Important Life Lessons I have Learned From Children
For other articles about life lessons see:
More lessons children have taught us:
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.
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?
For more information about children see:
- Encouraging Children to Read
A child can travel to new places, meet new people, and learn about our world through reading. But for some children learning to read is a difficult task, and they have yet to discover the joys of reading....
- Should Your Child be on Meds?
I sneak quietly into my son's room.
- Does Your Child Have Aspergers Syndrome?
As a parent do you sometimes feel your child is different than other children? Are you perplexed by peculiar behaviors? Do you sometimes feel sad because your child shirinks away from hugs and doesn't want to...