The Dark Side of Growing Up: Cherished Childhood Joys We Hate as Adults

Kids get to view the world with wonder. Each new day brings the potential for new experiences, and life holds so much potential. Kids experience a sanitized version of the world without worrying about the stressful realities and often enjoy things adults can’t stand. 

While scrolling through the R/askreddit community, I found a question asking users to share some of the things they loved as children but hate now that they’re reached adulthood. 

We can all relate to some of the top responses. 

Jumping Down the Stairs

Victorian style elegant staircase in abandoned home.
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Kids’ bodies seem indestructible. They leap down three steps, swing around banisters, and skip around without a care in the world. 

A lot of that sounds miserable to adults. 

“My hips and knees ached just reading that,” replied one. 

“I can’t even walk down stairs half the time,” said another. 


Woman at her mailbox looking through the letters she recieved.
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Mail was always exciting when we were kids. It was free samples of cool stuff, cards from relatives, or a treasured letter from a pen pal. 

As adults, we get annoying flyers, junk mail, and bills. 

“I remember when I was a kid getting a letter in the mail was so exciting; now it’s all bills and bad news,” said one user. 

Losing Teeth

Woman smiling in a dentists share with a dentist behind her, their hands are near her mouth.
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Losing your teeth is a rite of passage. Kids get gifts from the tooth fairy as they transition from baby to child in the fascinating journey of growing up. 

Losing teeth as an adult doesn’t have the same appeal

“As a kid losing tooth meant a visit from the tooth fairy, now losing my teeth means my teeth are in bad condition,” shared one user. 

Staying Up Late

young woman smiling while making the bed
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One user mentioned the “The rush of excitement when you stay up past your bedtime” you felt as a child.  “Now I just want a cuppa and go to bed,” they continued. 

Staying up late used to be fun; we’d get to watch movies and watch the sun go down, and activities bedtime banned us from. As adults, we know we’ll be tired the next day, and there’s nothing that can’t wait until tomorrow. 


happy woman holding money.
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A fresh, crisp twenty-dollar bill made us feel like kings when we were younger. We could walk down to the corner store and buy any snacks we could possibly want. 

Now, twenty bucks barely buys lunch. Adults need at least a cool hundred to get excited. 


View from the top of Mount Aspen
Photo Credit: Melanie Allen, Partners in Fire

Kids gathered around the radio in the morning after a fresh snowfall, eagerly awaiting news of school closures. 

The fresh powdery snow held worlds of opportunities. We could make forts, have fights, build snowmen, and enjoy a day playing in the lovely winter wonderland. 

As adults, snow is more annoying than magical. We must dig our cars out, deal with wet clothes, and lumber through the mess to get to work or risk losing a day of pay. 


couple relaxing on beach lounge chairs enjoying a sunset on the beach
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Summer vacation is the best part of being a kid. You enjoy June, July, and August without a care in the world and look forward to returning to school in the fall, ready to tackle another year. 

Adults have to work through the summer. We don’t get three months off to enjoy ourselves and prep for the next season. It all blurs together into one long, endless journey. 

Getting Older

Older man holding his back as if it hurts.
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Kids can’t wait until they’re teenagers, teenagers long for adulthood, and adults just want to stop aging. 

Every birthday as a child is a milestone, ripe for celebration. When we’re adults, we’d prefer to stop counting. 


Thanksgiving dinner with delicious roasted Turkey as centerpiece.
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Holidays lose their magic as we age. Santa no longer brings presents, and homeowners scoff when grown-ups show up asking for candy on Halloween night. 

Adults have to create holiday magic. They don’t get to enjoy it. 

Water Parks

waterslides at a resort.
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Water slides and wave pools offer hours of entertainment. Kids run up the stairs, leap into the tube slide and dive into the deep pool below, only to reemerge and do it all again. 

As adults, the slides aren’t as much fun, and we also have to think about how nasty it all is. 

“You don’t know how gross they are when you’re a kid,” said one user, considering how gross water parks are. 

Kids pee (or worse) in the pools, and you don’t know when these folks you’re sharing a soak with last showered. All the chlorine in the world can’t convince some to swim in those waters. 

Learning What Really Matters and Letting the Rest Go

close up of smiling happy older woman
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Some things aren’t worth the effort, though unfortunately, sometimes we only learn that as we grow older. 

Here are the top things people learn to let go of as they age

How To Find Your Passion

Man raising arms looking at the view after climbing a high mountain
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Learning new skills is a major step towards discovering our true passion in life. Need extra help?

Discover How To Find Your Passion and Life the Life You’ve Always Wanted

How Creative Writing Prompts Can Boost Your Skill

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Want to write a book? Creative writing is a skill that can be developed. Using prompts is a great way to practice. 

Discover how Creative Writing Prompts Can Enhance Your Writing

12 Ways You’re Shortening Your Lifespan Without Realizing

Wide eyed woman looks upset and slighlty confused.
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These 12 habits have negative impacts on your health and well-being. Are you guilty of any?

Boomer Wisdom Millennials Realized Was Right

A happy looking senior woman smiles as she holds her cup of tea.
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Millennials scoffed when their Boomer parents tried to impart their knowledge, but as they grew older, they realized perhaps the old man was right. Here are Boomer words of wisdom Millennials wish they had taken to heart

Source: Reddit