Childhood, when I remember it, is not some idyllic time, and it's not some time where I was dumb or unaware of what was going on around me. The myth that childhood is some idyllic time really pervades our culture, from the way we talk to kids to the way we have these distinctions which aren't really accurate.
As a "kid" adults who talked down to me or forced me to do stuff I hated. As an adult it's something I hate even more.
In some ways, I remember some things being simpler, sure, some things I didn't have to worry about, like where I was going to sleep, bills, but you had homework, bullies, the drudgery of schoolwork, crazy friends, teachers, et cetera. Really, not that much changes.
There is a change, which can be positive or negative of becoming more aware. For me, I became more aware of gender roles, and some awareness was not so negative, but for example when I found out masturbation was wrong, I felt really really bad, and I don't think that's the kind of learning that is beneficial. Growing up can lead one to responsibility, but it can also make one feel really guilty about just about everything and can lead to a loss of vitality of life and just an air of suppressive conformity, instead of seeing that the world can still be fun, we can still be ourselves when we are an adult and that deep down we all have the answers or we all don't have the answers.
I'm reminded of pennilesscripple's Rage video yet again, especially the part about how we are not allowed to be who we are and not allowed to truly be in the world and be a part of it. The line it's like we have to perform really struck a chord for me.
And I think we really have to learn from this, because children can teach us things we have forgotten but they also need to be taught. And not lectured to or made to feel guilty or wrong about everything, but taking part in the cause and effect of their actions. Because what we don't need is to continue to make a world that people are afraid of, feel guilty about or feel hopeless about.