25 Reasons Children Are Not Adults

25 Reasons That Children Are Not Adults

In this week’s Success Newsletter, I would like to reveal the 25 reasons that children are not adults, even though most parents treat children as adults.

First a quick update:

The Breakup Test
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Are You Guilty Or Ashamed? How to Overcome Guilt & Shame
Do you feel guilty or ashamed for something you have done or for your past relationship or Ex? Do you know the difference between guilt and shame? Do you know how to overcome guilt and shame?  Watch the video 

Now, let’s talk about the 25 reasons that children are not adults.

You are probably thinking, ‘everyone knows that children are not adults.’

Yes, it should be obvious, and yet many parents treat and judge their children as if they are actually adults. Children are not adults, and below are 25 reasons they are not! First, a note about the way children learn.

Children learn 4 ways
1. Watch – copy
2. Listen – believe and repeat words
3. Experience – interpret (inaccurately) their individual experiences
4. Absorb – involuntarily absorb the emotions of the parents and environment

We all do the above to a certain extent but children are a like a new computer being constantly programmed.

Here are the 25 reasons children are not adults:

1. Children are highly curious and eager to analyze and understand. Children will ask “Why?” on a repeated basis; they are interested in learning, acquiring knowledge, understanding and being free and independent (not obedient.)
2. Children have extremely limited life experience
3. Children’s cognitive function evolves and increases (ability to acquire knowledge and understand via experiences, thought & senses)
4. Children are powerless: they can be stubborn, but, they don’t have the same mental capacity or life experience to filter and properly analyze your behavior, actions, words, emotions and responses.
5. The rational mind does not control children (see brain development below); think how difficult it is for you as an adult to fully control your emotional responses. Now, multiply that by at least ten and you are closer to understanding children!
6. The brain is growing and developing (see below)
7. Children are egocentric – they believe the world revolves around them – they believe they control their parents’ responses and behavior. Thus, they also make extremely faulty interpretations and conclusions about their parents’ behaviors and the world around them.

8. Children are powerless: they have a limited voice (particularly with decision-making)
9. Children need boundaries, limits and routine; they don’t like them and they will protest against them, but, they need them. Boundaries, limits and routine also add to a child’s sense of security and stability.
10. Trust, safety and security are also derived from a sense of belonging – family, community and tribe. Children come home to a family.
11. Children are still forming their self-image, self-concept and identity
12. Children need plenty of and consistent attention, approval, acceptance, recognition, validation, acknowledgment, understanding, patience, tolerance, support, discipline, guidance, wisdom, counsel, encouragement, quantity and quality time, affection, warmth, caressing, and so forth.
13. Children are constantly struggling with their own emotions (tantrums at younger age – confusion and mixed emotions in puberty and adolescence as their bodies change and as they begin to struggle with search for identity, purpose and meaning.) Accordingly, children cannot be the source of your adult emotional needs!

14. Children’s bodies and systems are continually developing and maturing (bones, muscles, organs); children have higher pulse rate (140 bpm) but lower blood pressure (100/60 mmHg) than adults
15. Consider the dramatic physiological changes that females undergo – increase in height, development of fatty tissues, broadening of hips, change in voice, appearance of breast bud and development of breasts, menstruation
16. Consider the dramatic physiological changes that males undergo – increase in height, development of muscles, broadening of shoulders, growth of hair in the armpits and pubic area, appearance of facial hair, breaking of voice, nocturnal emissions
17. Children are powerless: they cannot protect or provide for themselves; they are physically weaker than their parents; they need to be given physical affection and protection as well as food, water, clothing and shelter. Children’s needs and abilities change as they develop.
18. Children’s urinary system is greatly impacted by stress (example – bedwetting, loss of control caused by fear, etc.)
19. Children do not understand danger the same way adults do
20. Children’s natural defenses are less developed; their vital organs are still developing; children are more susceptible and vulnerable to pollutants found in air, water and food
– http://www.who.int/ceh/capacity/Children_are_not_little_adults.pdf

21. In the first 2 years, stress and emotional neglect can retard brain development
22. Lack of nutrients (iron, proteins and calories) causes under development in the brain of a child
23. Experiences in the first 6 years of life greatly affect the development of the brain in terms of higher cognitive function (inhibition, flexibility of thinking, problem solving, planning, impulse control, concept formation, abstract thinking, and creativity)
24. The prefrontal cortex of the brain, part of the frontal lobe (the “executive decision maker”) controls emotional impulses, judgment, planning, assessment of risks, and decision-making. However, it doesn’t fully develop until young adulthood (early 20s for girls, later for boys.) Damage or injury to the frontal lobes can result in the inability to control inhibitions and impulses
25. “The ventral striatum region of the brain makes teenagers extra sensitive to rewards while the less active amygdala region leaves them less sensitive to punishment and emotional consequences.” – Brain Development Timeline by Jesse Squier

Thus, it is also critical to interact with children according to their age and stage of development; give your children responsibilities accordingly, allow them to make age-appropriate decisions and choices as a way to learn. Finally, if you are still struggling to truly feel and comprehend the differences between children and adults, just think back to when you were a child. How have you changed? What did you experience? What do you wish you had? How are your current needs different from what they were when you were a child?

If you need personal help understanding children or to overcome issues and events from your childhood, book a one-on-one session with me.

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I wish you the best and remind you “Believe in yourself -You deserve the best!”

Patrick Wanis Ph.D.
Celebrity Life Coach, Human Behavior & Relationship Expert & SRTT Therapist

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