It is okay to be childish


Laura Heckenlaible

Embrace being childish, for it is not always bad and can even be a little fun.

Laura Heckenlaible, Staff Writer

On the occasion that the topic of children comes up, only two very opposite answers arise. It truly is a love or hate situation. Some say “I love kids.” Others beg to differ. Though the dislike for children may be harsh, it is understandable. Kids are loud, they are always messy and they can be crazy or outright rude. Overall, they encompass the definition of childish. Children are almost a whole different breed of human. What many forget about are the lessons that can be learned from being around the younger generation. 

For myself, I have grown up around kids. From helping out in the church nursery, to tagging along with my sister to her babysitting gigs, I have always loved being around children younger than me. As of now, I frequently babysit almost every weekend, I have been nannying over the summers and currently am going on almost half a year working at a daycare. I plan to continue for as long as I can. 

I have always been a person who loves kids. People seem to not understand why I choose to be around children every day. Quite frankly they do not understand why I even like kids in the first place. It is not because I like to boss people around or be in charge; it is because of the nature of children. It is their carelessness, their boldness, the way they feel emotions, their infectious joy, and overall it is the impact they have on those around them. So if you are someone who does not like kids, and even if you do, here is why the next time you are around a little human, you should take a moment and learn from them, you never know what they might teach you.

When hearing the word childish many attach a negative connotation. According to the Oxford Learns Dictionary, childish can be defined in two ways. The most commonly known definition that people associate with is “behaving in a stupid and silly way.” Being childish does not always mean that one is immature or trying to act as if they are a child. People forget that being childish does not have to be a bad thing. The second definition given defines the word as “connected with or typical of a child.” The actions that are linked to being typical of a child do not have to be seen as negative. This child, a human, blind to the world’s reality, is so totally themselves. They say what they want with honesty. They feel emotions with such power. They are not afraid of who’s looking at them or who they are around. They are just themselves. If adults took more time to just be totally themselves, to feel emotion with power, to be honest and confident, one’s quality of life would improve greatly thus bettering one in every aspect. 

I remember it was my first week working in the church nursery. I was in 7th grade and was just excited to help out. I was placed with a group of 3rd graders. The lesson went well and as our time together came to an end the children were sent off to go and play. As I began to pick up the area we were sitting in; a young boy from the group tapped my shoulder. I turned to him and before I could even get a word out he said the one thing I was not expecting. He said and I quote, “Do you have chickenpox?” Now, clearly, this kid did not understand that for young thirteen-year-old girls acne was very normal. Nothing like chickenpox. Honestly, his comment did put a slight damper on my self-confidence that day. Still, I replied with what one would think would be a sufficient enough answer, “Oh no, it’s not chickenpox. Sometimes, when we grow older we get some dots on our faces that will go away.” But of course, this kid had a spunky reply to combat, “No, I don’t want my face to look like yours.” Yep, that one hurt. This young boy, though brutally honest, still voiced what he believed and did it with confidence. He was not afraid of differing opinions. In life, adults seem to shy away from telling others their truths and from voicing their opinions due to the fact that others may disagree. In certain situations, honesty may just be what is needed. It is brutal honesty that allows others to finally address what they could not before. So just like the young boy, do not be afraid of what others will think. Honesty is crucial to change and beneficial in the lives of humans, no matter their age.

Everyone has been at a store waiting in line and out of nowhere in the line next to you a child begins crying. Anyone who has been around a child knows that sometimes it’s just not that easy to stop a child from fussing. If they want to cry they are going to cry. They do not care who is around. So when problems arise in a child’s life just like in adults’, their first instinct is to feel those emotions and to let them out. They do not wait to get home or for when they are away from others. They are okay with feeling those tough emotions. In society today, people have become afraid of emotions and afraid of judgment from others so much so, that feeling emotions such as crying has started to be seen as a sign of weakness. It is extremely healthy and human to cry. Harvard Medical School puts it like this: “Studies have linked repressive coping with a less resilient immune system, cardiovascular disease, and hypertension, as well as with mental health conditions.” The act of feeling emotions not only releases built-up tension but also improves one’s overall health. To maintain a happy and healthy lifestyle adults need to begin to brazenly feel their emotions.

When children cry they do not get embarrassed. They do not try to hide. As people grow up, they constrict themselves to fit certain behavioral standards. Due to how emotions are perceived, people do not associate the act of crying as acceptable behavior. Because of these perceptions, people put much worth into how people will see them. If a child is crying, dancing, screaming or doing whatever they do not hold back just because people are around. They do not care what people think. In society today, the worth of others’ opinions of one another are held at such a high standard. In the long run, it is not going to matter if a few people thought you were crazy. So, what? If you are doing something that makes you happy like dancing around or doing something extremely healthy like crying, it does not matter what others think. The only opinion that should matter to one is their own. So just like the child in the grocery store, do not be afraid to boldly show emotions or have fun no matter who is around.

Children have their flaws. They are sticky, completely out of control and overall just a big handful but children are also unapologetically themselves. They are bold and confident. They have the mighty emotions and energy that could last them days. Children are childish and adults can and should be too. Because it is healthy to feel emotions, beneficial to be honest and favorable to not care who is watching. Childish does not have to mean throwing a tantrum, hitting your sibling or being downright stupid. Childishness can be a good thing too. By learning from childrens’ childish ways and incorporating them into everyday life, people can improve health, relieve stress and live a freer life. So be childish; it is more than okay.