend the most time with, so take a good look around and choose wisely!

                      More Tips on Dealing With Fake People

                      Featured photo credit: Priscilla Du Preez via unsplash.com

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