I first publicly aired my views on the subject of adults behaving like children in 2006.
then, barely a week goes by without there being an example of
child/adult behaviour, being written about in opinion pieces and
articles in newspapers and magazines. I’ve also noticed that political
and sports commentators use the analogy quite freely. I have collected
and continue to collect examples, to add to those comments I have heard
at first hand. If you know any, please send them to me.
"In truth, though he hasn’t resigned at all. Yes, he’s going to sit as an independent, but with his Ukip membership kept firmly and safely in his pocket, where Nigel Farage won’t dare to intrude. No, in fact, Bloom is behaving much like five-year-olds do in the playground; he’s shouting ‘you’re not my friends anymore’ very loudly before stomping off and sulking in the corner, with his bottom lip thrust defiantly out, convinced the world is plotting against him." Taken from a article on Godfrey Bloom. Metro. September 25th, 2013.
"... Does it sound a bit primary-school? With good reason, because adults so often behave like kids!" Bel Mooney in an answer to a problem in her weekly advice column in Daily Mail.
A Primary School head teacher, posted a comment on Facebook
saying she was "gobsmacked that some of the parents come to have a go at
me and bring their mums along - they’re people in their 30s and 40s and
still bring their mums to sort me out."
Mrs Swailes also wrote on her page: "In keeping with what I’ve experienced this week should I scream, shout, stamp my feet and threaten to beat up or kill the headteacher?'
In another comment she wrote: ‘I might get a poster, “my mum’s harder than yours” for my office." Mail Online. 12.09.13
"I wondered if the flu was psychosomatic, if it was my way of saying I couldn't be relied on. I had looked after my two younger brothers when my mother died suddenly. I was only eight then. At some deep level, perhaps, I felt I'd already had children, and couldn't face all that responsibility again. Or perhaps it had nothing to do with the past, and I was just frightened of fatherhood." Author Rupert Thomson in memoir about falling ill, as his wife and new baby came home from hospital. The Independent.
"I realised that the mother I wanted back was the mother I had when I
was ten years old." Bittersweet: Lessons From My Mother's
Kitchen by Matt McAllester
"Parenting is keeping children infantalised." Middle-aged man discussing emotional maturity.
"Generally, the Commons (House of) resembles a class-room where an incompetent supply teacher has allowed it to run out of control. It doesn't need a Speaker, it needs a nanny." Katie Guest, The Independent.
Mother, Sarah Gyles, 34, mother of nine-year-old Connor, who she has entered for Channel 4 Britain's Child Genius competition:
"Of course I want him to do well. I want to show off. Is that bad?..."I want to go around and say, "Look how clever my son is. Aren't I great?" "
A study, published in the journal Public Library of Science ONE, carried out at Utrecht University in the Netherlands.
"Pushy parents who go to great lengths to make their children succeed are attempting to make up for their own failed dreams, researchers have confirmed. But not all parents use their children to help them to resolve their own feelings of ‘regret and disappointment’.
The key factor, the researchers found, was that the more a mother or father saw of themselves in their child, the more likely they were to want them to live their own unrequited ambitions.
‘Some parents see their children as extensions of themselves, rather than as separate people with their own hopes and dreams,’
‘These parents may be most likely to want their children to achieve the dreams that they themselves have not achieved.’
The findings may go some way to explaining the actions of pushy parents who urge their often unwilling children to follow a dream and ‘provide novel insight into the joys of parenthood’.
The research concluded: ‘Parents may derive pleasure and meaning from parenthood by vicariously resolving their unfulfilled ambitions through their children.
'Basking in children’s reflected glory, parents’ feelings of regret and disappointment about their own lost opportunities may gradually resolve, and make way for pride and fulfillment.’
Co-author, Brad Bushman, a professor of psychology at Ohio State University.
"That was as tense as it gets. Adrian Newey, the genius, the reason
Vettel wins world championships, having to play nurse maid to a petulant
little boy who doesn't realise how lucky he is to be in that amazing
car." Chris Evans, Radio presenter commenting on the Malaysian Grand Prix.
"When your father dies, part of you grows up quickly, part of you doesn't grow up at all." James Dyson, Inventor, June 2013.
The Jeremy Forrest case (Teacher
convicted of abducting pupil, aged 15.) : "In the interview last week,
Ms Hanspaul, Mr Forrest's sister, said that she had always regarded her
30-year-old brother as someone who "hadn't fully grown up yet" who was
"vulnerable" at the time of his offences.In the interview last week, Ms
Hanspaul said that she had always regarded her 30-year-old brother as
someone who "hadn't fully grown up yet" who was "vulnerable" at the time
of his offences. She said: "He’s never seemed his age. I’ve never
seen him as a grown-up, even though he’s been a teacher and he took his
job really seriously – but he wasn’t very good with money." Daily
Telegraph report, June 2013.
"Alexis was a middle-aged teenager. He
used teenage slang, his bedroom looked like a squat and he blushed if
any girl spoke to him. He was 33 years old, going on 13." TV review on
"Why am I still single? by Christopher Stevens, Daily Mail, June 2013
"Order! Order! The panto season is not for another nine months." Lindsay Hoyle, Deputy Speaker, House of Commons, presiding over an unruly Budget debate.
"Watching the Budget debate was like watching kids in a kidergarten.
No wonder women don't go into Parliament with men behaving like that." Tina-Louise, Fylde Coast FM presenter commenting on the Budget debate.
suggests that if we donʼt have a childhood at the right time, we will
have it much more expensively later. Philip Hodson.
Fellow of BACP (British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy
writing about Brittany Spears. January 8th, 2008. Note: this could be
written about many famous people including Michael Jackson.
old Amy was both childlike and wise beyond her years. The drug filled
Amy is simply a child with a nasty temper and a craving for what will
destroy her.” Suzanne Moore The Mail on Sunday Sept 2nd 2007. A prophetic article on Amy Winehouse.
Headline of a review on ‘Child of our Time.’ February 2013. “Children grow up so fast these days. Pity the parents don’t.” Christopher Stevens.
Anyone who has been grossly neglected as a child will know how hard it
is to let go of the craving for affection. If a child doesnʼt receive
the selfless love he or she needs at the right time, the yearning for it
never goes away completely. That is why it is so difficult to ignore
your parentʼs pleas: their guilt and regret suggest that you are still
important to them. But you have to accept that this longing is the
longing of a child, and that the opportunity to receive the love and
care you desired as a child has now gone. Linda Blair. Clinical Psychologist. Guardian 20.9.07 Answering a readerʼs dilemma about their demanding parents.
Bill Clinton was the youngest President in American history, and the
first ʻbaby boomer.ʼ For many, he embodied the characteristics of that
pampered generation: the spoiled childʼs sense of entitlement, a
self-centeredness verging on the narcissism, a proneness to moral
relativism, and a habit of blaming others for his own failings. Rupert Cornwall, writing on ex President Bill Clinton for the Independent. January 2009.
“ I knew he was childish. I just wanted my childhood back.” Woman on phone talking about her husband. 2007
“We were just playing at house, like children in nursery school.” Man talking about past relationship. 2008
“But Rossʼs problem has been a growing genital obsession normally found in under 7s.” Libby Purves. Broadcaster and Author. January 24th. 2009. Mail on Sunday. Re: Jonathan Rossʼs return to TV.
players behaved like spoiled brats and were punished. The only more
appropriate sanction would have been to slap the backs of their legs and
send them up to their rooms without their tea, but since that response
is banned by FIFA, the referee had to wave his cards.” Des Kelly, Sports Journalist. Daily Mail. June 27th 2006
year he wrote a heartfelt piece in the Mail about being the agony of
being a weekend father. Now, against all odds, William Leith has been
re-united with his son's mother. Why? because he says, in his 40s he was
finally forced to grow up..." Headline in Daily Mail. January 26th.2009 on article by author William Leith.
Two women talking to each other. “My familyʼs all grown up now - except my husband of course.” A greetings card
“ I had the body of a woman and the emotions of a child.” Elizabeth Taylor. Actress.
...My mum used to wear loads of Opium perfume, so if I ever smell
anybody that’s wearing Opium...what’s weird is that it doesn’t trigger a
sort of ‘ughh...it makes me feel like a little girl that wants a
lovely, yummy hug.” Davina McCall. TV Presenter.
why he behaves so badly, he replied,” I donʼt know mate. everyone keeps
saying I should grow up. But I quite like being a child”. Shane Warne, the Australian cricketer with attitude.
players behaved like spoilt brats and they were punished. the only more
appropriate sanction would be to slap the backs of their legs and send
them out of the rooms without their tea, but since that response is
banned by FIFA, the referee had to wave his cards.” Des Kelly writing the about a 2006 World Cup game between Holland and Portugal.
“I can’t find out who is hissing. The next move is, I suspend the House.” Speaker of the House of Commons, Michael Martin trying to control an out of control outbreak of schoolboy behaviour from Members of Parliament.
“This sweet thing was pretty childish. It is a Test Match. Not a place for childish pranks.” Former England cricket captain, Nasser Hussain, on an incident involving jelly beans during a Test Match.
“I find masculinity very touching - you know", Mae West said, “I like my men to be men: strong and childish.”
“I am super strong and capable, but there is is part of me that is an insecure little girl.” Terri Hatcher. Desperate Housewives actress abused as a child.
“I have the emotional maturity of a 15-year-old” 43. Naomi Campbell. Model with reputation for outbursts of temper.
“He looks just like his mum has told him to come in for tea” 46. TV Pundit Gareth Southgate describing Wayne Rooney’s sulk on being substituted in a football match.