So much uneasiness and so many serious events in the news. Pondering it all took me to a different place. It just seemed to be a good time for a change of direction.
The focus always seems to be on what we can teach our youngest contingent. Let’s turn things around, shall we? What are some of the valuable things we can learn from them?
These aren’t new lessons, because when we were children, we had them down. Somehow, as we got older, busier… perhaps sidetracked, what came naturally to us as kids became unpracticed and sometimes as good as gone. Well, are these things still important now that we’re grownups? You betcha! So let’s be reminded.
1. Be confident. You never see a five-year old shy away from proclaiming what she doesn’t like or what she wants. Sure, we can use a bit more decorum, but there’s something to be said for speaking up. That’s how change happens, after all.
2. Be silly. What a great stress reliever! Find opportunities to let out your inner silly heart…. with or without a child present. If you have #1 down, it won’t matter much what other people think. And, chances are, they’ll either envy your reckless abandon or join in.
3. Show affection. As the years go by, we tend to be less spontaneous and generous with affection towards those who mean the most to us. Remember all those big hugs we used to give out without provocation? Who doesn’t still benefit from those?
4. Take risks. Children are constantly seeking out new adventures and experiences. Why should that stop? No one should allow themselves to get stale. Too old you say? Nonsense!
5. Find humor in things. As kids, this was so easy. Now, everything is so serious. We use humor to diffuse tension with young children, so why not use it to lighten our own mood. Laughter is contagious, so spread it around!
6. Focus on the good in people. Children will have an occasional tiff with their friends, but they move on. There are no grudges. They enjoy and accept each other at face value, without dwelling on their shortcomings or over-analyzing. Getting back to this would sure make life a lot better, right?
7. Value the little things. That’s what children do. The best part of that pricey family vacation might not be the theme park. Instead, what they talk about again and again is the day it rained and they played board games in the hotel room with their siblings. Try to appreciate those kinds of special moments now, too.
8. Live in the moment. Don’t be fixated on what you have planned for tomorrow. And, try to cut back on the multitasking. It isn’t doing you any good. Put down the devices and be there for your children, significant other, friends, and even yourself. You may be surprised at how meaningful this can be… and how much you’ve been missing.