Graduating with a teaching degree, being in the field of education, and working as a part-time nanny and professional caregiver for the past eight years has taught me that we have so incredibly much to learn from children. The way they see the world, their loving spirits, their ability to focus on the now – all these lessons and more are so valuable, and so often overlooked.
1. There are infinitely beautiful things all around you.
Have you ever held a child’s hand and walked through the park? Stopped to pick every single dandelion on the path? Watched as a middle schooler made colorful patterns out of crayon shavings? What you can only learn from children is this—there is so much beauty all around you—the little things, the big things, the things so often overlooked.
Being around children is like pulling a mask from your face. Suddenly you’re seeing the world, almost as if for the first time. Everything is so vibrant and playful. Anything can be turned into a toy, a game, a challenge, a treasure. Everything is unquestioningly beautiful.
2. There’s nothing wrong with a little mess.
As we get older, for some reason it becomes more and more important to be clean, to toe the line, to have everything in order and making sense. Dirty hands are a sign of poor hygiene. A broken vasse is something to be punished for. A mess is not to be praised, but to be quickly cleaned.
What children teach us is that dysfunction means learning, chaos means growth, dirt means play, and mess means engagement.
And when we spend time around kids, we start to see that maybe we don’t have to be so uptight. Maybe it’s okay that they’re going to skin their knees or bite their nails after playing in mud. Maybe they’re not going to wash their hands before eating every single time, or shatter that expensive glass dish when throwing a ball in the house. Maybe they’re going to make mistakes, get messy, frustrate you—but maybe it’s healthy for them to learn, to be imperfect, to push your buttons. Because they’re just kids.
And maybe when you take a step back and slow down, you realize you’ve been prioritizing and obsessing over the wrong things. Maybe a mess isn’t the worst thing in the world after all.
3. All you have is right now.
Kids will act like the game they’re playing is the most important in the world, that they so desperately need five more minutes when they’re at a friend’s house, as if they’ll never see them again or they’re going to die if they don’t play one more round of kickball.
Kids take advantage of every single day, every single minute. They squeeze everything dry, trying to do and be and play as much as they possibly can—and this is a lesson we learn from them—that every moment counts. Because we’re not promised forever; all we truly have is right now.
4. You can find entertainment in anything.
Literally anything can be turned into a game, a toy, an attention-holder. Sometimes it’s not about the lights, the music, the latest and greatest—whatever you have is enough. Stop searching for more.
Read the entire article here: 9 Truths Only Children Can Teach You.
Featured Image Credit: Senjuti Kundu