Important Life Lessons I have Learned From Children

We are always trying to teach children -- teach them the rules, teach them how to behave, teach them skills. I have worked as a teacher for many years, and I also have two of my own children, so I have spent a lot of my time teaching. But what have I learned?

Perhaps one of the most interesting years I spent was volunteering as a tutor at my son's elementary school. I have worked with many older "at risk" youth during my career, and I've become a bit jaded. These young children reminded me of the important lessons I had probably learned as a child but had forgotten.

Children come into the world innocent. They don't make judgements, they are enthusiastic and energetic, and usually they're fairly cooperative. The children taught me some important lessons.

What people look like doesn't really matter.

Have you ever taken a child to the playground, and as soon as you get there, the child runs off to find a playmate? Children aren't concerned with how others look, rather they're interested in talking and playing with others. A child really doesn't even notice what the other person looks like, instead the child tunes in to who the person is and what makes the person interesting or special. To children physical appearances and the color of a person's skin just aren't very important.

If you fall, you can cry for a bit, but then get up and run.

When a child takes a tumble and skins their knee, s/he might need to be comforted for a bit, but the child quickly recovers and runs off to play. Adults should learn this important lesson: Don't brood and cry when bad things happen; sometimes you need to just get over it, and move on.

Sing and dance.

Young children are not concerned with how others perceive them, so they enjoy themselves. They love to move to music and sing, and express themselves in their own creative way. Singing and dancing make them joyous. As children grow older and reach adulthood, they recognize others are watching and worry about what people think. As their singing and dancing decreases, their expressions of joy decrease. Perhaps we should all learn to sing and dance more because the joy that accompanies these activities enriches lives.

Hold someone's hand.

Children walking to the park or going down the hall at school enjoy holding hands. Whether it be the teacher's hand, another child's hand, or a parent's hand, children look for a hand to grasp. They long for the sense of comfort felt through the touch of someone's hand.

We all need to feel comfort, but often we're afraid to ask for another person's support because we are too proud. We all, at times, need to hold someone's hand, and children know and accept this.

Every day is a new day.

Children have the uncanny ability to see every day as a new beginning. They forget about the past quickly. Has your child ever had a disagreement with their pal, and the next day they're best friends again? That's because children forgive and forget; they don't hold grudges. This is an important lesson adults should learn, and then relationships would be much more peaceful and happy.

Smile, it makes people happy.

Children smile because they truly are happy; their lives have not been complicated by too many responsibilities yet, and they find joy in the moment. As they experience joy, they share it through smiling and laughing. What children don't realize is they make others happy as they smile. A smile is contagious. When a child smiles at you, it's pretty hard not to smile back. And that's a good thing! Learn to smile a bit more, like children.

Believe.

It starts with stories and pretending; the ability to believe makes playing fun for children. Because they believe, they imagine, and in a child's world, nothing is impossible. The ability to believe spurs creativity and the development of faith.

What a great gift-- to be able to hold on to this childlike quality, for the ability to believe is a characteristic shared by many artists. Many adults lose the ability to believe; they only see things as they are, not as they could be. It is a great gift to be able to imagine and dream.

The ability to believe also leads to the development of faith. Without believing in something you cannot have faith in anything. Without faith there is no hope. Children remind us about the importance of believing.

Every day we teach our children something or other. Take time to observe children; what can we learn from them?

More by this Author


Comments 28 comments

Joyette  Fabien profile image

Joyette Fabien 17 months ago from Dominica

I enjoyed reading; it made me smile.

I would like to add too that not all children are that free. We must not forget the millions of children who have been hardened and embittered from very young as a result of their unfortunate circumstances. I work in Social Services and I encounter these situations frequently.

We must thank God for the happy children and for the parents and other adults out there who take up their responsibilities toward children seriously.


Triplet Mom profile image

Triplet Mom 5 years ago from West Coast

This was absolutely wonderful! I love looking at life through the eyes of children. Voted up and up


prairieprincess profile image

prairieprincess 5 years ago from Canada

Beautiful and so true! I love the one about cry for a little while and then keep on playing. I agree with you that we can learn a lot from children. Thanks for writing this!


Eiddwen profile image

Eiddwen 6 years ago from Wales

Hi Julie, I loved this hub and didn't move until I had got to the end!! I feel younger now at 52 than I did at 22. If you have a few spare minutes maybe you would like to read two of my hubs. 'FROM THIS MOMENT ON' and My Beautiful Little Girl' I have only just come across you on here and I will definitely be back in a bit to read some more of your work. Thank you for sharing and take care.


karlyn 6 years ago

its great


Julie A. Johnson profile image

Julie A. Johnson 8 years ago from Duluth, MN Author

Thanks Catlyn, To be "a kid at heart" is a gift because then you inspire others. Keep on being "a kid at heart"! Julie


Catlyn profile image

Catlyn 8 years ago from Somewhere in the OC

Julie ~ Profound nuggets of truth in your writing! I love it and always strive to remain a kid at heart


Julie A. Johnson profile image

Julie A. Johnson 8 years ago from Duluth, MN Author

dayzeebee, Thanks, glad you enjoyed it. I appreciate you sending it on to others. Julie


dayzeebee profile image

dayzeebee 8 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

Julie i like this article so much i'm sending this to mixx.com. i believe more people ought to read this and learn. thanks


Julie A. Johnson profile image

Julie A. Johnson 8 years ago from Duluth, MN Author

Jay, Thank you for the compliments, and feel free to share. Good teachers continue to learn, and sometimes they learn from their students. Never stop learning! Julie


JAY777 profile image

JAY777 8 years ago

Hi julie,

I'm exactly like you a person who always try to get lessons from experiences in almost any situation I'm in. I agree with what you recognize or learned with these kids. I am pretty amazed of those lessons you shared, which never even crossed my mind. All i did was just nod (in agreement).

I too am a teacher who teaches care givers how to handle kids. Though i've worked before in a deaf school for children; and been handling sundays schools in church, but i must say your views on this subject is amazing.

I hope you wouldn't mind me sharing your lessons with my students lol. It's really good i must tell you (no exagerations).

Thank you very much for this


Julie A. Johnson profile image

Julie A. Johnson 8 years ago from Duluth, MN Author

Marisue, Yes, sometimes we get too caught up in the business of taking care of things, and we forget about taking care of people, and that includes ourselves. A little play goes a long way to make a better day! Thanks for your insightful remarks. Julie


marisuewrites profile image

marisuewrites 8 years ago from USA

I agree, we stuff our inner child away too often! when we play, we reduce our stress and increase our enjoyment in life. Remembering that more often will make the world a better place and reduce our bloodpressure!! yes?


Julie A. Johnson profile image

Julie A. Johnson 8 years ago from Duluth, MN Author

Masonsmom, Yes, we lose something valuable when we lose that childhood innocence. A very insightful comment. Thank you. Julie

DariRai, I have found reminders can be helpful. Thanks for reading and responding! Julie


DaraRai profile image

DaraRai 8 years ago from New York

This is all so true! Thank you for reminding me.


MasonsMom profile image

MasonsMom 8 years ago from U.S.A.

This is great! it's too bad we tend to lose that childhood innocence.


Julie A. Johnson profile image

Julie A. Johnson 8 years ago from Duluth, MN Author

Thanks Ripplemaker,

Yes, I believe we can all learn something from children. Take care and keep writing.

Julie


ripplemaker profile image

ripplemaker 8 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

So much wisdom found in these words. In the preschool where I am almost everyday, I am a witness to all the things you have mentioned. :) Thanks Julie!

--michelle


Julie A. Johnson profile image

Julie A. Johnson 8 years ago from Duluth, MN Author

Christine,

Thanks so much for the great comments you made. Yes, my third grade son doesn't like holding my hand as much nowadays either, but every now and again, he still does. (actually, I think he prefers holding Dad's hand. And when he gets about 13, he'll be wanting to hold a girl's hand, I'm sure!)

Yeah, we all are a bit self-conscoius, aren't we. Keep on writing!

Julie


christinekv profile image

christinekv 8 years ago from Washington

Hi Julie -

A great topic and very well done! I agree w/ you in all that you said although, wanting a hand to hold.....unfortunately, there comes a time when kids don't want to be seen holding mom's hand because it's not cool, or "that's for babies." (we do all need to experience comfort, reassurance/security, as you pointed out). My 3rd grader and I have some really sweet moments, but not in front of his friends - LOL!

I particularly appreciate what you said about singing and dancing.....wish as adults we were more free to express joy and not so self conscious about what another might think.

I love Rob and Doghouse's comments.

Thanks for being a teacher....I have so much respect and appreciation for teachers. I know it's a challenging job and sometimes not enough appreciation is shown for what teachers do. Each child, as an individual, is different from the other; personalities, different learning levels, different upbringings etc and teachers (I'm big on support at home from us parents) have a tremendous job, trying to meet everyones needs. Those who teach and love it are truly special and priceless people.


Julie A. Johnson profile image

Julie A. Johnson 8 years ago from Duluth, MN Author

wannabwestern and Rob,

Thank you so much for the positive responses. I always like to read what other writers have to say about my hubs. I look forward to reading more hubs from both of you. Write on!

Julie


Rob Jundt profile image

Rob Jundt 8 years ago from Midwest USA

Your words are true and inspiring. Some of the most fun people I know are children in adult bodies. Thanks for such a great hub!


wannabwestern profile image

wannabwestern 8 years ago from The Land of Tractors

Great thoughts, Julie! A well-written and inspiring hub! I'll be reading this one again! Thanks!


Julie A. Johnson profile image

Julie A. Johnson 8 years ago from Duluth, MN Author

Doghouse and drummerboy,

Thank you for your kind words. Sometimes adults can learn the wisdom of children. Wrire on.

Julie


Julie A. Johnson profile image

Julie A. Johnson 8 years ago from Duluth, MN Author

Solarshingles,

Thank you for the coompliment--I appreciate it! Take care

Julie


drummer boy profile image

drummer boy 8 years ago from Kirksville,MO

good hub Julie, it is nicely laid out.


In The Doghouse profile image

In The Doghouse 8 years ago from California

As Christians we are told to become "as little children", humble, and teachable. You are pointed this out beautifully. Thank you.


solarshingles profile image

solarshingles 8 years ago from london

I need to thank you for this wonderful wise words, Julie! Thank you!

    Sign in or sign up and post using a HubPages Network account.

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No HTML is allowed in comments, but URLs will be hyperlinked. Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites.


    Click to Rate This Article
    working