Rediscovering the Wonder of Childhood

7 ways to be more childlike as an adult
February 7, 2021 Updated: February 7, 2021

When the world seems heavy and stressful, pausing to reflect on happy memories of childhood and the dreams and inspiration you carried in your youth can refresh your spirit.

There are qualities we possess as children that somehow get lost as we grow up. Children aren’t worried about paying bills or meeting deadlines. They’re not overly concerned about the judgment of others or failure. They’re unendingly curious, creative, and playful. For these reasons and more, it’s a joy for adults to spend time with children.

Of course, being childish is not the recommendation here. The inability to delay gratification and temper one’s emotions and unwillingness to share are but a few of the childish tendencies well-functioning adults grow out of. However, becoming more childlike as an adult can have its benefits.

Imagine if you could recover some aspects of who you once were before you began to try to impress others, live up to the expectations of the world, or shield yourself from possible ridicule or blame. Here are seven ways to begin to do that.

Vet Your Inputs

Consider the content you’re regularly consuming, and whether or not you’d share it with your own children or a young child you care about. If it’s not good for them, might it also have a negative impact on you?

What we consume stays with us and influences us. Take care in choosing the content you allow into your life.

Play

Adults can be so terribly busy. It’s not long after the flame of childhood has been extinguished that the joy of play goes along with it.

Make time to play once more. One person’s play may look different from that of another. You may like board games while someone else may prefer to paint, put together a car engine, or read a good book.

Whatever play looks like for you, do it. Make it a part of your life. Have some fun!

Explore

In childhood, everything is new. Life is a wonder—an exploration.

Face each day with that same sense of wonder you enjoyed in your childhood. Make time to explore new areas of your neighborhood, study a new topic, try new foods, or learn a new skill. Renew your sense of exploration and curiosity about the world and yourself. You may open your life up to new possibilities.

Laugh Out Loud

You may type “LOL” regularly, but when was the last time you truly laughed out loud? You know that kind of laugh where tears run down your face and your cheeks begin to hurt and you can hardly bring yourself to stop?

Call up that old friend (you know the one) who knows all of your old stories and is always ready to laugh. Put on your favorite comedian or watch an old sitcom that you have always found hysterical.

Look for the humor in life and enjoy the gift of laughter.

Be Silly

Adults can be so serious—enough of that. Be silly. Make up a silly song. Make silly faces with your kids. Play a fun, silly joke on your spouse. Tell a silly joke to your friends.

Create

It’s not uncommon for adults to consider themselves devoid of creativity, while most children believe themselves to be very creative. Let go of the notion that you lack in this area and get down to getting creative. Whatever you’re drawn to do—go do it. Make something out of nothing.

Remember

Look back at your childhood. How did you most like to spend your time? When left on your own, what did you think about? What questions about life did you ponder? If prayer was a part of your life, what did you say to God?

Allow yourself a quiet space and enough time to recall what your heart and mind were focused on as a child. What were your thoughts before the world imposed its expectations and influences upon you?

Remember who you were. You may find that’s closer to who you truly are.

Follow Barbara on Twitter: @barbaradanza