As parents, we look at our children and think that because we are much older and wiser, we are their teachers, and they should learn from us. We must fill their eager minds with all of the knowledge we have obtained through the years of experience we have endured while endeavoring to become the wise sages of our time. In reality, have we ever stopped to learn the lessons our children are teaching us? Here are four little lessons we can learn from our children that can change our lives in a pretty big way.
Lesson #1: There is beauty all around
Have you ever noticed that kids see the beauty in everything and delight in it? For example, I can get up in the morning with the worst bed hair ever, make-up smeared from the night before, pajamas with pancake mix hardened onto them, and my 5-year-old daughter will say, "Mommy, you are so beautiful." She'll really mean it. No judging, no kidding. Likewise, there is an abandoned house down the street with a yard filled with dandelions. I see weeds. She sees a field of beautiful yellow flowers, and she dances in them. Why can't we be more like that? Why can't we see beauty more, judge others less - or ourselves for that matter - and learn to dance in the dandelions? We should. While we're at it, we could learn to dance in the rain, too.
Lesson #2: It's OK to believe in magic
There is a reason that when we think of hope, we think of children. It is because children aren't afraid to dream. They believe that anything is possible. As long as they keep believing, anything can be. It is when we become adults that we start letting fears and doubts creep in that limit us from doing truly impossible things. Children ask Santa for a gift absolutely believing they will receive it. As adults, we know the truth about Santa, but do we know the truth about God? I know God is real, do you? If you do, when was the last time you asked God for a gift and truly believed you would receive it? With God, all things are possible.
Lesson #3: Let go of your inhibitions
I love the fact that children are not afraid to strip down to nothing and run through the neighborhood without a care in the world. Now, I am not saying this is what we should do as adults. In most countries, this could get a person arrested. I am saying we should stop trying to be so darn perfect all of the time. Stop worrying about what the neighbors think and just be yourself. So what if your clothes aren't the latest fashion, or your lawn is not the brightest shade of green. If people judge you based on those things, that is their loss, not yours. Who would want friends that are always bringing you down, anyway? If we could take this lecture from our children's lesson book, we would all be a happier people. Don't forget to remind yourself that nobody is perfect, not even your neighbor.
Lesson #4: It's OK to play
Children have the most amazing ability to be carefree and live life with no regrets. They play hard and love life as they are doing it. Amid our busy schedules and meetings, shuffling the kids here and there, cleaning the house, fixing meals, and running errands remember that those things that are most important will only be around for a short time. Then, they will be grown-up and gone. Loosen up and enjoy life a little. The dishes will be there tomorrow, and so will the errands. Meetings can be rescheduled or missed, and dinner can be leftovers. Live life with no regrets, especially when it comes to spending time with your family. Your children will only be children and living in your home a few years. Every year, time goes by faster and faster. Do the things that you need to do, then play hard with your children. I promise you will love life as you are doing it.
It is natural for children to learn and gain an understanding of the world around them from their parents. Yet, if we pay attention to the beauty of their innocence, we will be surprised at the lessons they teach us in return. Our children may be small, but if we let them they can teach us great things about ourselves and who we should be. It is important that we take the time to listen.