My mom adventures in Fort Collins

Kids are not little adults

Like most parents, I struggle with a lot of different issues. Some of them even involve my kids.

Lately, I keep hearing about the virtues of children behaving as adults. When a young child demonstrates the general mannerisms of a polite individual, we congratulate the child and maybe even the parents. When a child speaks willingly to an adult, we may think to ourselves, “Wow, little [insert name here] certainly is confident!”

I know that Fancy Nancy has taught us some big words and all, but we’re just kids. We’re not little adults.

Don’t get me wrong. These are indeed virtues. I love it when children speak politely. I love it even more when those children are my very own children. I do spend a great deal of time (it feels like a great deal of time, anyway) trying to coax my children into using kind words to ask for things or the correct tone of voice to express their dissatisfaction with a situation. In lieu of wine before 5 pm, I find that the use of polite language can grant me just a bit more patience. When requests are demanding, harsh or perfecting a nine-octave-range of pitch, mommy wants to slam her head into the counter-top rather than accommodate any petition for a glass of water.

And I love talking to kiddos who can hold their own. I thoroughly enjoy hearing about life from a five-year-old’s point of view. Prior to one such conversations I had little knowledge of a My Little Pony named Rarity, and I certainly had no idea of the inter-personal drama that exists among the ponies. Who knew you could learn of such tales all while waiting in line at the grocery store?

I will relent to an extent: Much can be gained from encouraging certain mature behaviors in a young child.


Kids are not little adults. Kids are in no way, no how, ever to be expected to be adults even when they are capable of demonstrating certain adult-like behaviors.

For all the kids out there who are not capable of behaving like an adult, I want to send up a little homage in their honor.

  • If your first word is not “please” and your last words are not “thank you,” it really just means you are a work in progress. Keep trying to use those “magic words”!
  • If you holler and yell and say things in a decibel well beyond the regulation “inside voice”, it really just means that you’re alive and animated and feeling things in a big way.
  • If you cry and scream at inappropriate times (like in a restaurant, in church or on the 11th hole of the US Open), it really just means that you’re human and you have emotions. (And, trust me, adults all the world over have wanted to do the exact same thing but they don’t do it due to fear of repercussion.)
  • If you turn away from a strange adult who is asking you if you like unicorns simply because there is one on your t-shirt, then GOOD! For crying out loud, stranger anxiety exists for a reason and children who shy away from  adults who maybe-might-be-safe-but-we-still-don’t-know-them are doing themselves and the world a favor.
  • If you can’t hold still for even a moment and prefer to bounce, bound, skip, run, prance, dance or boogie-on-down, it just means that you are a lively person and your exuberance cannot be contained.
  • If you dislike any food that is green or once grew in the earth, you are probably living proof of evolution. Some of that green stuff that grows in the earth really can kill you. That being said, please please please throw your parents a bone and branch out every once in a while at the dinner table.

I’m sure that there are many more lines to devote to this “Kids who are not little adults” homage.  Please feel free to give me some of your own.


6 Comments so far
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Aww…I loved this. So true.

Comment by RFL

Thanks for the comment, Rachelle. I still have yet to get caught up on your old posts from my vacay. I can’t wait to find some funnies there!

Comment by jaymers

I agree very much with your premise. We need to be realistic in our expectation and recognize that kids are kids.

Comment by memyselfandkids

It is somewhat done tongue-in-cheek, but certainly we can all agree that raving over so-and-so’s kid and his behavior is akin to praising a four-year-old for acting like middle management. (And I’ve got nothing against middle managment.) It’s just I’d love to see the wild hellions, the ones that can’t possibly hold it together in a doctor’s waiting room, or the ones who just generally act like kids get some praise, too, you know?

Comment by jaymers

If only us adults acted more like kids some days, this world would be so much more fun!!

Comment by gina

In order to do so, adults would definitely have to be given some sort of high-energy drink… but yes, totally agree! Thanks for commenting.

Comment by jaymers

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