Throughout life, we encounter numerous teachers in different forms. Schoolteachers can be remarkable; experience teaches us the harder, more effective way; and our parents serve as our life teachers. But have you ever thought what we can learn from children? Most people believe that children only learn from us. But if you look closer, there are many things they can teach us as adults!
Fearlessness. Some kids have daring, confident, throw-caution-to-the-wind spirits. They don’t know to fear the danger they haven’t yet learned. Children may spontaneously approach strangers and strike up a conversation without even worrying about how they will come across. They may have no reluctance meeting new people or speaking in front of their class. They may also have an anxious thirst to ride that thrilling new theme park ride, although they may still be too small. Children are naturally fearless, because they haven’t yet learned such fears. But as adults, we can also be fearless despite our fears. Although we’ve learned our fears, we can still adopt a childlike fearlessness and just go for it when we apply for that job, start that nonprofit, or when we share our backstory.
Saying “No!”When toddlers learn how to speak, one of the easiest words for them to utter is “No!” You will tell or ask them anything, and they will yell, “No,no, noooo!”But playfully, of course. Here’s the thing: they say “No” so effortlessly and quickly. Although they may not always know exactly what they are saying “No” to, we can learn how to say “No” to others when we really need to. Many adults still struggle with this, but will learn that saying “No” will make their lives easier and keep their burdens from snowballing. So, you don’t have to say “No” like a toddler, although it’s understandable if you can’t fulfill other people’s requests because your body or schedule won’t permit it.
Carefree spirit. Ahh, the nostalgia of running around outside, spontaneously splashing our bodies in a great pile of leaves; box sledding down a snowy hill, not even worrying about school or responsibilities. Many of us may look at children in admiration and wish,“If only our lives were still this simple!”Children may not have bills, jobs, or share the responsibilities as we adults do, but we can still learn how to be carefree…responsibly carefree! Yes, being relaxed and content even when we have payment deadlines and errands. Taking time every day out of your schedule to do something that relaxes you will relax your mind and body to a point where your stressors won’t pinch you as much. Also, since jobs can be a major source of stress, try finding a job you will love, one that feeds your passions, even if it’s a side hustle. Apart from your hectic day job, you will have something that you will love to engage in. Also, remember to take pleasure in the subtleties of life: momma’s home cooking, the laughter and joy of your children, traveling, sleeping, anything that de-stresses you and gives you peace. This will awaken your carefree spirit animal.
Willingness to learn and receive. Just as dehydrated sponges are so eager to soak up all accessible moisture to expand, children’s brains are naturally open and receptive to novel information. They quickly grasp their colors, animals, numbers, and letters. It’s also a known fact that the best time to learn a foreign language is before the age of 10. Their minds are both hungry and thirsty for knowledge! In the same way, we must stay willing to learn more. A child may think by the time they become a “grown up” that they will have all the answers. We’ll never have all the knowledge in this life, but we can never stop learning. Sometimes we let pride get in the way of learning new things and we eventually stagnate if we let that pride go too far. So, we must embrace knowledge as children do.
Whether it’s the quickness to grasp a belief or giving to others the same way toddlers freely hand us objects, there is sometimes nothing wrong with letting children be our teachers.