Even small children can teach us about the world and ourselves.
Anyone who has had the chance to observe a child marveling at nature’s diversity knows that a ladybug or a duck can bring incredible joy and admiration to a child’s face, and following a line of ants in the forest can become a fantastic adventure. Children don’t need faraway foreign journeys to appreciate the uniqueness of the world.
When we look at the real world through children’s eyes, a well-known path can become a place that still offers much to discover. Now that I have little children, I often notice that I look for interesting things as I walk, even when by myself. I react to the sights and sounds around me; “Ding, dong, ding, dong” — “The bells are ringing!”, or “Oh, a siren — an ambulance is coming,” or “Oh, chestnuts!” or “What colorful flowers!”
Here are 5 other life lessons we can learn by observing the innocent, wondrous, and curious way our kids view the world:
Look at me!
Everyone needs affirmation and a sense of being important to someone. However, the first years of life are a period when those needs are particularly important. As parents, we are multitasking all the time — we take care of the children while cooking dinner, doing laundry, paying bills, etc. But we should remember that sometimes we could put some of those things off for later.
Maybe your child has made a tower out of blocks for the first time, after trying for a month, or managed to put his foot into a sock, which was a big deal. Those are the moments when they need our “Bravo! You did it!” more than evenly folded clothes in the closet.
I like to control the chaos in my house, but once in a while, it’s good to leave the pots alone and simply look at the excited face of a child. A child needs a companion in his adventures. He needs someone with whom to share the sparks of joy in his eyes when he does something exciting. Let’s catch as many as possible!
Don’t give up!
I don’t remember how many times I gave up on something because I wasn’t successful the first time. Has that happened to you? Little children are incredibly determined creatures — if they want something, they keep trying until they get it. Just because he couldn’t get onto the highest chair in the living room today, doesn’t mean that he won’t get there tomorrow. Sometimes I look at all his failures and continued attempts to reach his goal, and I think that I should follow my child’s example. I should get up and fight for what is important to me!
Mom, look at those people!
Little children can’t hide their emotions. Their reactions are natural and spontaneous. At the store, they wave “bye-bye” to a saleslady who always complains about the weather, and whom, to be honest, I don’t really like. They smile at the homeless man because they like his funny hat. They engage old ladies at church. They play with an uncle who talks loudest about politics at the holiday table. Children can find good where we don’t see it. In their eyes, people have no labels. I want to look at other people that way.
I forgive you!
Love “is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.” A child then is love in its purest form. As adults, we can be angry for hours; nay, we can be upset with each other, hold on to grudges, and stew over things for days, months, or even years. And children? They don’t know how to hold on to anger that way. They forgive us for raised voices, lack of time, or lack of patience. Just like that. They want to forget and play with us.
They need us, and that need is more important than our weaknesses. They really want to see good in us. If we could forgive each other the way children do, our hearts would carry a much lighter load.
You are important!
All of us have experienced loneliness or rejection in some way. When we become parents, we suddenly realize that we were never so valuable, so beautiful, and so needed in anyone else’s eyes, as we are now. Children remind us that by looking for our help in the simplest of things they are seeking our closeness and our presence. No one and nothing will replace that.