Lockdown Diaries: A child’s perspective about managing adults during this period

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Adults and parents are often the cause of a child’s confusion and irritation. This is a piece of writing to help children understand and manage adults (especially parents) better.

Behavior

Adult behavior is very peculiar, at least to children. The behaviors vary as much as teenagers. They can be happy, angry, tired, and the one I am most familiar with (and I’m sure most children would agree with me) is sarcasm. I have found many a time mothers especially saying “Go do whatever you want” or something similar. At first, it may seem that she is actually letting you do that, but over-time you find out that she doesn’t actually mean it and if you go ahead and actually do what she’s saying, you may find yourself facing a fight and/or disagreement.

However, there are a few times when she actually does mean it. When this happens, it is difficult to distinguish whether she is sarcastic or not. Take into account her facial expressions and other small details like that. For example, if she says it in a tired way and her mood that day has been bad, she was obviously being sarcastic. However, if you suspect that she was NOT being sarcastic, then I recommend you to ask them if they are being sarcastic. If she is in a good mood as you suspect, then she’ll probably laugh it off.

How to recognize an adult 

You may be thinking this is a pretty obvious one, but I’m not just talking about the adults-adults. There are many children like you and me who ACT like adults. This subsection will guide you on how to recognize them.

They always act like they’re better than you (nearly).

Adults do this all the time and say things like “I’m ___ years old, so I get to do ___” or something similar. This trait will also most probably show itself in chadults (children adults). This may not be because they are older (indeed they may be the exact same age as you and still act like they are better than you — this is often the case), but because they are smarter or more creative, or may get better grades than you. Unfortunately, chadults are the hardest of them all to recognize because the suspected chadult is often just a mere child blowing their own trumpet. If you have never met a child like this and are now saying that there is no such thing you can speak for yourselves! My twin sister does it nearly every day! Oh, how I suffer!

They act like they know everything

This is also very common, maybe not as common as Point 1 but still relatively common, among adults and chadults both. They like to act superior and sometimes they can act a little snobby. 

They are most often taller than you (applies only if we are talking only about adults, NOT chadults).

I hope you don’t need me to explain this.

How to deal with an adult

The first thing you have to do – and this is absolutely ESSENTIAL – MAKE IT CLEAR TO THEM THAT YOU ARE THE BOSS. If you don’t follow this rule, well, they’ll never respect you and without respect, they will trample all over you and use You to Their advantage instead of the opposite. Also your voice and opinions will be ignored and you will rarely have a say in anything.

Learn to control your emotions. Adults AND chadults are quite sensitive when being teased and will twist your words to suit their purposes. However, if you are controlled and calm always, they will find it hard to do this.

Treat them like you would a pet. Know when to be firm and when to cajole and when to beg and act like a baby.

Food habits 

Food habits vary from adult to adult. Mostly, it depends on the adult in question’s mood. For example, if the adult is unhappy or moody, they might eat cake or something like that. Granted, in my experience, if they are happy, they would also eat the same things.

What kind of food do they eat? The same stuff that we do. Duh. Though it may not seem like it at times, they are still humans.

Use their favourite foods as peace offerings or when you are not able to gauge their mood. A good cup of tea or coffee can always change their mood in your favour !

Daily activities

  1. _______ (Insert name of job that parent/adult does)
  2. Cleaning
  3. Washing
  4. Cooking
  5. Eating
  6. Reading
  7. Talking/Lecturing (This in my experience is the most common thing they do)

Emotions 

Adults’ emotions are very complex and affect their behavior. Adults have many emotions. The most overwhelming one (this applies only for parents) is a desire to care for their child. This affects their actions toward you greatly. For example, in the Disney movie Aladdin, The Sultan, wants to PROTECT Jasmine, so he doesn’t allow her to go outside the palace. Moana’s father wants to PROTECT Moana, so he doesn’t allow her to go beyond the reef. They want you to grow up with good values, so they teach you discipline by having strict bedtimes. They want your health to be good, so they hide your Halloween candy (if it’s on top of the fridge, just get a stool).

Try to use their desire to nurture and protect you to get what you want. Like explaining candy has many health benefits ,watching Netflix is educational, buying books is good for the economy…  … you get my drift.

However, when they are angry…eek!  Better watch out. Some adults, they give you the cold shoulder and will give you cold revenge. Some, explode like a volcano and burst out with anger. Surprisingly, these adults are also the quickest to forgive.

Identify the type of adult and behave accordingly. If they are the volcano type, stay quiet because anything you say will cause another eruption of anger. If they are the cold shoulder type, then apologise and go with a peace offering like a cup of tea or coffee ideally paired with “I am sorry and I love you” card!

When adults are happy, this is good. It makes your life easier, so try to get your adult to be happy as much as you can, because you are more likely to get what you want if they are in a good mood.

So always try to gauge their emotions and act accordingly.

When to ask for things that you want

When they are on a video call/meeting.

At this time they are busy and they don’t want annoying people (us) bothering them. If an annoying person was to come, just to say, and “eat their head” about whatever, then they’ll probably just go like “Yes, yes, yes” and wave you off.

When they are with a bunch of friends at a party

This is THE best time to ask to get you something. At parties, the adults are busy and talking to their friends and doing whatever adults do together. So if you’re lucky when you go and whisper into their ears your request they’ll say fine and wave you off. Most of the time even before you complete your request! So encourage them to invite friends over and go for dinners. Say you will help with organising the party/dinner for their friend coming over. Last weekend I offered to make coffee for my parents’ friends when they came over. 15 mins of coffee = 4 hrs of doing whatever I want!

When they are in the bath

This is the time where they are incredibly relaxed, so probably (and if you’re fortunate) if you just keep on annoying them, then they’ll send you away with a “Yes, yes yes” to whatever you ask.

Exceptions

However unlikely it may seem, there are a few exceptions to these “rules”, I guess. One common misconception is that grandparents are included in the Adults category. NO! Although grandparents are technically still adults, they are older and that makes them DIFFERENT, and therefore need an utterly different management style.

Another common mistake is thinking this applies to teachers. Also NO. Teachers are also a whole new category and will also need to be managed in a different way. Of course, there are certain… complications, and these complications will probably NOT stick to the rulebook(s). For example, if your parent(s) is also a teacher or your grandparent(s) was a teacher… well, let’s just say I definitely cannot guarantee that they will “stick to this rulebook”. My grandma is a retired teacher. So sometimes she is a strict teacher, other times a doting grandma. My grandpa, on the other hand was never a teacher so he is always a doting grandpa! You understand the difference??

I hope this has increased your understanding of adults. Now go give your mom and dad a big hug. Just for being a good loving person! Besides they are the ones who will pay for your college !

Iravati Iyer
Iravati is a 12 year old girl who lives in HongKong with her twin sister and parents, all of whom were a great “inspirations” for this article. She loves to read more than anything else and is a big fan of all kinds of mythology from Norse, Greek, Roman to Egyptian and Indian. She is a student of Bharata Natyam, learns the piano from her twin sister, and when in a good mood can humour her guests with dosas, Indian tea and her ready wit.