Six Traits Adults Can Learn From Children

We’re adults so we assume we know best. We have the wisdom and experience to deal with what life brings along daily, so we’re the best people to deal with it, or are we? Children are born with the top skills for life, yet somewhere along the way, as we grow up, these valuable skills get lost. Here are some of those vital skills young children possess:-

1. PERSISTENCE – Children are willing to risk failure in order to achieve what they want. They won’t give up. Watch the baby learning to walk, falling over endlessly, knocking his head, but getting up and trying again and again until he succeeds and walks, in order to get to the DVD controls for a good chew! Or the child who won’t take ‘No’ for an answer, ‘No’ meaning ‘Maybe’, or that with a little bit of creativity, it can be turned into a ‘Yes’. The key ingredient for success is the ability to keep going through all adversity, and to never give up – ask any successful person. Even at times when everything seems to be against them, they won’t take ‘No’ for an answer, and if what they’re doing doesn’t work, they change until it does work, until they get what they want.

2. HAPPINESS AND GRATITUDE FOR SIMPLE THINGS – Picture the parent at the school gate, waiting for her six year old to come out. Mum’s had a bad day with disappointments and setbacks and, quite frankly, all she’s focussed on is what’s gone wrong. Her little girl appears, her eyes search mum out, and she runs out with a big, toothless, ear-to-ear grin, “Mummy, exciting news, I’ve got a new library book!” Mum’s concerns melt away. It would have been a far better day if mum had focussed on what went right about her day, even if the good points were small. Gratitude for what we have in our life helps us to focus on the positive, and be more resourceful, and have more energy to do those things that we have to get done.

3. THE ABILITY TO LIVE IN THE ‘HERE AND NOW’ – Children become immersed in what they’re doing, they live for today. They don’t consider what happened yesterday, or what might happen tomorrow, nor what the next moment might bring. This enables them to become absorbed in the task in hand, like when it is visible when a child is ‘living’ in a page of a book, studying every detail, almost going inside the picture. Adults however, have difficulty with being ‘present’ to where they are or what they are doing. So often our minds are somewhere else. When we are at work, we wish we were at home, when we are at home, we wish we were on holiday. We take our work with us on holiday, and end up not being present with our family, even when we are with them.

“Most of us spend our lives as if we had another one in the bank”. Ben Irwin.

4. THEY TEACH US ABOUT OURSELVES – Can you recall a time when you have corrected your child on something she has done only for it to bounce back to you with “But mummy, you do it”.

“If there is anything that we wish to change in the child, we should first examine it and see whether it is not something that could better be changed in ourselves”. Carl Jung.

Parents of teenagers will relate to the experience of watching their own childhood over again through their own teenage son’s/daughter’s antics today. The parent knows what his child is going to do next, because he once did the very same thing himself!

5. FORGIVENESS – Children forgive very easily. They don’t have to understand things to forgive. Unlike adults, it seems to come naturally to children to forgive. In our busy lives it is easy to resent our children’s interruptions when we’re trying to get something done, and we can so easily turn around and snap at them. But first think, how often do we apologise? And second, how often do we realise that our children have forgiven us before the event is even over?

6. THEY ARE ALWAYS READY TO LAUGH AND PLAY – When we laugh and play we are at our best. When we laugh and play our body releases endorphins, chemicals that produce feelings of well-being, happiness and contentment. Laughter is good for our health.

“Allow children to be happy in their own way, for what better way will they find?” Samuel Johnson.