Are Adults Allowed to Do Whatever They Please?

When you are young, life can be quite challenging, right? You are required to attend school, complete homework assignments, follow your parents’ instructions regarding meals, and go to bed early. The list goes on and on!

Meanwhile, adults seem to have it easy! They do not have to go to school, they do not have homework, they can eat whatever they desire, and they can even stay up late. Adults appear to have the freedom to do as they please!

However, if you were to ask the adults in your life, they would likely tell you that they are not completely free to do whatever they want. While they do indeed have more freedom than children, most adults can easily identify various limitations that restrict them from doing everything they desire.

Eleanor Roosevelt is well-known for her quote, “With freedom comes responsibility.” Although you may not fully comprehend this quote at the moment, you will certainly understand it as you grow older. Essentially, this saying implies that the freedom gained as you become an adult comes with the responsibility of taking care of yourself and finding your own path in life.

Do adults have to attend school? No, once they graduate from high school, adults are not required to attend school on a daily basis. However, can you guess where they must go? If you guessed work, you are correct! As an adult, your freedom comes with the obligation to provide for yourself in various aspects, including food, shelter, clothing, and more. To afford these necessities, adults work to earn money.

Although adults do not receive homework from teachers, many of them have jobs that require them to work outside of regular business hours. Many adults often bring work home with them. Additionally, there are numerous household tasks to be done! Preparing dinner, cleaning the house, doing laundry, maintaining a car and a home… all of these activities require time and energy!

So, what about those meals? Can adults eat pizza every night if they wish? This may or may not be true. The food choices adults make depend on their affordability and their desire to maintain a healthy lifestyle. As you grow older, you will realize that making good food choices becomes increasingly important for maintaining a healthy body.

Another important decision adults must make for their well-being is determining how much sleep they need. While children may desire to stay up later and later, adults understand that staying up all night has consequences. If you spend the entire day at work and then come home to cook dinner, clean the house, and do laundry, you will likely choose to go to bed at a reasonable hour. Failing to do so will result in feeling exhausted at work the next day.

Some of you may be thinking that all this freedom may not be as appealing as it once seemed! However, do not worry. Freedom does offer its advantages, but it also comes with its limitations and a set of responsibilities.

If you consider all the places you would like to visit and all the things you want to do, it is likely that your list would be longer than what you can actually achieve in your lifetime. Due to physical limitations, financial constraints, and the limited number of hours in a day, we are forced to make choices every day.

The choices we make shape our identity and determine our future. Therefore, it is crucial to prioritize and make wise decisions about how we spend our time and money. Each person has different priorities and responsibilities, which influence their choices. While it may seem that adults have the freedom to do anything, they too face limitations and can only do a fraction of what they desire due to financial and time constraints.

Try It Out

If you enjoyed today’s Wonder of the Day, try persuading an adult friend or family member to join you in exploring the following activities:

1. Reflect on the things you look forward to doing in the future that you cannot do now because you are a child. Create a list or draw a picture illustrating at least five activities you are excited about. Share your list with an adult and inquire about their thoughts. Did they have similar aspirations when they were young? Now that they have the ability to do these things, do they take advantage of it? Or have their interests evolved? Listen to the wisdom of older adults, as their experiences can guide you in making better choices for your future.

2. Consider the responsibilities you currently have. While responsibilities tend to increase as you grow older, children also have obligations. For instance, attending school and striving for good grades is a common responsibility. You may also have household chores to complete regularly. Take a moment to think about your other responsibilities and share them with an adult. Engage in a discussion about how they manage their own responsibilities. Are there any valuable insights they can offer to help you fulfill your obligations without feeling overwhelmed?

3. Up for a challenge? Challenge the adults in your life by creating a list of at least ten things that only children can do. For instance, attending school and enjoying recess. We know many adults who would love to relive those days, but unfortunately, they cannot. Use your imagination to come up with other unique activities that are exclusive to children. After compiling your list, evaluate it and share it with an adult. They may be able to add more items. Embrace the joy of being a child and revel in the privileges that come with it.


1. Can adults do whatever they want?

No, adults cannot do whatever they want. While adults have more freedom and autonomy compared to children, they still have to abide by laws and societal norms. There are legal and ethical boundaries that adults must respect in order to maintain a functioning society. For example, adults cannot engage in illegal activities such as theft or violence. They also have responsibilities towards their families, communities, and workplaces, which may limit their choices and actions. Additionally, adults must consider the consequences of their actions and the impact they may have on others.

2. Are there any limitations on adult behavior?

Yes, there are limitations on adult behavior. As mentioned earlier, adults are bound by laws and regulations that govern their actions. These laws vary from country to country but generally cover areas such as criminal behavior, property rights, and contractual obligations. There are also societal expectations and norms that adults are expected to follow, such as being respectful towards others, practicing good manners, and being responsible members of their communities. While adults have more freedom compared to children, they still have to operate within these boundaries.

3. What are some examples of things that adults cannot do?

There are several things that adults cannot do. They cannot engage in activities that are considered illegal, such as drug trafficking, fraud, or assault. Adults also cannot neglect their responsibilities towards their families, such as abandoning their children or failing to provide for them. There are also limitations on adult behavior in professional settings, such as workplace harassment or discrimination. Additionally, adults cannot infringe on the rights and freedoms of others, such as invading someone’s privacy or engaging in hate speech. These are just a few examples of the things that adults cannot do.

4. Is there any difference between what adults can do and what children can do?

Yes, there is a difference between what adults can do and what children can do. Adults generally have more freedom and autonomy compared to children. They have the legal capacity to enter into contracts, make decisions about their healthcare, and vote in elections. Adults are also expected to take on more responsibilities, both in their personal lives and within society. Children, on the other hand, have limited freedom and are under the legal guardianship of their parents or caregivers. They have restrictions on activities such as driving, drinking alcohol, and making certain decisions. The level of autonomy and responsibility increases as a person transitions from childhood to adulthood.

5. Are there any consequences for adults who disregard the limitations on their behavior?

Yes, there are consequences for adults who disregard the limitations on their behavior. If an adult engages in illegal activities, they can face criminal charges, fines, and imprisonment. They may also face civil lawsuits for damages caused by their actions. Disregarding societal expectations and norms can result in social consequences, such as damaged relationships, loss of reputation, and exclusion from certain communities or organizations. Additionally, there may be personal consequences, such as feelings of guilt, regret, or a sense of moral wrongdoing. It is important for adults to understand and respect the limitations on their behavior to avoid these negative consequences.

6. How can adults ensure they are acting within the boundaries of what they can do?

Adults can ensure they are acting within the boundaries of what they can do by staying informed about the laws and regulations that apply to their specific situation. They can consult legal professionals or resources to understand their rights and responsibilities. It is also important for adults to consider the impact of their actions on others and to practice empathy and respect. Engaging in open communication with others can help clarify boundaries and expectations. Additionally, adults can seek guidance from trusted mentors or advisors who can provide guidance and help them navigate complex situations. Ultimately, it is the responsibility of adults to educate themselves and make informed choices that align with legal and ethical standards.

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