I always understood it as Neverland being originally the land of the Fairies- in the early stories time was said to move differently in Fairy land, and also have a amnesiac affect on those who visited (the forgot the physical world).
This would make sense to me because Tink took Peter to Neverland as the FIRST lost boy. And the children start to forget their parents and the real world after a while. Wendy seems to be the only one that remembers them and insists they return.
There was a mini-series called Neverland. Its about a boy, Peter and his pals who were taken in by a man. The boys had a job which was pick-pocketing and stealing. One day they did a job that entailed stealing this thing but it transported them to a land called Neverland. There people didn't age and stayed the age they were. The people there were trapped and this becomes their new home.
I enjoyed this take on it a whole lot.
I've always wondered this, and want to know other people's opnions.
I've read teh J,M Barrie book, but I don't remember it ever actually disclosing it.
If you're looking for a literal, physical reason in the book, you're not going to find it. But if you pay attention to the themes and subtext, you'll see it: in the book, the aging process is essentially a natural side effect of maturing and progressing as a person. However, Peter refuses to progress and grow as a person - because that would mean accepting pain and responsibility - and as a result remains forever frozen in time. The book makes it clear that this is a bittersweet situation, because while he is functionally immortal he ends up forgetting everyone he ever knew. Furthermore, the only form of love he can feel is that of a child toward a mother, which is a selfish rather than selfless form of love.
Adults can also refuse to move on in this world, too. While Captain Hook's age is never explicitly made known, it's revealed that he was contemporary with Barbecue, or Long John Smith. This would mean that Hook was alive in the middle of the 18th century, whereas the book is set in the early 20th century. Hook's own miseries and demons are linked to his refusal to move on emotionally - he is obsessed with getting vengeance on Peter, and he lives in constant fear of the crocodile. He only escapes his misery when he gives up on his revenge and embraces the final change - death - by jumping into the jaws of the crocodile.
Barrie implies very strongly that--within the world of Peter Pan-- 'growing up' is a choice, although each decision has its own set of benefits and costs. Peter's decision to remain a child prevents him from having to deal with the responsibilities of adulthood, but it also isolates him from the love of home and family.
From experience I'd say the author wanted to inspire kids to not let growing up ruin their fun and creative thinking. I think he was trying to say that it's better to enjoy life then let responsibilities be everything.
I believe that deep in the heart of the character Peter Pan, he wanted to remain a child because of his mother. When he left it was because he was so afraid of being an adult and having so many responsibilities. Being so young, the thoughts overwhelmed him. So he left home but one day realized that as all children do he missed his mother very much. However upon the return to his home, he found his mother had yet another child. This sparked pain that maybe he'd be unwanted and caused him to leave once more. Deep in his heart he longed to be the child that his mother rocked to sleep at night and protected from all the bad things in the world. He wanted to be free of responsibility so strongly that perhaps some where in all the magic, this wish too was granted and so a child he remained. When a child is robbed of their childhood they can never truly grow up and even as adults remain in a childish state of mind.
Wow, that is really deep. I'd never heard or thought of that before...