Life Lessons to Learn from Young Children
The following is a guest post from Helen Huynh. We are blessed to have her writing for us today. Enjoy! (Find out more about her at http://homemadejoys.com/)
There were numerous times when I would stop what I do and just watch my children play. A smile would form in my face as I whisper a 'thank you' to the Maker who entrusted them to me because everyday I marvel at the blessings my young ones bring into our home. How silly of me to think I am here to teach them lessons and show them how to live life just because I am MOM. I realize that I learn from my little ones just as much as they learn from me. Each day I spend with them, I see some of life’s most valuable lessons.
How children become so adorable and so full of life, I have no idea. All I know is they give life more meaning. Even before they could speak, they teach. How? By the way they live. Here are my favorite life lessons that all of us could learn from young children:
At an indoor park one day, I noticed my 5 year old daughter tried to pass a little girl who struggled to go up the steps. On our way home, I reminded my daughter to patiently wait for her turn and not to cut someone off next time. She did not say a word but listened intently. Later that day, she said, “Mommy, I don’t remember that I did that. Next time we go back to the park, let me know so I can say sorry to the little girl”. It is a human thing to make mistakes. It takes love to admit those mistakes and make amends.
We are part of a community of diverse backgrounds and cultures. When my daughter was three, she would describe a person/people by the color of the shirts they wear. We learn habits from other people and from our environment. Our differences are then magnified. But we have more things in common, after all aren’t we all of the same race — the human race? We can choose to be colorblind. Treat people with love and respect, regardless of their looks, their status, even their attitude.
As grown ups, we sometimes put too much pressure on ourselves. We want to look our best and be our best. Prior to having two children, I spent way too much time looking in the mirror. I wanted to project the kind of person that people will like. But it’s not me. My children insist on comfortable shoes and clothes regardless of how they look. They care less about their hair or the kind of clothes they wear. They’d wear diapers outside the house if I let them.
Whether it’s just an empty water bottle that makes a funny sound or a cardboard box, little ones enjoy it like it’s the best thing in the world. They turn it into a musical instrument, a pillow, or a teether. I found out that it’s not fancy toys that make people happy. It’s the simple things in life that give immense joy, like good relationships. And yes, maybe that empty water bottle.
They like to go outside. They like to stay outside. They like to move around. They climb. They run. They jump. They don’t get tired. My daughter remind me about my workout time every morning that is because I often forget. When I turn on my exercise video, even my 1 year old get excited. They like to watch me exercise and then they join me. I mean, where do they get all this energy from? :D
In other words, don’t stress over the small stuff. Learn to say, “Is ok”. When my 1-year old son spills liquid on the carpet (again), my daughter is quick to pat me on the shoulder. “Mommy, is ok. Is ok, mommy”. Don’t sweat it. Just wipe off the mess and move on. Five years later, that carpet might not even be there anymore.
Dance. Sing. Laugh.
Whether you are an expert dancer or someone who could barely move your hips, it’s nice to let loose once in a while. Be silly. It’s not only a natural ‘de-stresser’, it also keeps one’s heart active. My daughter loves to do concerts at home, whether she has an audience or not, it doesn’t matter to her. What matters is the song in her heart. I admit I told her too many times to be quiet. But hey, she forgets. She chooses to be happy. Sing it. Dance it. If you can’t sing and dance, laugh about it.
Dare to Live.
Young children get excited about waking up. Everyday is rise and shine for them. No rainy days. Too often I tell my kids to go take a nap or go to bed and they answer me, no thank you. They are awake as soon as the sun is up and then they use up all their energy until the night comes. This actually impress me so much about young children. Dare to live. Each day.
Children can bring out the best and worst in us. They make a mess, they fight, and sometimes they disobey. After all, they are our children. But when we observe children so closely, it’s not hard to see that they know how to live life, to take risks, to have courage, to make mistakes, to be teachable, to love unconditionally and to really take it one day at a time.
What life lessons have young children taught you?
Helen Huynh is the epitome of sunshine and everything yellow. She is a wife, a mother of two, an entrepreneur, a good sister and friend. She lives life simply, loves deeply, and laughs every opportunity she has. You can find more of her wisdom and happy-iness at http://homemadejoys.com.
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