Adults spend a lot of time teaching things to young people. But, what if we took a moment to think about the things that kids can teach us? The lessons we can learn from youngsters really could improve – and simplify – life in big ways.
Friends matter. When you’re young, you can jump into a group of people and make instant friends! As kids get older, “friend drama” can be hard to navigate, but the bottom line is this: The connections you make with people shape and nourish you. Whether you have a best friend forever or lots of friends you share with, it’s good to have people to talk with about your ideas and your life. It’s also helpful to BE a friend and get perspective by listening to and learning from others.
Look for the little things around you. Kids notice the coolest little things! Cloud shapes, interesting bugs, that last bit of snow on the ground that they simply MUST stomp on… kids are all-in the moment, taking in everything, not distracted by a to-do list, work or bills. While we cannot just ignore all the things we must do as adults, we should try to spend moments just being present and really seeing the beauty around us – in nature, architecture and more. Put away the phones and look UP. There’s a lot to see.
Ask WHY? Parents of toddlers hear this a lot. Why, why, why? Kids have an insatiable curiosity about how things work. As we grow up, we take a lot for granted and forget to stop and wonder. Stay curious and continue to ask questions, even if you’re looking up your answers online rather than asking mom and dad!
Be what you want to be. One day your kid may want to be a chef when they grow up. The next day they want to be a professional ping-pong player. Nothing is off limits, and the world is an open book of opportunities! We get more realistic as we grow up, and we make choices for our paths in high school, college and training programs. But, we shouldn’t give up that childlike perspective. What do YOU want to be when you grow up?
PLAY! Jump in puddles, hop on your bike or dance in your living room. Just have some fun. We would never expect kids to go days without playing, and we should have the same standard for ourselves.
There’s a lot to be said for looking at the world from the perspective of a kid. We owe it to ourselves to make each day count and enjoy it, just like they do!