Sometimes in life our greatest teachers come from sources that may surprise us. Don’t assume having lived a full life or being older signifies wisdom. This is not always the case. Often the young have bags of wisdom that we can tap into.Their wisdom is often uncluttered, unbiased and unaffected, unlike our complicated adult thought process. Children often speak the truth. It can be hard for our adult brains to accept their truth but if we open up our minds, really listen and accept their insights we can learn and delight in how they interpret their own world.
1. My eight-year-old was brushing his teeth last night and suddenly he looks at me. Out of the blue he says,
‘I was thinking Mum, there is no point in having a life, if you don’t use it’.
Wow. What a revelation. What insight. Such conviction and what frank truth. I wonder how many adults live their life to the full? How many adults ‘use‘ the life they have been given? How many of us create our own pathways, our own opportunities and fearlessly ‘use’ this one life? My Sons belief makes us really sit up and consider, ‘Is this the life I really, truly want? I only have one shot at this! Just one! So I better use it wisely!’
2. I was sitting chatting to my husband, drinking tea, thinking about our future plans. The three kids are passing a big blue ball to each other, carefully ensuring the little one gets a go. But what strikes me in this rather ordinary moment is the laughter. They are all giggling and smiling at each other. They are enjoying the moment. They are truly living in the moment. I wonder how many adults can do this? I know I struggle!
3. ‘I know what’s most important in life Mum…It is family…then I think it is love and happiness and I would guess money is the least important, I mean we do need money and all that to buy food, stuff…but family is what is most important right?’
Right on. Another gem from my eight-year-old. Too often we grown ups get this back to front, we strive to have the house, car, gadgets, holidays, clothes, handbags…it’s only human to want a slice of the pie, to want to give ourselves and our children a comfortable life. But what was refreshing about my Sons thoughts is this – he could see that without family, love and our own personal contentment – money is pretty worthless.
4. Eat when you are hungry, drink when you feel thirsty, lie down when you feel like a rest, when you have energy use it. Children, if you watch closely, are wonderful are listening to their bodies and giving it what it requires. They pay attention to what they need and meet their own needs. Pretty clever! How often do we rush around and forget to eat lunch?
5. A hug and a kiss goes a very long way. A little affection, a good night kiss, a gentle pat on the back, a knowing smile, a little wink, a little gentle encouragement. All children need acknowledgment. They strive to achieve recognition from their loved ones. Maybe we should follow suit and really acknowledge each other more. A little kindness, compassion and understanding goes a long way in relationships. Our children need it to flourish, we still need it as grown ups.
What have you learned from your children or from kids in general?