Three Important Lessons We Can Learn From Our Children
Lately I've been thinking a lot about the lessons that our children have to teach us. As parents, we're constantly teaching our children and working to set examples for them, but we don't consider enough how much we have to learn from them. I can already tell -- just two years into this parenthood journey -- that what I will learn from my daughter in my lifetime will be much more important than what I will be able to teach her in hers, try as I might.
Here are three simple lessons she's already taught me.
Do you know how hard it is to play? I'm serious! I didn't realize that truth -- that we lose our sense of play, making it hard to just do things with no apparent purpose -- until I had a child with whom I wanted to have fun. To be honest, I get bored easily because my brain won't let go. It's immensely hard to allow myself to do something that has no sense of time, only sense of pleasure. I'm good at doing. Good at making to-do lists and checking them off. And good at getting them done. I will make things up that need to get done, just to get things done. I'm not all that good at relaxing and enjoying myself in the present. So I'm working on getting my play groove back. How tragic that we could ever lose it!
One of the things I love most about kids is how much they love themselves in the most authentic and innocent way. They simply expect the best of themselves and acknowledge and share their gifts when they feel they've succeeded (yes, it usually comes out something like, "I'm the best at ____, wanna see?!" but still...). But then we teach them modesty and sometimes in the process, we teach them shame or guilt. A child doesn't naturally feel those things. So I am hopeful to find a way to maintain my daughter's ability to appreciate herself, while still being gracious. To say, "Thank you" in response to a compliment, rather than, "Not true!" or "Oh, it was nothing!"
Fearless Fashion Sense
Kids don't just say the darndest things, they also wear the darndest things if left to their own devices. But how does a child choose his or her clothes? Based on what feels good; either what literally feels good or what makes them feel happy to wear. The majority of us adults? We dress based on what we've been taught is "appropriate," what looks cool as determined by the masses or what other people will think, or like, or maybe even compliment us for wearing. Too many of us don't dress based on what makes us feel amazing. Maybe that feeds into #2.
It's a fine balance to both set a standard and be open to lessons learned from our tiny gurus, but it's one line I'm grateful to walk for the rest of my days with the World's Cutest Human.
What are the most important lessons you've learned from your child(ren)? Please share in the comments below.