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What Is It Like To Be An Adult?


What is it like to be an adult? It's a big question from a young mind! We invited adults who listen to share their perspectives and Nora McInerny, host of the podcast Terrible, Thanks for Asking,helps guide us through that and a few other questions about the strange world of adults: Why can adults do things that kids can't do? Why don't adults play pretend like they used to when they were kids?  What happens when you don't listen to your boss? And why do people cry when they're happy?


There are as many answers to what adulthood is like as there are adults in the world. And sometimes the answer varies from day to day. In this episode, we encouraged adults to send us their own audio recordings, to offer our young listeners some insight into the adult mind. And we got some terrific reflections.

We encourage you to ask the children in your life what they think adulthood looks like. What scares them? What excites them? What do they want some help getting prepared for?

A lot of kids feel like they don't get to make any decisions, while the adults around them do "whatever they want." Adults know how far that feels from the truth, but maybe there are more decisions the kids in your life can be a part of making, or make for themselves. Let us know how that goes!

Nora McInerny's podcast, Terrible, Thanks for Asking, stemmed from a really terrible time in her life when she faced a lot of personal loss and grief. While hers is a show for adults, Nora's commitment to looking at the hard parts of life with honesty, humor and empathy resonates with how we tackle big topics on But Why. Check out her program wherever you get your podcasts. Just, maybe, don't have your kids in the car while you do.

Read the full transcript

Melody is the Contributing Editor for But Why: A Podcast For Curious Kids and the co-author of two But Why books with Jane Lindholm.
Jane Lindholm is the host, executive producer and creator of But Why: A Podcast For Curious Kids. In addition to her work on our international kids show, she produces special projects for Vermont Public. Until March 2021, she was host and editor of the award-winning Vermont Public program Vermont Edition.
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