Will you please gratefully indulge me in a teachable moment? While I might never admit it in open conversation, my own children (and the thousands of children I worked with for years) taught me so much more than I ever taught them. Allow me to gratefully sprinkle a few child-like insights of how smart, funny, innocent, and sensible most things in life really are…
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 creates a powerful 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 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 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 or swing on a swing and get a new perspective.
Sign your name BIG: A child is his/her own champion; her/his focus is on all the things she/he does well, like learning to sign a name. Believing you can do anything makes all the difference in the world; young children are willing to try just about anything and always believe they can. So be proud of your 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 can make a big impact. In all honesty, our country needs a really BIG HUG right now! Just like Winnie-The-Pooh noted, “Sometimes, the smallest things take up the most room in your heart.” Hug it out, people!
While I speak only for myself, I naturally gravitate to those who engage, enlighten, inspire, and empower me. Especially in retirement while providing daily care to my dad, I gratefully continue to find ways to appreciate fresh wisdom. Here’s your challenge today…
Who are you grateful for today who sprinkles fresh wisdom and perspective your way?
Find a way to sprinkle it forward! Oh, and one more nugget of insight… ALWAYS ask for extra sprinkles! 🙂