Lessons from a 2-year old
There is so much that children can teach us. They are masters of living in the moment. They do not hold grudges. They bring so much joy to the world and do not hold back from loving unconditionally.
To become more child-like, I have taken seven key lessons and wisdom from my son.
Lesson 1 – Make smart use of calming tools.
There is a misconception that kids enjoy throwing tantrums. Child psychologists and other experts say otherwise. It is very stressful for children, even more so than adults, to experience meltdowns. Babies and children have not yet developed the requisite skills and neurological pathways to manage their emotions. Hence, the invention of the pacifier. It is such a great calming tool that it is no wonder some kids hang on to them for so long. Instant relief!
It would be funny if adults used dummies. Traffic jams would be a lot more entertaining.
Lesson 2 – When completely overwhelmed, go somewhere quiet.
Following on from the first point, children cannot yet understand and control their emotions when overstimulated. So they act out. It is a clear sign that their current environment is no longer serving them at that moment.
Adults are much more resilient in this regard. When we find ourselves in similar situations, we too should question whether to stay or not.
Acknowledging when a situation is hostile or tense and then extracting ourselves is a learned skill and requires a fair amount of self-awareness.
Lesson 3 – Find wonder in nature.
I’ll never forget the first time my son saw a tree. His eyes were filled with wonder and awe at this cascading green Bushwillow, with its umbrella-like shape and glinting leaves. He could have spent the whole day just staring at its magnificence.
Nature is the perfect antidote to the busy-ness of modern life. Take a moment every day not only to appreciate it but to become enraptured in it.
Lesson 4 – Play.
Everything is a game, after all.
Children run toward fun. And when they are in it, they are fully present. They have an incredible way of finding adventure in everything they do. Isn’t that, after all, what life is – an adventure?
Lesson 5 – Ask questions.
If you have children, you know what I mean.
A curious mind is a strong mind. Once we think we know everything, we have lost our humanity. What makes us human is an
ability to ask questions, a consequence of our sophisticated spoken language – Jane Goodall.
Lesson 6 – Tap into your imagination.
Walt Disney once said that worry is just the misuse of the imagination. We have not lost our ability to imagine. We can easily conjure up situations that could go wrong. Why then can we not also create scenarios of hope and happiness? The process is the same.
Lesson 7 – Cut out people who are mean.
Children have a remarkable ability to sense intentions. If they are not pure or appropriate, they will shy away or react. Younger children have a strong sense of self. They instinctively know whom they want to keep around and who is cramping their style, and they are not afraid to show you.
You become like the people you surround yourself with – Aesop.
Whom are you becoming?
When the child enters your life, it is time to learn. It is not the time to teach. If a child enters your life, it is time to relearn the life that you have forgotten. That a child can laugh without reason, that they can jump around for no reason, that they can become an exuberant burst of aliveness.