They say we don’t stop playing because we get old but we get old because we stop playing. But I ask who else is as playful as a child if not a kitten- who’s also a child to a cat? Children seem to understand lessons and basic life skills, that we seem to forget once we grow up and start fitting in.
They are playful, courageous, sincere, open-minded, direct and free-spirited. These qualities alone make children likeable; a reason why they find it easy to influence others. Children also stand out for being who they are. That is why in this list, we look at some of the qualities we can learn from children, and why it is important to reconnect with our child-like self, one who knew that character superseded social approval.
- Being fearless
Children look at things with fresh lenses. They are open to new experiences and never fear to try new things. If they feel they want to do something an adult is good at they just emulate with no fear of being judged. They are free spirits who don’t get held back by inhibitions, fear, embarrassment, guilt or shame. Since they are not yet corrupted by society’s conditioning of living up to expectations, they do not face the fear nor doubt their capabilities. They just go at it. Whether it is taking their first step only to fall a couple of times or making a comment that stops you in your tracks. Children never stop to think, “This is impossible.”
To them, since there’s no fear of making mistakes nor fear of being judged, they only see the goal. The lessons they pick on the way just reinforces that failure is just growth in wolf’s clothing.
- Being curious
Have you met a child who is stuck but continues to solve things on their own? Children think curiosity is a natural instinct deeming it fair if they responded to stimuli. It is natural for them to ask what it means when you speak about something they don’t understand as it is natural for you to ask who it is whenever a new number calls you. To a child being curious is an opportunity to find meaning and they are always in a quest to find the meaning behind everything they encounter.
However, as we grow and turn into adults we get accustomed to thinking before acting or even less -speaking. In as much as this may be a good thing, over time it limits learning, wonder and being free like a child. We tend to think we know everything and whenever we feel we don’t, we assume we don’t need to, for the fear of being judged.
A journalist once said the tragedy of life is not death, but what we let die inside of us while we live.
- Being aware.
Children are very aware of their feelings and they are not afraid to express them. They voice their likes and dislikes with no fear nor favour. Adults, on the other hand, fear to express themselves. As we grow outwardly, we learn to suppress what’s inside believing it’s the right thing to do.
Since we don’t express ourselves freely, this habit grows to affect our sense of awareness and overall our relationships. We grow expecting others to know how we feel without us telling them.
As Robin Sharma would say in his book, The 5 Am Club, “Adults are deteriorated children.” A quick trick being bold, enthusiastic and wildly alive is to become the child that you once was who didn’t think fitting in was the way to live.
- Being present
Children live in the moment. Anything they try they do without thinking about the past nor the future. What matters to them is the present. Whether they’re eating or playing, they just do and enjoy what they are doing while it lasts.
While being future-oriented is not a vice, being present allows you to be more appreciative as you learn to find majesty in things that go unnoticed. It relieves you the pressure of living in the past, and stop thinking of the future, a time that is not promised.
What children know that adults forgot is that all learning meets us at exactly where we’re at and by focusing on the past or future we lose important lessons from the present.
- Being creative.
As we get older we get pressure from overwhelming responsibilities, routines, fear of failure or being judged if we tried something different. This alone can take a toll on our creativity. Teach your children to be creative while you still can.
On the other hand, children do not fear being judged nor do they fear to fail. Through their sense of wonder, being expressive, being present, so does their passion and creativity grow. They explore different things without fearing that it will not work out. They don’t see barriers brought by rules which overtime condition us to be average. Instead, they trade cleverness for bewilderment. Why as a child, you could always see more than one way to solve a problem.
Therefore, if as adults we could reconnect with that child within, that personna we all had when we were learning how to walk/talk and being playful, we would all remember that walking into the very things that scare us is how we learnt to gain confidence and reclaim forgotten power. Lessons kids can teach parents when travelling together.
Since learning is a never-ending process, here are 7 things parents are recommended to teach their children.