This past holiday season gave me a chance to reflect on the many things “having kids” has taught me over the course of watching them grow and develop. I am now entering the next phase of life, watching grandkids grow and develop, which I must admit is not as stressful as raising kids. So, I started to think about what “having kids” and “having grandkids” has taught me about life.
Here are seven things I have learned from kids:
1) Be curious. Kids are curious about everything. One day it can be dinosaurs and the next day it could be horses. Kids remind us that curiosity is a key ingredient to loving life. Ever been around an adult who has lost the ability to be curious about things? There is no spark, nothing that makes them interesting. Kids have taught me not to lose my curiosity about life.
2) Be fearless. Kids are not afraid of getting hurt or taking risks. Our youngest son did not understand the concept of brakes, which means he slammed his tricycle into buildings, trees, and parked cars. I think it was a badge of honor for him to see how many Band-Aids he was wearing. Kids want to go faster and higher, yet, we lose that fearlessness as we get older.
3) Take naps. Kids need naps to recharge their batteries. When our kids became cranky and fussy, we knew it was nap time. I think this rule still applies to adults. When we get cranky and fussy, we don’t stop and step-back and recharge our batteries. Instead, we become negative and unproductive. Kids have taught me the importance of recharging our batteries.
4) Ask questions. A child between the ages of two and five will ask 40,000 questions. As we get older, we stop asking questions because we are afraid of what people will think of us. The successful people never stop asking questions and learn to ask really good questions. Kids have taught me never to be afraid to ask questions.
5) Love adventure. Kids love going to new places and seeing new things. They get excited every time there is talk of going to a zoo, a park or a museum. Sometimes I find myself stuck in the same old routines of life and I forget I can create my adventures and renew that sense of a new adventure. Kids have taught me to look around and find the next adventure.
6) Tell a story. Our kids loved stories. They loved to be told stories and they loved telling stories. Storytelling is a dying art form. Kids remind me that each one of us has a unique story of overcoming hardships and defeats and coming out the other side better. Kids have taught me the importance of stories.
7) Be a sharer. My daughter was (and is) a great sharer of anything she had (has). She was always willing to share her toys or clothes with someone else. Children have an attitude of abundance. Kids have the sense that there is plenty to go around. We lose that as adults and take on an attitude of scarcity. Kids have taught me to be generous.
Kids remind us of the essential ways to live life. My hope is that you will live out 2019 the way kids live.