Sometimes as “grown ups” we can feel as if we are responsible for teaching our children everything, when in reality our children can teach us so much – here are just a few examples.
Every day is a fresh start
There is something about the end of every child’s day that is so final. Children don’t carry the same baggage as us adults. Every day is a fresh start, a new beginning and a chance to explore new places and have new adventures.
Creativity is so important
Children can become so lost in a creative project. Drawing, singing, writing, painting, chalking a dinosaur on the patio – whatever it is, children know how important it is to explore this.
Somehow as adults we loose some of our creativity. How many times have you heard someone say “I used to paint, draw, work with clay, make jewellery, dance etc?”
Children seem to understand much better than us grown ups that life shrinks when our courage shrinks. Children tend not to be concerned about things like the chance of being humiliated, or worry about all the variables at play. Children embrace life and opportunities much better than us adults, even if some of those things are a little bit scary!
They are much less likely to overthink things and talk themselves out of situations like us adults and much more likely to just go for it!
Scars are badges of honour to be worn with pride
As adults we are so very aware of our ‘imperfections’, scars perhaps, that we find less that desirable to look at. We try to hide them, cover them up from the world, so that no one else has to see them either. We don’t tell people what hurts and where our pain is as we see that as a sign of weakness.
Children don’t deal with the world like this at all. If they fall over, they wear that plaster on their knee with pride. If they break a bone, everyone signs their cast and they rock that cast.
What children seem to know that us adults don’t, is that these things are actually seen as a sign of strength, a sign of bravery and proof that they tried.
Be the hero of your own life
This is such an important one. When you hear grown ups speak much of the time, there can be lots of excuses. “I can’t to that because…”, “well, I would do but…”. You also hear a lot of blaming of others for situations adults find themselves in.
In addition to this, the vast majority of adults (minus the narcissistic people out there of course), downplay their own achievements. No one likes a bragger right? No one wants to be regarded as egotistic or conceited do they? We naturally put ourselves down to be more relateable to others.
Children on the other hand will normally be the hero or the winner in any story they tell you.
The thing about heroes is that they take action, they fight, the build others up and they achieve the impossible.
We can learn a lot from this.
Always try new things
How many times have you caught yourself saying to someone, “I wish I had tried… when I was younger” – why does this always have to be in the past? Why can’t we still have it on our list of things to do and things to look forward to?
Children are not afraid to play a sport they have never tried before, they don’t have the same fear of the unknown as we do. Adults are much more likely to stay in their comfort zone forever.
Notice the little things
Last week I was walking with my youngest from a car park to a meet point at a farm park where his playgroup we going to be. We were late meeting the group because we had to walk through a forest and every few seconds he stopped to marvel at something new.
A little stone, a bug, a flower, a big stick, and so it went on.
I found myself saying “come on, come on, we are going to be late” several times and then I stopped myself. Did it really matter? No, of course not!
How amazing is it that children notice all these things? These small but amazing things around us every day. It seems to me that we could all benefit from some of this.
To be happy
We all want to be happy don’t we?
Children are much better than us adults at achieving this. Very small things can make them happy and as grown ups we should learn from this. We get so bogged down sometimes in the bad stuff and what still is yet to be achieved, that we forget just how happy those simple things can make us.
To love unconditionally
To love unconditionally, without expecting anything else in return is something else we can learn from out children.
I often hear my children say “I did…to make him/her happy” – they don’t want anything in return, they just want to see their sibling or friend happy. What a lovely quality that is.
In a world where we have so many expectations of one another and where there are so many trade offs, a bit more unconditional love can’t be a bad thing.
Try, try again
As grown ups we tend to look for quick fixes to things a lot of the time. We can also get quite disheartened when things don’t quite go to plan or don’t work out the first time.
Children, especially very young children will often just keep on trying until they get it right. They aren’t self-conscious in the same way as us adults.
If our children can patiently re-build that tower or re-stack the dominoes, can’t we have the patience and the confidence to master our latest attempt at exercise or that DIY job at home, or even that CV re-write we’ve been putting off?
What do you think we can learn from our children?