What kids can teach the rest of us
Author: Thato Tinte
Life lessons from our little ones
What if, instead of spending all our time teaching children to be more like us, we tried to become a little more like them?
Here are four practical life lessons (that adulthood has seemingly made us forget) that we could learn from children, lessons that may just help us find a little more lightness to being.
1. Enjoy the present moment
Children live as freely as birds – detached from yesterday’s worries or tomorrow’s concerns, they savour the moment they’re in and sap up all the happiness it has to offer. They can run down a hill, throw their arms out into the wind and relish in the thought that they are nowhere else but here.
For adults this is unfortunately not the case. For many of us, we have completely forgotten how to do something as simple and be here. We have forgotten how to live in this moment, as its happening.
And it’s understandably hard, in this digital world we have a dichotomy to our existence, we can be around but not present. But don’t let that distract you from practising being mindful.
Just try spending a little more of your day being in the moment, as you’re experiencing it.
2. Find joy in the simple pleasures
Charlie Chaplin once said that a day without laughter is a day wasted – and kids know this!
Children don’t need a reason to smile, laugh or to be happy – they find joy around them and appreciate life’s simple pleasures.
Whether it’s a well-timed burp, chasing the cat around the house or seeing mommy jump at the sound of a popping balloon – kids find joy in the smallest of things.
See a fountain on a hot summer’s day? Appease your inner child and run through it without a care in the world!
3. Try new things (even before you’re ready)
Children are fearless. How many times do we see toddlers fall while learning to walk? Yet they continued to pick themselves up and wobble on.
Adults, on the other hand, are often paralysed by the fear of the unknown or the possibility of failure.
Children jump first and figure the rest out later. They don’t wait to be “ready” to do or learn something. They are fearless in their pursuits of new experiences and new opportunities.
You want to summit Mount Kilimanjaro? Vacation solo? Or sing a karaoke duet with a stranger – do it. If it intimidates you, it will grow you!
4. Appreciate the scars
When a child breaks a bone, everyone they know signs their cast. They become the superstar of the class, the survivor writes publicist, Jocelyn Kelley in the Huffington Post.
Similarly, if a child falls and cuts themselves, everyone wants to see the scar, and the child wears it with pride.
Adults have grown to “hide their scars and wounds” – viewing these as signs of weakness or vulnerability, instead.
But children know better! To a child, scars are a badge of honour, a sign of strength, somewhat of an accomplishment – a story to tell.
From today, embrace your scars – whatever they may be – and choose to wear them with pride! You’ve experienced challenges, but you’ve overcome them, or are in the processing of doing so - your story continues.
Children seem to have this ‘life thing’ figured out a lot better than us adults. But we could too, if we take the opportunity to learn – bottom up.