The Peter Pan Syndrome – Why I Sometimes Wish I Didn’t Have to Grow Up


I think about it often and I hope I’m not alone – I want to remain a kid, innocent and free from responsibility and protected from life’s sometimes harsh demands.

Honestly, adulthood sucks. You can no longer sleep as much as you want. Nickelodeon looks too boring now. No more May 27 holiday to look forward to. Enough of the sulking and indulgent behaviour. No more looking to daddy or mummy to meet your needs.

Now friends I grew up with have jobs. I can’t seem to shake off my surprise each time I see another wedding picture on Facebook. Have we really all grown up? Or is it me who is just struggling with these realities.

On the other hand, I often feel the pressure that I have grown up too much and taking life too seriously. The thoughts hunt me. You need to act your age. You are in your twenties so you have got to be living it up.

My interpretation, however, is that life is serious business. I can’t afford to live thoughtlessly. The transition from childhood to adulthood is in full bloom and it confronts me in these 5 areas:

1. Responsibility

As i grew up, I began to develop a sense of community. I realize I do not live or act in isolation. My words and actions impact others in no small measure.

Facing up to this reality means that i understand that I’m no longer a law unto myself. I can’t afford to mess things up and expect my parents or siblings to clean up after me.

My rite of passage into adulthood demands that i accept complete responsibility for my life and that i refuse to blame my background or circumstances for what I’m becoming.

I can only call myself an adult when i have this spirit and not by the UN’s definition of youth – age.

2. Managing Freedom

This is a quality I find grossly lacking in young people – an inability or weakness in managing freedom. Freedom is often misinterpreted as an opportunity to dissipate the creative energy that has been dammed by parental discipline and guidance.

It is why at the first taste of freedom, most young people act like blood hounds in search of various indulgences. I’m often appalled by our strange taste for gross misconduct.

I wish as peter Marshall that,”May we think of freedom, not as the right to do as we please, but as the opportunity to do what is right.”

Only wisdom from God can save a young person from wasting the most important years of his life, wherein he lays the foundation for nobility or bestiality.

3. Wisdom

The world is just so complex, I sometimes want to shun it. And this feeling is spurred because I sometimes lack the wisdom to deal with. Just when I think I’m in control, circumstances show me up. I see I need to grow.

I’m often tempted to think age is a companion of wisdom but that is seldom true. You can grow old and that is nature. You can grow up but that has to be nurtured. The former is natural, the latter is a product of effort.

We need wisdom to live. The bible calls it the principal thing. It’s even more important than money because it can give you what money can’t give – honour, fulfilment and a good conscience.

The best things about wisdom is that it is the master key to riches.

Wisdom is not a given. When you prioritize character and seek to be at peace with all men, you have entered into the corridors of wisdom.

4. Love

Puppy love is over now. I can’t kiss and run away. I can no longer slip an anonymous love note in her locker and hope she figures out I’m the one.

As I grew, I realize love is a very potent force that can’t be handled with Kid gloves. Even though my heart skips a beat on sight of a pretty face, I know I can no longer be swayed by love at first sight.

People grow up, marred, shaped and sometimes defined by their life experiences. Their experiences in the face of passivity colours their capacity to receive and give love and even extends to their understanding of what love means.

To some love is sex, for some it’s giving, for some it’s an action, for some it’s whispering sweet nothings. But growing up means that I must someday pair with someone who shares my definition of love.

And what is love? Check 1Corinthians 13

5. Contribution

As a kid, any perceived need was met by an instantaneous reaction – ask mum or dad. At least that’s why they have that title – they are supposed to provide all my needs including catering to my whims and caprice.

As an adult, it’s easy to allow their generosity degenerate into a sense of entitlement in me such that I think I deserve everything with little or no effort.

Growing up means that I must now seek to give more than I receive, that I understand on a cellular level that life is measured not by its duration but by its donation.

Guess what a man becomes when he is so wrapped up in himself? A small minuscule package of empty living.

Sober truth! I will not be remembered or cherished because of what was given to me but because of the joy, hope and success I have inspired in and created for others.

Before I forget to mention – I can’t seem to shake off the responsibility to be a role model for the children we are celebrating today.

If you have this stirring in your heart, please do not ignore it.

Happy Children’s day

Let’s Have a conversation
What does growing up mean to you? What are the childish mindsets you are still clinging to? How do you plan to embrace the demands of adulthood?


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