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7 Lessons We Can Learn from Children

by Joy Nelson about a year ago in children
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It Starts with Humility

Photo by Sharefaith from Pexels

I don’t have kids, and I don’t know if I ever will, but I still marvel at them. Little human beings are entertaining, heartwarming, and the stewards of our future. But they can also be our teachers. Here are seven lessons I think all adults can learn from the little ones in their lives.

Be Humble

Humility often has a bad connotation. The message we often receive is that we should fight for what we’re entitled to, that it’s bad it’s bad to be wrong, and that being the best is important. But that type of pride is dangerous and can choke our ability to learn. Children are humble enough to learn from the adults in their lives, and they’re (usually) not afraid to make mistakes. It’s a huge part of their growing process, and who says that growing has to stop as the years go by?

Of course, balance is necessary. Don’t think that I’m promoting a lack of self-respect. I’m just saying that no matter who you are, you can always learn something from the guy sitting next to you.

Trust Wholeheartedly

Most kids have amazing trust in their parents (or other legal guardians). And yes, sometimes they get let down, but they’re usually willing to trust again. That type of openheartedness is lacking in many adults. Again, don’t get me wrong — I’m not advocating naivety or loyalty to toxic relationships. What I am advocating is the decision to let go of suspicion where no suspicion is due. This can come across in little things, like not wondering what your significant other is doing on their phone. Or it can come across in big ways, like choosing to rebuild a relationship that has suffered some serious damage (if there is good reason to do so).

Find the Wonder

Sure, the world is messed up. But kids don’t focus on that. They’re busy thinking about how awesome the latest video game is or on how cool their favorite animal is. Why do we lose that wonder as we grow older? Yes, we are more aware of the bad things in life, but the bad things usually don’t make the good things any less good.

It’s appropriate to be sad that elephants are almost extinct, but it’s wonderful to think about how strong their trunks are or how they thrive in their communities. It’s fine to be stressed about work, but how cool is it that we have enough money to buy takeout (almost) whenever we want? Finding happiness and joy in the little things won’t change the world, but it might change our perspective on it.

Be Ridiculous

Who doesn’t laugh when a small child strips down to their underwear, wraps a blanket around themselves, and claims they are a superhero? Such antics are ridiculous — and delightful. As adults, we might not be able to get away with parading around in our underwear (at least not in public), but I say we should give ourselves permission to be silly. Maybe that silliness is hanging a spoon on your nose or learning the latest TikTok dance, or maybe it’s just writing an absolutely absurd story. Ridiculousness fires the imagination. So be ridiculous.

Be Kind

Many children are inherently kind. If an adult sees a flea-ridden stray dog, their first reaction might be to stay away. A child will want to adopt the dog, nurse it back to health, and turn it into their best friend. That type of compassion is lacking in today’s world, often because we are too busy to think about how we can make someone’s world brighter. But why not make more of an effort to be kind? Not only will you help someone else, but you’ll help yourself in the process. Research indicates that being kind to others reduces stress, releases feel-good hormones, and might even contribute to extended longevity.

Don’t Be Afraid to Need Other People

Children know they are dependent on their guardians. Their food, shelter, and clothing are all a direct result of what their guardians do for them.

As adults, we might tend to take on an attitude of fierce independence, believing that we need no one. The flaw in that thinking is that humans are social creatures by nature. We are healthier and happier when we establish trusting, open relationships with other humans. Don’t mistake this for co-dependence. I’m talking about not being afraid to depend on someone else, even though you may be more than capable of going it alone.

Say What’s on Your Mind

Kids say the darndest things — that’s because they aren’t afraid to speak what’s on their mind. They might accidentally insult fat Aunt Carol, mispronounce words with enthusiasm, and more. No one minds because they’re kids and have a license to say off-the-wall things.

As adults, the mind-to-mouth filter might kick into overdrive. We might be afraid of not being politically correct, or maybe we’re just dreading ridicule and controversy. It’s always good to be tactful and polite, of course, but there is definite merit in speaking up when the need arises, even if you have an unpopular opinion or know you’ll be met with resistance.

What lessons have you learned from the kids in your life?

Author's Note: Thanks for reading! If you enjoyed this, please drop a heart. If you are interested in more of my mind's random ramblings, please subscribe.

children

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Joy Nelson

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