Article by Wendy McCance
When I was little, I remember being told to grow up. My parents would say things like, “act like an adult” or, “quit acting like a kid” when I was a kid. It was all about manners and appropriateness, but even so, I was a kid being told that I needed to act the part of someone I was not, yet.
I spent years looking at age as incredible milestones that I couldn’t wait to conquer. When I am 10, I won’t be treated like a child anymore, I will be grownup or when I am 16 I will have all the freedom I have been waiting for and will be treated more seriously.
I spent years cheating myself out of the moments that were before me. I wish my parents had embraced my youth the way I do with my own kids.
I see my kids acting so old for their age. Unfortunate circumstances have aged them and aged them quickly. I don’t want them to miss those youthful years. I remind my kids often that you are only a kid once. This is the only time in your life that you will have so little responsibility. Take advantage of this time of your life. Get creative, explore all of your interests and PLAY. Play often and use your imagination.
When you are a child, you have the privilege of little experience. That privilege keeps you from soiling your thoughts. Your creativity is unlimited because you don’t know any better. The things you can achieve as a child are unlimited by time, thoughts or responsibilities.
As an adult, I look for those youthful moments. I play whenever I can. I might draw or ride a bike or play frisbee or blow bubbles. I yearn for my youth and grab at moments when I can let go completely and soak in the life around me.
I will see articles on how to find your childlike side. There are books written on reestablishing your creativity. Why must we be reminded of what once was? Why do parents push children to grow up fast just to have you search for your youth once you have reached adulthood?
Yes there are responsibilities, children must learn how to deal with structure, goal setting, manners, studies and so on. Even so, children must also be able to be kids. It leads to a richer existence when your creativity isn’t stripped from you and is allowed to flourish.