Having children around, especially the younger ones, is always a lot of fun. They have a wonderful way of seeing the world without any of the drama and worries, concerns and fears that we have. They laugh as much as they can, and sure they can be a handful and can jump on your nerves when they’re a bit frought, but, with a moment to sit and chat with them, you might just learn (or re-learn) some things.
I had the joy this weekend of having a few chats with my 5 year old niece, and she taught me a few things:
- Speak your mind – I want that, I don’t like that, I don’t want to, I want to…speak up. Don’t be afraid to share your thoughts and feeling about something. If you don’t, you’ll miss out on things, you’ll end up doing things you don’t want to do.
Sure, when she says she doesn’t want to go to bed, it doesn’t mean she gets to stay up, but at least I knew her feelings on the subject.
- If you like doing something, do it, it doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks about it. It doesn’t matter if someone else even has a wee laugh about it. You like it, so go do it.
This wonderful young girl wanted to clean. You might think that’s strange, but she really likes to clean things.
I had the very bizarre conversation with her when she just marched right up to me, as confident as all can be, and said “Emer, I want to do some cleaning”
“Well what do you want to clean mini-spark-2?”
“Everythiiiiiiiing” she exclaimed, with absolute joy and delight.
- It’s ok to not know how to do things, it’s ok to still be learning, and there’s no sense in pressuring yourself to enjoy something if you don’t know how to do it!
We were sitting in the kids bedroom playing musical statues with the stuffed turtle (yup) and I asked her if she wouldn’t rather read a book. I lifted up the closest kids book to hand and started reading it. She was polite and didn’t say anything, just bumbled off and listened and got distracted, then came back to tell me the whole story in her own words. When I asked her if she didn’t want to read the book she decidedly said ‘No’. Well, I asked her why not and she plainly said that it’s because she doesn’t know how to read yet, and once she has learned how to read, then she will like reading.
- Find another way to do the things you like…well, as we were trying to play musical statues, it was a little challenging since there was just the two of us, so out came the stuffed turtle to play too…”But we don’t have any music” I said, and she just started singing away at her own little song that she made up to her own wee melody.
You see, it never occurred to her that we wouldn’t be able to play musical statues. She is not constrained by the ‘necessities’ that us grown ups are. If you want someone else to play, go find someone – a stuffed turtle is perfectly acceptable – and if you need music, then just make music!
The only limitations on us doing the things we want to do are the limitations we create…and you know what, finding workarounds can be really fun! (Jingle bells, batman smells, robin’s laid an egg……..)
This wonderful young girl has taught me a lot in this one little visit, so these are some of the things that I’ll be taking with me into 2019.
What have you learned from the wise little ones?