Social Question

PIN_24's avatar

Can a person be mature and childish at the same time?

Asked by PIN_24 (538points) June 21st, 2018

A female colleague of mine has invited me to her birthday party. The theme is to dress up like kids. Her likes and interests matches to those of kids, but her behaviour is very good. She is always calm and composed and provides thoughtful responses. How is it possible to be childish, but mature at the same time?

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8 Answers

zenvelo's avatar

“Childish” is when an older person behaves like a toddler: selfish, complaining, self focused, immature.

“Childlike” is when an older person has the qualities of a child: open, exploring, celebratory, fun, seeing the good in things. It can be very pleasant to be around someone mature and childlike.

Yellowdog's avatar

The original poster (Pin 24) and answerer (zenvelo) are spot-on here.

C.S. Lewis said,

“When I became a man I put away childish things, including the fear of childishness and the desire to be very grown up.”

Zenvelo (above answerer) rightfully distinguished between childish and childlike. Somewhere else,C.S. Lewis said that to be mature and childlike (actually he just meant re-accepting childhood things like fairy stories) is ‘The highest hallmark of humanity’.

It is wonderful for hospitable people, friendly people, and even non-authoritarian childcare workers, to have this trait, in my opinion,

kritiper's avatar

It’s possible when one is mature enough to know the difference.

Patty_Melt's avatar

The list of things which make me squeal with delight, is more like when I was seven, than it was when I was twenty five.

Unofficial_Member's avatar

Is it impossible to have a specific personal interest without being labeled as childish? The society try to make us believe that kids should enjoy this, adults should enjoy this, etc, and ignore what actually make us happy. The fact is, we are all individuals that have diverse likes and dislikes, regardless of how others judge us.

I think the dressing up like kids is just a dress code for her party. There are a lot of party with different dress code. Her personal interests won’t make her childish if she conduct herself in a mature way in her life.

Yellowdog's avatar

I collect really cool toys that were the cool toys I was slightly too old for when they were new. These include the pre-Star-Wars space toys, and all the other things I denied myself or others denied me. But I doubt they would have much appeal to children today.

I have a very childlike love for Christmas and magical atmospheres and gardens and model trains that look kind of like childhood toys.

Walt Disney had a definite childlike personality—he didn’t do it FOR profit but he profited well and seemed to know what others would spend money on. Lewis Carol who wrote the Alice in Wonderland stories was enchanted by her world (Alice Liddell) and probably contributed it more for childrens’ stories than what was really there.

Pinguidchance's avatar

Is this your best?

Yellowdog's avatar

Best what?

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