Rediscovered Families

5 Things Children Can Teach Us About Living

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I really like it when children come into the library. They bounce in with enthusiasm, often bringing laughter and joy in their wake. Have you noticed that children tend to enjoy life in all its fullness? Do you wonder why that is? What do young children know that we adults seem to have forgotten? What can we learn from them about living? Quite a lot actually, but here are my top 5

1. How to Live Spontaneously

Children do not plan ahead.  They live spontaneously, embracing every opportunity that presents itself to them. Obviously they don’t have adult type responsibilities to deal with, but I think that we can still learn from them. It is so easy to get caught up in our schedules and pass up golden opportunities, because they weren’t part of our to do list. Perhaps we need to follow our children’s lead and  seize those precious moments when they come along.

2. How to live in the present moment

Children don’t worry about things like how the day will turn out, or how many toys they can play with in one day. They don’t replay the day and wish they had spent more time playing with the blocks and less with the cars. They don’t berate themselves because they didn’t eat enough fruit. In fact, children don’t worry about anything—at all. They don’t dwell on the past or future, but live in the present moment. That is such a calm place to be and we would do well to imitate them.

3. How to be authentic

Children don’t feel the need to explain themselves. They don’t change or filter their behavior to look a certain way around others. They don’t even worry about what others think. Instead they are totally authentic—what you see is what you get. Isn’t it a shame that this starts to change as we grow up? Perhaps it’s time to reclaim the joy of being genuine and stop worrying about what others think of us.

4. How to Enjoy Life’s Simple Pleasures

Have you ever watched a child play for ages with a cardboard box? Children are not caught up in the materialism of the world, and the need to be entertained by the latest gadget. They enjoy whatever they have on hand. In fact they actually play better if they have fewer toys to choose from. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if the world followed their lead?

5. How to Banish Perfection

One of the highlights of my week is the preschool story time at the library. Every week the children and I enjoy some stories and do a craft together. It’s such fun. The children paint, craft and embellish to their hearts content. Most of these creations are definitely unique and often messy or lopsided, but they are taken home with pride. They are often designated as a gift for a parent or grandparent. It never occurs to the young artists that what they have made is not good enough to give away. It is a good reminder to me that my life doesn’t have to be picture perfect. If I have done something with love then it is good enough.

As you connect with your children this week I would encourage you to open your heart, mind, and eyes. Listen to them; watch them as they engage in play, learning, and fun. Allow their questions and observations about EVERYTHING to challenge you. After all we do not know all there is to know about life. Maybe it’s time for us to learn from our children and discover the wisdom they have to offer.

I know that this is not a complete list by any means. It is just the things I appreciate the most. I’d love to hear from you. What life lessons have you learned from the children in your life?

13 thoughts on “5 Things Children Can Teach Us About Living”

  1. It’s the most ironic thing that while I’m supposed to be teaching my daughter about life, she’s teaching me even more! I also love how kids feel emotions so unfiltered – from desperately disappointed about not getting an ice cream to ecstatically happy about going to the park!

    1. I love that too! You never have to guess what a child is feeling they show it with their whole body. I think it is waaay healthier than holding everything inside.

  2. Terrific points you make, Sharon. Yes to the cardboard box mention, there must be limitless creative possibilities when playing with one of these. I got a kick out of this one, “They don’t replay the day and wish they had spent more time playing with the blocks and less with the cars.” So true.

    Blissings,
    ~ Dena

    1. I’m always amazed at the things children do with cardboard boxes.I love the creativity that is unleashed. Thanks for visiting and leaving a comment Dena.

  3. My children constantly teach me patience. Every day. They also help me remember to enjoy the moments more and to stop worrying about later. Live in the now. I have so much to learn!

    1. Oh yes patience is a HUGE one! I too have so much to learn about living mindfully. I think children do this instinctively. Why do we grow out of that as we get older?

  4. Thanks Sharon, I really enjoyed reading this and can relate to the points you have made. I once read somewhere that each person we come across in life is an assignment- we have something to learn from everyone we come across. Not long ago, my kids and I were talking about bullying and I retold a story about when I was bullied as a kid, and my 6 year old said to me afterwards, “Mum, that was the past, it’s already happened so you don’t have to think about it anymore”. Such simple yet powerful words, and a great lesson for me!

  5. Eva @ The Multitasking Mummy

    You know, I’ve never thought about it that way and it makes total sense. Wouldn’t it be great if they could stay that way, but unfortunately it is learnt and that is why we can learn so much from our kids!

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