Channeling Our Childhood: 8 Grade School Rules We Should All Live By As Adults

by Beth Gladstone

When you were a kid, if someone ever told you carrots could make you see in the dark or that the wind could freeze your face, you were fed a lot of crap. There’s a reason why kids are generally a lot happier than adults.

Kids don’t have to worry about much -- parents make up the rules and deal with the fallout when things go wrong. The rules our parents held kept us safe and brought us happiness in an otherwise cold, hard world.

When we start school, we learn lessons in boundaries. Class rules become our mottos for behaving properly and methods for separating right from wrong.

So, what leads us to drop the morals we learned as children? Life is difficult to navigate because we make it that way.

We assume that as life gets harder, our choices become more difficult, but really, we just forget the simple, basic principles to which we once adhered.

Here are the eight classroom rules we need to reintroduce into adulthood:


Sharing can be difficult, but as kids learn and grow, they start to share just to be kind. As adults, we become much more obsessed with material possessions and sharing becomes a social obligation, not something we do because it makes us happy in our hearts.

Studies show that doing something nice for another person actually increases our levels of personal happiness by releasing endorphins into our brains.

Next time you feel like the world is against you, try sharing something you love with someone else. Chances are, you’ll feel pretty good about it afterward.

Every day is a new start.

One of the best parts of childhood is that every day is a fresh start. Kids leave their baggage behind and start each day worry-free.

They don’t fret about that one time they said something stupid. For kids, a weekend spans a lifetime and a summer break spans an eternity. Each day is unique and unlike our cynical, hungover selves, kids are prepared to enjoy every moment of it.

Listen while others are speaking.

When was the last time you truly listened in a conversation and didn’t just wait for your own turn to speak? Kids listen because they want to learn, and they want to hear what others have to say.

Anyone who thinks you’re worthy of sharing a story or idea deserves your full attention. Listen before stating your own opinions; be open to ideas you may not have considered.

Play nicely.

It’s so easy to let our need for success overcome our good sense. No one else plays fairly, so why should we? But, how much good does trampling on someone else really feel?

Success gleaned from hurt and dirty tactics will never taste as good as honorable success. There won’t always be teachers and parents there to ground us.

Deep down, we know which path is the fairest — whether or not we choose to take it remains to be seen.

Stick together.

Kids hold hands as they cross the street. Childhood is the pinnacle of dependency, but kids also know that sticking together is what makes them feel safe.

One of the hardest lessons of adulthood is learning that people can be sh*tty. Friends stab you in the back; partners cheat, and family members fall from grace.

Sometimes it’s easier to build a protective cocoon and choose to let no one in, but do you think we’d still be here if our ancestors had chosen a life of solitude?

Sticking together is still essential to our survival, and if we’re honest, some situations are just better when someone’s hand is available to hold.

Tell the truth.

One characteristic that makes kids so great (and hilarious) is their complete, unfiltered honesty. If they think you’re having a bad hair day, they’ll tell you about it. If they don’t like the food you spent three hours preparing, you’ll be the first to know.

Okay, as we grow up, it becomes necessary to tell a little white lie occasionally to save someone’s feelings, but honesty is one of the most refreshing qualities an adult can possess.

If you love your friends or partner, do them a favor and speak the truth. In the long run, they’ll respect and love you more for it.

Play every day.

I mean the creative, soul-feeding play that consumes your mind and releases your fear. We play hard as adults, but not always in ways that are good for us.

Too often, we let go of the creative activities we loved as children, deeming them unworthy of our time. Draw, play, sing, dance or run just for the fun of it. Lose yourself in activities that feel good.

Try new things.

I’ve become a worse skier as I’ve grown older, not because I’m less fit or able, but because I am afraid. My own fear of mortality holds me back from taking the jumps that 10-year-old me wouldn’t have thought twice about doing.

Children love to try new things and don’t hesitate to jump right in and travel outside of their comfort zones. It’s not a coincidence that we’re encouraged to try new activities during our first few years of school.

The soul craves adventure and trying new things keeps us young. Try to ignore the little voice that asks “what if?” and instead, find the child inside who says, “Let’s do this.”

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