Usage: My son was playing with his food. He dropped it on the ground and the dog ate it and he cried. He was ignorant of the consequences of playing with his food.

5 Answers 5


In addition to Carlo_R's good suggestion of reckless, you might consider short-sighted

dealing with things that are happening now but failing to consider what will happen in the future: short-sighted plans

Your question specifically asks about being ignorant of consequences. If you also want to consider ignoring consequences you might use

  • heedless
  • foolhardy
  • imprudent
  • ill-considered
  • injudicious
  • improvident
  • rash
  • overhasty
  • careless
  • ill-advised
  • unthinking
  • ill-conceived
  • inconsiderate
  • incautious

Clearly most of these would not fit your young son, but might suit other circumstances.

  • 1
    In certain contexts, naïve may also be appropriate. Aug 2, 2013 at 16:46

I think you are looking for "reckless".

Merriam-Webster defines it as (emphasis mine):

(Function: adjective)

1 : marked by lack of proper caution : careless of consequences

  • This is probably what I'm after. I'd like to see a few more suggestions though.
    – Mike Cole
    Aug 2, 2013 at 15:46
  • 2
    @MikeCole Wait, your son is reckless for dropping some food accidentally? That seems a bit extreme and judgmental.
    – Mitch
    Aug 2, 2013 at 18:06
  • @Mitch - it's an example. Short-sighted was really what I was looking for.
    – Mike Cole
    Aug 2, 2013 at 18:23
  • +1 reckless was my initial reaction to the question as asked.
    – bib
    Aug 3, 2013 at 1:25

A better choice for a child might be "imprudent":marked by a lack of awareness or concern for the consequences of one's acts; rash; unwise.

A child is unaware of consequences; reckless suggests disregard.

Depending on how young the child is, this and other similar adjectives, might have to be used with some tender irony.


Ignorance of consequences equates with a lack of knowledge about what will happen. Ignorance does not equate with recklessness, disregard, carelessness, although an ignorant person may have a surfeit of those habits.

Terms uninformed (“not informed; ignorant”), inexperienced (“Not experienced; lacking knowledge or experience; green”), and ignorant (“Unknowledgeable or uneducated; characterized by ignorance”) perhaps more properly express ignorance of consequences.

Another related word is naive (“Lacking worldly experience, wisdom, or judgement; unsophisticated”). One who is naive (a naif) may often not know the range of possible consequences in any given circumstance.

Previously-mentioned short-sighted (“(figuratively) Unable to see long-term objectives; lacking foresight”) is related to ignorance of consequences in that one who is short-sighted is likely to not look into what the consequences of actions may be. This word is more about ability and attitude than about knowledge of what will happen.


He was oblivious

frustratingly unaware

Lollygagging my personal parental favorite

  • This site greatly appreciates fuller answers that explain why suggested words or phrases are appropriate to the context described in posted questions. Can you explain why your suggestions are on point?
    – Sven Yargs
    May 24, 2018 at 6:31
  • I consider it creative implications of language. Creativity works wonders esspecially when dealing with or labeling the often times lackluster but crucial moments of parenthood.
    – theRaven
    May 24, 2018 at 6:33
  • Language can be a beautiful thing and a powerful tool. I felt compelled to lay my sediment. All too often we inadvertently jump to too harsh of; dare I say too concise, and too truthful of words. Within everyone there is a mind and there is also a heart. I think more often than not the vast majority forgets they are connected. That is far more important than any conceptual man made linguistic word wrapped treat. Instead of the gift of shame I simply gave a smile, planted a seed, a belief. An excitement to do better from happiness not from shame.
    – theRaven
    May 24, 2018 at 6:38

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