Children these days really amaze us. Their talks, their actions can really surprise us to the extent that we start thinking of how we as kids were – merely this smart and completely naive and innocent.
We always think it is our responsibility to teach kids values, qualities etc but these days kids teach us too. If you observe how the kids these days think, talk or their acts – there is so much that they teach us which could definitely be lessons for life. There is a reason why children are considered next to God – they are naive, naughty, innocent, sweet, free from bias and very clear headed (until we cajole them to think in our terms).
Observing them can really be a great learning experience like I have had so far with interactions with kids – be it my own brother’s kids, kids at an orphanage I have interacted, stories I know of kids of my colleagues etc.
They teach us life’s simplest lessons in the most naive and no nonsense way. Let me share the 15 best lessons that I have observed from watching little children.
1. Lesson of letting it go – How often have you seen kids easily switch their liking from old toys to new or their behavior from crying an hour ago to laughing? Have you seen how kids fight in one moment and then become best of friends in another? I can relate to this as I have realized that when I was a kid and I had fights with my friends, the next day we were back to normal. No questions on who did what, whose mistake it was, who was supposed to apologise etc. The focus was more on the importance of relationship than the importance of such events. Like the kids, we also should be following this lesson of letting go – be it events, situations, anger, grudges or even misunderstandings. It’s the best lesson children teach us.
2. Lesson of sharing – We have seen quite often that kids don’t share anything with anybody unless we as elders or parents coax them to. At a birthday party, you ask your little one to share his snacks with your colleague’s friend – of course he won’t. But there are times when children have their sense of wisdom to share. For example, I saw this video on Instagram where there was a test among kids (with their parents standing behind them) to walk down the street with some cash in their hand and they had to choose between buying an ice cream at the ice cream van (standing on one side) or giving alms to a beggar sitting across the road. Most kids were confused but actually chose to run to the beggar and give him the money. There was one kid who went to the extent of buying an ice cream cone and giving it to the beggar and these kids were not told by their fathers waiting behind them what to do. The kids walked down and then decided on their own. Such is the power of sharing. This teaches us that we should really share among the less fortunate ones, that gives us immense happiness just like the kids felt in this video.
3. Lesson of adapting to change or something new – Have you noticed how kids take time to adapt to their new school or when you are going to visit your relatives etc , kids take sometime to adjust to the new environment. They tend to become queit, more observant, some may even refuse to be at that place and cry but notice how eventually they begin to adjust, get used to the place, people, making friends playing jumping around that they adapt to that environment within the time you are ready to go back home in a matter of 2-3 hours. Such is the human tendency to adapt to changes. If we as humans, overthink so much before adapting to any change then we should learn from little kids who observe the new environment, make a picture of comfort in their minds and slowly get used to it. Try this little trick when you’re contemplating to incorporate any change. Remember – ‘It is not the strongest of the species nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change”.
4. Lesson of happiness – It is said that a child’s happiness is the best happiness because they smile or laugh without any reason. Take a deeper look at the pictures of kids smiling be it your own kids, nieces nephews, kids on the street or any picture with the kids smiling – observe the genuineness and no reason smile that the kids have on their faces. They do not have an exact reason when they are happy or that could also be because of the toys or family around but the genuineness of their smile touches my heart instantly. Their happiness is love at first sight for me , makes anybody happy instantly. Such should be our happiness – not attached to any reason of events, people or situations. Selfless happiness or more importantly, without any reason.
5. Lesson of hidden love behind sweet actions – Ever wondered how kids teach us the biggest lessons with their smallest actions? – be it getting your shoes when you’re going to office or even doing little things like writing you little notes with their broken alphabets or even their amateur drawings – observe their acts, behavior and even their drawings. They tell you a lot about their feelings towards you. Like in my case, my niece and nephew make cards on special days and they are always hand made. The words that are in those cards are exactly what they feel for me, irrespective of the fact that they have learnt only minimal to write or read. On my birthday this time, my niece also made a small notepad with lines drawn with sketch pens. I asked her, “Should I write phone numbers in these just in case I get lost?” and she responds – “No. Write letters to me in this and send”. That is all her response was. My brother and his family stay really far from my home and I do not see them often and my niece’s words touched my heart , I felt how much she misses me and I gave her a tight hug. Their innocence can be very silly but their feelings behind their actions express their immense love for you. What we can learn from their feelings is that they express, by their sweetest actions, their words – every little way they can they do.
6. Lesson of having big dreams and proudly proclaiming – Kids though are very naive yet they have their big dreams. I went to an orphanage recently to celebrate my birthday and spent sometime with the kids there and all the kids had something or the other to share. Each one kept screaming, “I want to be a policeman”, “I want to be a chief minister” etc. They are not aware of the process of achieving these goals, that their dreams are very big , yet they have the pride in which they announce and tell people they meet, it speaks so much about their interest and passion. All of us have big goals but why don’t we pursue it? They all die due to our overthinking of how we will work on it or what you should do to pursue it, will I be able to achieve it etc. Did you know, when you get strong with your dreams or goals, when you begin to speak more of it to people, write about it or think of it more and more, you get aligned to it slowly and closely and that pushes you to take steps to achieving it. Stop your mind from getting any negative thinking and innumerable fears. Get your mind to talk of your dreams, this helps you get closer to achieving it. We need to have a sense of pride like the kids to pursue our dreams rather than lament for not doing anything in life. Think about it!
7. Lesson of learning new things – Ever noticed when kids start kindergarten or play school and they learn new alphabets, rhymes etc how they start to constantly keep rattling it. They continuously keep murmuring to themselves, keep repeating it on constant basis and also bring about their versions as well. That is the best way to learn new things and also start loving it. Make yourself available to learning new things in life. May be you cannot keep rattling like they do but you can definitely fall in love with learning them and mastering them. Kids also fall in love with new things taught in school, that’s the reason they keep saying it continuously, they tell their parents in excitement. Notice the joy in their minds and faces when they say those rhymes and alphabets. Such excitement is required for us to be open and to enjoy learning new things.
8. Embracing new adventures – When you take your children to an amusement park or a mela as you call it, some kids get scared to try high rides, some get excited and want to try. I faced a similar experience with my 10 year old nephew. His school had an exhibition cum mela organised which had some fun rides like roller coaster, giant wheel etc. For me, going for any ride is a phobia already. Fear of falling or accidents are the phobias I have developed from my childhood so I’m very selective in going for rides. But my nephew was just the opposite. He chose to try every ride, with no nervousness, no tension, no super excitement feeling as well. He went to the roller coaster ride, smiled throughout the ride and came back happily. The same happened in giant wheel and other scary rides (scary according to me lol). I was amused by his joy – the joy of completing the ride and still feeling undeterred with heights or speed and still remaining calm with a smile. His attitude that I observed is something I want to learn and also wanted to share with you – Life brings us adventure of every sort, it is to us to decide how we want to face it. If you are fearful in your mind, you would not try it and later be guilty of not taking that chance. But if you take it in good spirits, you might enjoy that one of a kind experience and come out happily for having tried it and gaining a different experience altogether. This is life’s biggest lesson I learnt from my nephew. Think about it!
9. Lesson of observing and learning – This is a lesson for every parent, family members that all kids learn from observing your actions, behavior and attitude. Be wary of them when they are around you , when you are angry, frustrated, shouting at your parents or spouse. Kids are noticing all of it. They would not tell you what they feel or how they felt about it but it is important we set good examples to them, be it with our habits, our behavior, our attitude, our actions etc. When you’re smoking at home, getting irritated or shouting at your family members, snoring all day or working on your laptop without giving them attention, disrespecting the poor, getting physical on the road etc they notice all of it. So a lesson we need to learn is that we have to be wary of this fact and behave in good ways because kids observe, immitate us and learn from us. Even TV shows – ensure that they are watching healthy shows as that shapes their behavior at the age they are.
Also notice their acts or even their drawings, it shows that they put to paper what they have observed. Like when my brother’s kids make their drawings, it speaks a lot of what they have observed and how they know things work. When parents are separate, notice how it shows up on their behavior (all queit and to themselves) and even their drawings – they begin to feel that their mother or father are far from them. That’s the impact human actions have on their minds. We are their examples, they do not think good or bad but they model everything you do. So be a good model to them :).
This can also be applicable to us. When we want to learn something from people we meet, interact etc, the best way is to observe them. Observe their mindset, their behavior, their actions, the attitude of calmness and positivity they maintain and try to incorporate it within yourself. This is called modelling. It is said to be one of the best ways of learning attitudes and behaviors for our good.
10. Stubborn for what we want in life – Kids are very stubborn. All of us have noticed their tactics, their stubbornness be it for not eating food or getting something they have been demanding. They are very adamant when it comes to getting what they want – from new toys to chocolates to new stuffs they see on TV or what they see with their friends. How I wish we had the same stubbornness to pursue our life goals, be it running a marathon, trekking Mount Everest, traveling the world or simply maintaining a healthy lifestyle or even pursuing your passion or interest. This stubbornness is needed even for us grown ups, that is how we will feel proud of our accomplishments. Rather than lamenting and letting your future kids pursue your passions, why not you take it up on yourself to pursue them for good??.
11. Lesson of keeping up the naughtiness – Kids are best known for their trademark naughtiness. Notice how life to them is – full of freedom, living life on their own terms, screaming, jumping, chattering their hearts out, dancing their heart out, scribbling on walls, making friends, being happy in their own small ways. They don’t mind doing things that their heart says irrespective of people watching them.
For them, life is not bound by rules, so why should we?. It’s okay to share your feelings, it’s okay to scream out of happiness once in a while, it’s okay to make someone laugh by pulling their leg, it’s okay to get emotional. Let your parents feel that you are still their happy naughty kid. When they smile and laugh, the sense of content feeling that you get on seeing their joy is priceless. Like I keep my happy naughty self up at home with my parents, acting childish at times but that’s needed. Growing up is boring definitely but don’t let your naughtiness die down and be a little careful of the goofiness you resort to, owing to some people not taking it in good spirit.
12. Lessons of good behavior – Parents can relate to this lesson really well. When it comes to ensuring that kids listen to you and behave well, you take them on your lap, cuddle them, tell them pacifying stories and they listen to you. But when you get angry on them for not behaving right, see the anger and stubbornness that gets built up in their behavior, how they start making faces, start throwing things and also start crying. The best lesson learnt here is anybody or anything can change only with love and understanding. Any sort of violence, abuse does not bring good change, only love does, only care does. As the saying goes – “The way we talk to our children, becomes their inner voice“.
My parents and even my brother and sister in law do not resort to scolding harshly or beating us or their kids, because that’s not how kids learn or change for good, it makes them more stubborn. One of my colleague shared this incident where his son was watching TV for long the other day and did not have his food, so he told him sternly it’s TV or food. His son began to cry instantly because he found it harsh. Kids change with love and with good stories. Try this way of inculcating good behavior in them. It works 200%.
13. Lesson of speaking truth upfront – How often do we keep sic names and talk behind people’s backs in cowardly manner. We do this with people we meet, friends, relatives, colleagues, neighbours etc. ‘That fatty, that smarty pants, that idiot’ etc but in front of them we are all respectful , caring etc. See the hypocrite nature we are all resorting to, at the same time look at kids. They don’t like someone they say it on their face. ‘She’s stupid, he’s very naughty, my teacher is strict, she beats me etc’. Kids have nothing to hide. If my colleague fails to get what his nephew wants, he is called “Bad uncle”. Now that’s how kids are – as clear as crystals, as clean and pure as water. They have nothing to hide. They even tell your conversations to others and that is definitely embarrassing for you but it’s also a lesson. Be the way you want others to be with you. If you have a problem with people tell them upfront and be clear. My niece tells her father how he gets grumpy at times , what she likes and dislikes about him. Our nature and attitude should be the same. You are not happy about something or about someone, tell them upfront. What benefit is it for you to tell the third or fourth person and then waste your time and not clearing up issues, instead you’re building more tensions and sour relationships. Think strongly, act logically!.
14. Stories and art bring out the best – Kids love stories, colors and sketching. See the enthusiasm they have when you start telling them stories or hand over a color pen or a pencil and they start to scribble, make their amateur drawings and art and coloring etc. Notice the amazing interest and focus they showcase when they begin all these activities. They don’t care about being perfect or bad or what people or even their parents will say. They maintain a clear cut focus with their curious eyes and hands working on their kinda masterpiece. The happiness that the end product gives them is precious and priceless. Art definitely is a great gift and healer. We end up not trying things or showcasing our talent out of fear of what people would say but for kids, even their craziest drawings which look funny, a little out of place or even make someone laugh turn out to be their best masterpieces and they are proud of it. The moral of the story here is, no matter what you want to try your hands on, with little or no knowledge, attempt it. If it turns out bad, it’s a learning to try more. If it turns out good, you are a great artist.
They try their hands at everything without expecting to be perfect. Unlike us who fear not trying new things in the fear of not being perfect. They teach us that it’s not necessary to be perfect to be amazing.
15. Love knows no bounds – Children do not see any barriers of religion, race, color, caste when it comes to showing their love. This is the most important lesson for all of us to learn from them. We tend to become selective , begin to judge people by their physical looks, color, age, habits etc but the kind of friendship and love that kids portray is selfless and not limited to any color, race or any barriers that the world is currently facing. Even to animals , the less fortunate ones etc – the kids show selfless love and that is truly admirable.
16. Keep up the curiosity by asking questions – Don’t we sometimes wonder how much these kids question us? They have a question for everything. This shows their curiosity to question, to ponder, to ask even if it’s the most silly questions they have in their little minds. That’s how we should function our minds too. By asking questions, by being curious to learn all the time and being less judgmental and more proactive to learn.
Kids are plain canvases and free from any prejudices like my manager shared after reading this blog. There’s a lot of truth in what he mentions. We could also look up to it and start our lives afresh and refrain from any prejudices.
Kids are the best and the sweetest form of the Almighty’s creation from whom we can learn the best lessons of life. They are worth admiring, adoring and loving endlessly. Wishing you are able to make your life as wonderful as the kids teach us with these lessons.