Life lessons from a four year old? If you think kids know ‘nothing’ you couldn’t be more wrong!
Here’s 14 pint-sized wisdoms we all should learn from our little ones…
Writer Paulo Coelho famously said, ‘A child can teach an adult three things: to be happy for no reason, to always be busy with something, and to know how to demand with all his might that which he desires.”
My kid? She has this all ‘done and dusted’ before breakfast.
When I became a Mum, I was sure it would be me doing all the teaching, inspiring and educating of my little ones. Yet, surprise, at the grand old age of four, my daughter is proving to be one of the greatest teachers I’ve ever had. Every day, she (brilliantly backed by her baby sister) does or says something that makes me stop and take stock. Her childlike wisdom makes me realise we ‘grown-ups’ often overlook some simple but serious truths. So, if you’ll allow me, here are some lovely life lessons – championed with a few famous words – yet all inspired by my kid!
Spontaneous days are often the very best
‘Only in spontaneity can we be who we truly are’ – John McLaughlin.
So, dust if you must, but we’re off to the beach.
Dress for yourself and no one else
‘Life is a party. Dress like it’ – Audrey Hepburn.
And when you’re four, every day is a party. Tutu skirts and superhero capes? Why not, eh.
Eat only when you’re hungry and settle for nothing less than delicious
‘Om nom nom nom’ – The Cookie Monster.
Pass the pavlova, please.
Only do things that make you super excited
‘The things you are passionate about are not random. They are your calling.’ – Fabienne Fredrickson.
If only we could bottle that passion, enthusiasm, wholehearted lust for life we find as kids, we’d be laughing. (And extremely bloody happy.)
Hold the hands of those you love
‘I can conquer the world with one hand, as long as you are holding the other’ – Megan Smith.
This is a biggie because of the power of such a simple gesture. So I’ll be holding their little hands forever – or until they prise my fingers off theirs. (I expect at the school gates. Sob).
Be blind to colour, race and religion
‘Prejudice is a burden that confuses the past, threatens the future and renders the present inaccessible’ – Maya Angelou.
My kid sees no difference – they’re all just her mates in the playground. And I bloody love that.
On a bad day, pick yourself up and carry on
‘If you stumble, make it part of the dance’ – Unknown.
If only I could style it out, dust myself down and go forth, so easily. But my little one does – without so much as missing a step. Awesome.
Express your emotions
‘Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter, and those who matter don’t mind’ – Dr Seuss
As grown-ups, we’re so damn good at bottling up how we feel. But maybe we should take the lead from our little ones and just speak up. (Tantrums are optional).
Spending time with a friend is better than with any toy
‘In the sweetness of friendship, let there be laughter and sharing pleasure’- Khalil Gibran.
Ain’t that the truth, my friends. *Slowly puts down her smartphone*
It’s okay to make a mistake sometimes
‘Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new’ – Albert Einstein.
I need reminding of this – a lot. A LOT. (Four-year-olds move on easily after mistakes, thirty-somethings, not so much).
Never hold a grudge
‘To be wronged is nothing unless you continue to remember it’ – Confucius.
Most little kids cannot hold a grudge for longer than a nano-second. If only.
Live in the here and now
‘Seize the moment. Remember all those women on the Titanic who waved off the dessert cart’ – Erma Bombeck.
Back to that pavlova then.
Think nothing is impossible
‘Believe you can and you’re halfway there’ – Theodore Roosevelt
Whether you’re four, fourteen or forty. So dream big.
‘All of our dreams can come true if we just have the courage to pursue them’ – Walt Disney.
Courage doesn’t mean there’s no fear, but it’s going ahead, moving forward, despite the fear. It’s not complicated because little kids aren’t complicated.
They’re just going on instinct. There are no filters yet. There’s no doubt.
Just wide-eyed wonder, self-belief and spirit – along with an open heart and mind.
I suspect my kids may have more to teach me than I’ll ever teach them. I’m ready.