Thursday, August 22, 2013

Lessons From Toddlers

This past week I've had the chance to spend more time than usual with several two year olds. My time with them, as well as a quote that a Facebook friend shared with me regarding the joy of children, inspired this blog post. I realized that children could teach us a lot of valuable things. So I thought I'd share this "wisdom" in the hopes of it inspiring others.
  • Almost anything can be solved with a genuine "I'm sorry" and a hug (the latter when appropriate). 
  • This above "I'm sorry" and hug are essential, and should be done as close in time to the offending incident as possible. 
  • This same apology and hug don't need to be debated for hours with he said/she said, analysis of fault, nasty digs, etc. They upset/hurt someone, they apologize, and they give a hug. 
  • Once that apology is given and accepted - and it is virtually always accepted (that's key too)- it's like it didn't happen. Toddlers don't hold long grudges. They don't turn around a week later and say "but you took my toy last Tuesday". 
  • Anything can be cause for celebration - a snack, a run in the sprinkler, seeing someone they love even if they just saw them an hour ago. 
  • They seem grateful for even the smallest thing you do for them. We teach kids to say please and thank you for virtually everything. Yet as adults, it can seem like pulling teeth to get someone to say thank you for something. For some reason, we feel entitled, that they should do it for us so why show appreciation?
  • Toddlers don't "what if". This doesn't mean nothing scares them, but they don't have a laundry list of "well if I do this then, and what about that, and I hope this doesn't".... at least not the way that many adults do. And these "what if"s cause adults a lot of stress. 
I'm sure there are exceptions to these above, as no two kids are alike. These are merely my observations from the interactions I've had with children. It is my full belief that if, as adults, we could hold on to these rather simple practices, we'd probably be a lot happier in general. Think about it - if everyone felt bad and apologized each time they upset you, if nobody held grudges, if the tiniest things could make you happy, if people expressed gratitude to you over little things you did for them, and if you didn't stress over all of the coulda/shoulda/woulda's, how awesome would that be? 

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