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I've provided the context of what made me ask this question below, as it could just be that I am misunderstanding the passage.

If I understand correctly, the first person is explaining that their friend has a めがねコンプレックス because she was teased by one of her classmates about this when she was younger(she is in high school now). The second person responds saying that's childish (I believe referring to the complex). The third person then responds saying they are just a kid so it can't be helped.  

「あの子、めがねコンプレックスらしいからね。小さい頃、同級生の男子にからかわれたとかで」

「子供っぽい」

実際子供なんだから仕方ない」

However, they are all in high school, admittedly the person they are discussing is 1 year younger than them, so I'm not really sure that 実際子供 makes sense unless I am misunderstanding things.

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The definition of 子供/大人 is loose, and I don't think the third person said 実際子供なんだ with a specific age threshold in mind. See: What's the difference between 成人 and 大人?

Here, I think 子供だ said by the third speaker refers to almost the same thing as 子供っぽい. I would interpret this exchange like this:

"This (specific way of thinking) is childish."

"But (we all know) she is (always) a childish person."

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  • Is there any chance that when the second person says 子供っぽい it's not referring to the person with the メガネコンプレックス, but to the boy who teased her when she was little? Like, "That was childish" (ie., it was childish of the boy to tease her). "Well, after all he was a just a child, so it's to be expected that he would act childish." That's how I took it, and if this reading doesn't make sense I'm curious about why not. (i.e., does the fact that 子供っぽい and なんだから are in the present tense make such a reading impossible, or is there some other reason?) – Nanigashi Aug 21 '20 at 17:46
  • @Nanigashi According to OP, they are talking about あの子, not 同級生の男子. This 男子 is probably someone they don't even know. OP said "I believe referring to the complex" and there seems to be no good reason to doubt this. – naruto Aug 21 '20 at 21:26
  • I guess I didn't see the OP's interpretation as being very definitive, given the tentative tone and the repeated disclaimers. ("It could just be that I am misunderstanding the passage," "if I understand correctly," "I believe referring to the complex," "unless I am misunderstanding things." That's a lot of equivocation for a five-sentence post.) Thanks so much for responding; I read a lot of your answers, and I never know whether to be more impressed with the depth of your knowledge, the clarity of your explanations, or your sheer generosity with your time and expertise! – Nanigashi Aug 21 '20 at 23:49

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