People with Adultitis are often embarrassed by people without it. It makes them uncomfortable. They worry about what the behavior of the “Adultitis-free” people will say about them.
Of course, there is one demographic of people that typically suffers from very little Adultitis. We call them children.
If we let them, kids can help us treat the Adultitis within us.
But if we’re not careful, we can also inflict our Adultitis upon them.
It’s easy for parents (and teachers) to use their authority to shut down the behavior our children engage in; behavior that is completely innocent, other than calling out the Adultitis within us.
When we curb the behavior of children solely because we are embarrassed by what the kids are wearing, playing with, or are interested in, we are succumbing to Adultitis big-time.
We don’t have to, of course.
We wanted to celebrate one mom who refused to allow Adultitis to dictate her parenting. Here’s Connie’s story, in her own words:
While out shopping one day with my six year old son, he spotted a pair of black-rimmed glasses with clear lenses that he just adored. Caden put them on and looked up at me and asked “Can I get these?” I giggled at the sight of him and immediately responded with “No, silly!” The disappointment in his eyes was telling, and he took them off and held them in his small hand throughout the store. He asked me a few more times as we shopped, and each time I told him no.
As we approached the register, you could see in his eyes that this was do-or-die time. He proceded to ask me once more, “Mom, can I please please please get these? I really love them!”
I looked at the price tag, $4. I asked him “Are you honestly going to wear these?” He assured me he would. I caved and put them on the counter with the other items, much to his delight. I don’t remember what else I bought that summer day, but I will always remember buying those darn glasses!
Fast forward a year, and he is still wearing them, a lot! Just the other day we were walking into our local Walmart, and I noticed he was wearing those stinkin’ glasses again. My initial thought was that we better run back to the car and leave them there — he can’t possibly wear those into the store!
Then it dawned on me, why not? Why can’t he wear them into the store? He can!
I looked over at him and chuckled, just like I did the first time I saw him wearing them. I thought in that moment that maybe he will make other people smile and brighten their day, too. All of a sudden, I felt proud of my son and his big black spectacles and I told him, “Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter, and those who matter don’t mind.” I could tell that he was having a hard time processing this quote, so I explained it to him in simpler terms which he did understand.
I am hoping that I passed on a small lesson to him that day, one that sticks with him for years to come. I know that I learned something very valuable that day, and it will stay with me forever. Allowing your child the freedom to express themselves and to love them for who they are is the greatest gift of all.
Connie is a Champion of Childhood. It’s important to note that she wasn’t immediately on board with her son’s unusual fashion choice. But she had the presence of mind to realize that it wasn’t going to hurt anyone, and she made the important decision not to let it affect her own pride.
Children are pint-sized walking cures for our own Adultitis.
But the medicine only works if we are brave enough to let it.
A Champion of Childhood is someone instilled with the soaring spirit of childhood who rallies against rules that don’t exist while engaging in ruthless, senseless acts of silliness that undermine the slavery of Adultitis and its unadventurous version of adulthood. We like shining a light upon the most remarkable among us, holding them up as a dazzling example of what we should strive for in this epic battle against Adultitis. See more here.