Please don’t tell my own children, but yes, they continue to teach me so much more than I’ve ever taught them; this goes for my students at LME as well. They engage, enlighten, inspire, and empower me daily. I’ve gathered a few insights to share the smart, funny, innocent, and perfectly sensible things reminding how simple everything really is in this life…
Giggles grow dendrites: Even before we can talk, we can laugh. We chuckle around 4 months of age in response to those around us. Laughter brings a human connection and young children laugh more than adults because of their many social interactions; laughter literally grows the brain. Sharing a great belly laugh is, after all, one of life’s greatest JOYs, so giggle often.
Practice not perfection: There are 10 tricky things to try to master as a young child: hula-hooping, using chopsticks, doing a cartwheel, catching a snowflake on your tongue, skipping stones, hanging a spoon off your nose, doing a yo-yo trick, making a paper airplane, and whistling. Which ones have you done lately? Which ones have you taught lately?
Ask WHY until you understand: You probably won’t be surprised to learn that young children ask an average 350 questions per day. Asking WHY digs deeper and challenges conventional wisdom to reveal true reasons and alternative solutions. Never be afraid to ask WHY.
Look at things upside down: Anything is possible to a child because they see things we can’t and look for things we don’t. They soak up new information and adapt quickly and cleverly to changing situations. Hang on a jungle gym and get a new perspective.
Sign your name BIG: A child is her own champion; her focus is on all the things she does well, like learning to sign her name. Believing you can makes all the difference in the world because young children are willing to try just about anything. Be proud of the name and sign it BIG!
A hug goes a long way: Little ones love us just as we are, not as we should be. They are quick to forgive, move on, and don’t tally the mistakes. Naturally empathetic, kids respond quickly to someone in need and understand how the smallest gesture makes a big impact. Just like Winnie-The-Pooh noted, “Sometimes, the smallest things take up the most room in your heart.”
If you’re fortunate to be in this business of school or to have young children at home, continue to find ways to appreciate their infinite fresh wisdom. If not, here’s hoping you choose to turn off your devices the next time you are sitting on a park bench and tune in to the conversations around you on the playground…you might just pick up a few pointers! Oh, and always ask for more sprinkles!