It is a great mistake to think of every trait that a child has as a childish trait, and to then take the opposite of that trait and consider it an adult trait, and to then strive for it. This is because many of the traits children possess aren’t just specific to children, but are traits natural in all humans. Often times we adopt this mentality and think of the emotional honesty, strong curiosity, love of play, and simplicity of children as “childish” traits that will be easily extinguished by the passage of time, and replaced by the more “grown up” traits of emotional guardedness, aversion to inquisitiveness, disdain for play/devotion to labor, and complexity of life. When we find those “childish” traits peskily persisting in ourselves or others we react with embarassment, annoyance, or anger and move to stomp them out, opting for their “adult” opposites. This leaves us constantly grasping – striving to conform to an unrealistic, unattainable, and inhuman picture of the mature person. We should see the move toward maturity and adulthood as the process of becoming more human, not more austere, complex, boring, etc. This is exactly the nature of maturity in every other usage of the word – the movement toward being a more perfect instance of whatever you are. A caterpillar matures into what it is meant to be all along, and this requires change, but not one so drastic as we see it, where we become the exact opposite of all that we were. In many ways children are more human than adults. Jesus hit on this, remember?
Spend time thinking on the way children behave. Which traits, if adopted, would bring us closer to being human, Christlike, real?