Imagine you land up on a new planet tomorrow where everything is new to you, its like nothing that you have seen before. New foods to eat, new people to meet, new words to understand, new concepts to master, new senses to communicate, new fears to muster and a bunch of strangers staring over you.
Welcome to the world of a child.
No one would succeed and grow in this situation as a child does. No one can learn and adopt as fast as a child can. How do you think the child manages to do this? Most of us have one false belief, that “we” teach our children. Of course as parents we play an important role to support our child’s development but do you really think that “we” teach our children?
Are you referring to the list of dos and don’ts that we give them, where don’ts usually outweigh the dos? Or are you referring to the guilt, fear and shame we use to get compliance?
Maybe you are thinking of things they have learnt like walking, talking, etc. Think again, have you really taught them how to walk? like pick up your leg, now put it down or have you really taught them how to speak a language like you would learn in a new language learning class?
The truth is that in most cases we do not teach our children, they learn these skills because they are patient listeners and brilliant observers!
It’s their curiosity and appreciation that drives their learning.
As a matter of fact , it is the other way around. Children are the best teachers in the world, they teach us what no university, no parent or no teacher no success coach no parenting blog has ever taught.
They teach us how to learn, how to listen, how to observe, how to touch, how to love. They teach us how to best use our greatest assets as living beings, our senses. They teach us how to be fearless, how to get up and try after every fall, how to question the basics. They teach to how do what you want and not what the world wants you to do. They teach us how to believe that everything is possible. They teach us how to be happy with the little things, how to laugh the very next moment after crying, they teach us how to play and have fun even after feeling tired. They teach us how to keep things simple. They teach us how to live life!
Have you noticed that younger children never blame others when things don’t go their way. I remember an incident where I was sitting with my leg wide spread out on the floor, and my one and half year old daughter ran into the leg and fell on her face, to my surprise she got up kissed my leg as if she is feeling sorry to hurt it and started to run again. Where else can you learn such innocence, where else can you learn how to take full responsibility for your actions and how to accept failures.
How many times have you scolded your child, denied that favourite chocolate, turned down that new toy request, asked her not to disturb you when she needs time with you? Now how many times do you remember she holding a grudge against you for all those things? We spend our entire lives holding grudges. Where else can you learn how to forgive, how to move on, how to let go….your ego.
Today we hunt the internet for answers, join groups on social media to get advice on parenting matters. We join programs to learn skills, buy books, pay hefty fees for various courses and self development programs in search of these answers.
Only to simplify our lives, to be happy!
We chose to pay and go out to learn when the institution in its purest form is in our very own backyard. Where else can you learn these qualities better than spending time with your children?
We need time for ourselves, so we give smart phones and to our children or switch on our large screen TVs. Not only are we abating the learning curve of our children, we are even depriving ourselves of the lovely learning opportunity.
Yes, we all need a break, Why not try this instead. Sit away and just watch your child play for 10-15 minutes. You would come out refreshed at the end of these 15 minutes. During these 15 minutes, you would have smiled more, observed more, learned more, loved more, appreciated more, you would have lived more than your entire day put together.
Learning is a mutual process though, it’s a give and take relationship. The teacher and the student have to give time and aim for cooperation to achieve results. Our children are craving for our time today and they are making the most of it to learn. This may not last long and may very well be reverse a few years or months later.
Children are God’s gift, His way of giving us one more chance to learn how to live and appreciate life!
Lets disconnect from the virtual world and connect to the real world!
Just like any other education system there are some basic qualification and requirements to learn the art of living from these little angels. Apart from giving our time to them, being a patient listener and a good observer, there is just one more simple qualification required to start the learning process.
Shed off your adulthood and become a child!
So the day you want to sing something and end up humming a nursery rhyme unconsciously, do not STOP! You may have just graduated back to childhood.
Don’t hold yourself back, sing it out loud, paint the walls of your room, fix stickers anywhere, make your skin a drawing canvas, race in the mall, summersault on the bed, throw yourself on the soft balls in the play gym, climb on the slide, run after birds, jump more, dance more, get wet, get dirty, laugh out loud (not just on Whats app), Roll on the floor laughing (not just on SMS), appreciate more (not just on Facebook), make funny faces (not just on emails)
Don’t be afraid to become a child. See yourself not from the eyes of those adult strangers staring at you but from the eyes of your child and all the other children fascinated by you. Basically learn to live and appreciate the REAL life from the best teachers in the world, God sent angels, our children!