Ten lessons we can learn from our children

Children experience the world with wonder and curiosity. The majority of things in their young lives are new to them. Their world is full of possibilities, surprises and new experiences to discover. By taking a leaf (or ten) out of their book, we could learn to live more fulfilled lives.

Be honest

That white lie you told your coworker about going to the gym everyday since Christmas? Adjust your thinking and be honest about the amount of chocolate you’re consuming on a daily basis (those Roses won’t get rid of themselves). Children tend to tell the truth in most situations, even when they know it will get them into trouble. Up to a certain age, it doesn’t occur to them to lie and this is something we could all benefit from doing in our daily lives.

Believe in magic

There’s a reason, however bizarre, that we encourage our children to believe that a strange man in a red suit comes down our chimneys every Christmas to deliver us presents, and that a woman with a penchant for dentistry exchanges our loose teeth for coinage if we put them under our pillow. It changes mundane, everyday experiences into exciting occasions.

Lose your inhibitions

Children really do dance like nobody’s watching. Until you can join your child in a serious rendition of the Hokey Pokey, you’re not living life as your child does.

Learn how to play

Children play all the time, it’s their primary method of learning. In the grocery store, they’re playing by counting how many objects go into the basket or peek-a-boo with their parent pushing them around in the cart; in the back garden they capture dastardly monsters so their younger sibling can remain safe. They find the fun in the everyday things, something we could learn to do too!

Start over

Had a bad day yesterday? Bracing yourself for work today? Not your child. They woke up this morning feeling fresher than ever because today is a new day full of only one thing: possibility.

Be a hero

When telling us a story children often recount themselves as the hero. Adults tend to slide into self-deprecation to save face. Learn to feel good about yourself and tell it like it is – you’re the hero of your own story.

Take pride in yourself

Children are endlessly proud of their achievements, big or small. Though our boss might not always lavish praise on us like we do our children, it is still important to take pride in our work.

Rediscover wonder and awe

When developing their vision, babies focus on the tiniest details within their sight range. A butterfly on a flower or the pattern rain drops make on the window can incite a sense of wonder and awe at the world that we’ve lost as adults. Stop and watch the butterfly or listen to the rain with your child and live vicariously through their awed curiosity.

Ask for what you want

Children are unafraid to ask for what they want, and statistically you’re 50 per cent likely to get what you want in life if you ask for it. Think you might be able to wrangle a discount out shopping? Ask. Angling for that promotion? Ask your boss what you can do to make it happen.

Learn to forgive and forget

Children are resilient; they can be upset with someone in one moment, crying and fighting over a toy, then in the next they can apologise or accept an apology and move on, playing happily as if it never happened. Living in the moment like this is something that us adults forget to do in our daily lives, sometimes carrying slights around with us for the rest of the day. Be like your child and learn to forgive and forget.


Originally posted 2017-01-12 12:33:45.