As parents, we are responsible for setting a good example for our kids and seizing those teachable moments to ensure they learn to grow into healthy, functional adults. But, have you ever stopped to consider that your kids can be teachers too and may provide wonderful lessons that can be applied to adult life?
Read on to find the top 11 life lessons we can learn from our children.
1. Judge less
Kids (especially younger ones) have yet to be tainted by prejudice. They love and interact with people and animals they deem fun and loving. As adults, we are often guilty of judging others and filter our interactions based on critical and sometimes biased reasons. Let’s learn from our kids to judge less and love more.
2. Get excited
Kids can get excited over the smallest things; it could be a trip to the grocery store or their weekly ballet class. Sure, as adults we often get so caught up in the mundane, day-to-day routine that we forget to have a “high on life” attitude. Learn to get excited about small things, whether it’s simply going home to your dog or a trip to your favourite restaurant. You don’t have to have an exotic beach trip planned to have something to look forward to. Appreciate the small things in life.
3. Have patience
Surprisingly, young kids can teach us about patience – yes, their constant ability to put our patience to the test is actually teaching us the importance of this skill, not only when it comes to little ones, but also in our day-to-day lives.\
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Children can have wild imaginations! If you reflect back on your childhood, you most probably had one too, which was overshadowed by logic as you matured. In the adult world, imagination can, in fact, help you achieve your goals. Use your imagination to find new solutions to problems you are facing; practise thinking outside of the box and watch those everyday tasks become just a little more interesting.
5. Be silly
Kids can be goofy little creatures, and guess what? We can too! Sometimes we tend to take ourselves a little too seriously. Cut loose, laugh a little! The ability to light-heartedly poke fun at yourself and use humour as a tool is invaluable. The ability to be a little silly can also ease tension and lighten the day. Don’t be afraid to let your hair down at times.
6. Be brave
We often see kids leaping from jungle gyms and doing flips on monkey bars. As adults we may think twice before taking such risks, but sometimes it pays to take risks and be a little fearless whether it’s starting your own business or taking that Zumba class at the gym you’ve always been curious about.
7. Be inquisitive
Kids are just so full of questions, aren’t they? And the truth is, even as adults, we cannot possibly know everything. Apply this lesson to your next conversation. Instead of dominating the conversation with your own thoughts and opinions, take a step back and actually listen to what the other person is saying. Learn from others instead of assuming that you know all there is to know.
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8. Ask for what you need
When kids want to be picked up, they stretch out their little arms to you. If they want food, they ask. Have you ever stopped to consider how much you may have gotten if you simply verbalised your need? Perhaps you feel that something is missing in your relationship? Ask for it. Do you feel that you deserve a promotion at work? Ask. You may be surprised by the results. The worst that can happen is a “no” but you will not go through life wondering “what if”.
9. Trust your instincts
Have you ever noticed how children are incredibly intuitive? It is said that we are born with everything we need already within us. Learn from children to trust your gut when it comes to people and situations.
Children may get upset easily and two minutes later can be best friends with the child who used their favourite crayon. If you constantly withhold forgiveness from those you felt have wronged you, learn to forgive a little more freely. Forgiveness does not necessarily mean accepting bad behaviour; it just means letting go of unnecessary negativity.
11. Live in the present
Your toddler doesn’t have regrets; after all, there’s not much to regret! It is also unlikely that your toddler is worrying about what is going to happen a few years down the line. Little ones simply live in the present, which is a great tool we can apply to adult life. Don’t waste the present by worrying about the future or focusing on the past.
Now let your hair down, laugh at a silly joke and go hug your neighbour!