Adulthood is a strange, strange thing. You’ve been to a sandcastle, then; suddenly, you were a teenager. Things got fuzzy for a while, but there was a light at the end of the tunnel. There was this hype of a paradise where you could experience freedom, if only. You chased and chased, and eventually reached the end of the tunnel and poured yourself into the cascading light, the promise of growing up, and might have thought to yourself: I’m confused.
After a while, it became easier (hopefully), and you became a functioning adult. You’ve completed the sequence, are sailing new seas, and eventually might find yourself in the regular presence of children. Then the fun begins, or shall I say, resumes?
There is a wisdom that children possess to simplify the world that we as adults so often insist on complicating. Here are a few nuggets from the life teachings of a little nugget.
How to be Honest
The comical and sometimes problematic tendency for children to be brutally honest is a phenomenon we can certainly take away from.
They have yet to develop inhibitions, insecurities, or other mental patterns that would otherwise prevent them from speaking their unfiltered mind. As adults, we learn when we can and cannot speak, and what we can and cannot say.
This proves to be useful in professional situations, but does it serve us well in our personal relationships? How often do we hold in expressions for fear of being rejected, or hurting someone? Learning to absorb children’s resilience in truth would serve us well in speaking our own.
How to Disown Fear
As mentioned, children lack the same inhibitions and systemic responses to fearful or stressful stimuli that adults have, for their lack of experience.
This is why children are able to do such outrageous things as smearing crayon all over the wall or eating all of the cookies. As adults, we become enclosed in a dome of dedication to acting accordingly. We have difficulty taking chances. Children teach us how, without reservation.
How to Prioritize Sleep
Children do not hesitate or argue. They sleep when their bodies demand. In most cultures, it wouldn’t be acceptable to just press pause on your day for a snooze (though we all do it from time to time).
What we can learn, is to pay closer attention to our bodies and what they tell us about what we need. Prioritizing sleep when we need it is a skill that many adults tend to overlook, while children have mastered it.
How to Keep it Moving
Does a child cry about the time they fell off the yellow slide in the park last week, dwelling and continuing to salt the wound long after it’s healed? No, they don’t. They are too busy falling off the red slide in your neighbor’s backyard because they are not done with playing, nor slides.
Children find small things gratifying enough to move past their pain or suffering, such as petting a dog or being given ice cream. Kids know how to cry, throw a tantrum if they need, and move on. Imagine if you could do the same.
The irony of it all? When we tap into the teachings of children, we may find a sense of continued understanding as opposed to brand new. The fun merely resumes, because children are remarkable in that they teach us what we already know, and sneakily as a child would have it, what to un-know.