Life lessons that you learn from your children

6 life-lessons you can learn from your children

Children carry with them a treasure trove of wise knowledge. Just watching them and imbibing their qualities can take us a long way in being happy.

The popular Hindi song ‘Dil toh bachcha hai ji’ from the Vishal Bharadwaj film Ishqiya became an instant hit when it released in 2009. Loosely meaning ‘the heart behaves like a child’, the song resonated with many. These beautiful lyrics, penned by the legendary poet Gulzar, indeed hold deep meaning for more reasons than one. For starters, we humans would like to stay young forever. No one dreams of being middle aged or old with a walking stick. To stay youthful is the ideal everywhere you go. However, that is not possible as we are, but mortals in this beautiful planet we call home. So, the next best thing is to have a heart that is as young as a child’s, just like the catchy Bollywood song goes.

There is so much to learn from children; be it their unconditional love towards their caregivers or the peals of laughter that come along with any happy event. Be it their goofiness while treading life or their innocent take on life’s happenings. Our children truly lead us when it comes to living a fruitful life. The kind that is full of curiosity and hope. They carry with them a treasure trove of wise knowledge. Just watching them and imbibing their qualities can take us a long way in being happy.

Soulveda shares some of the things we can learn from children that help enrich our lives as humans.

Never hold back

The number one regret most people share in their last days is that they didn’t try something. They talk about how they held themselves back from doing something that felt risky or impossible at that point in time. They add how it now seemed like precious time wasted as life passed them by.

Children are fearless in comparison. Their joie de vivre towards life is so high that holding back doesn’t stand a chance. If you have ever seen a tiny human climb up the steep rails of a tall slide in the local park, you will know what being truly fearless is. That the child can slip through the wide gaps in between never occurs to them once. This is the spirit one should pick up while deciding to take on new tasks in life. Do not concern yourself with the number of ways you can fail. Instead think of the amazing ride you are about to be on and go for it.

Enjoy and have fun

This may seem like a silly suggestion, but is not. Ask yourself when was the last time that you had a day full of fun without worrying about a single thing? An evening when you went out with friends, danced and cheered each other on without overthinking or fretting about the extra work you had to do the next day? Having fun becomes increasingly difficult as we grow up because a number of things come into play. We add responsibilities, have more people to take care of and are accountable at our workplaces. In short, we start running on the treadmill of life that only shows us the important tasks. It never slows down nor does it tell us to stop and smell the roses.

This is where we can pick up a lesson or two from our kids. The young can have fun anywhere and anytime. They may have homework, tuitions or rehearsals that beckon, but if they are having fun, they are completely in the moment. Talking, listening, watching, laughing or dancing – they do so with all their heart in it.

It is something I found amiss in myself as I watched my kids suddenly dance to their favourite song in front of the TV one evening. They left whatever they were doing to have five minutes of pure fun. After running circles about whether or not I could afford to spend time the way we did, I simply joined them. The happiness that surged within from just a few minutes of joyful dancing was worth leaving every other task at hand.

Show curiosity

Children are constantly curious about things and people around them. They ask questions and counter questions when curious. The best part is, kids don’t think twice if the question they asked might be deemed silly or unnecessary. As we grow up and become an adult, we lose our sense of curiosity or find it too tiring to explore a subject more than required of us.

What we can learn from children is to halt sometimes and ask questions about things that make us curious with or without it being related to our work. We can debate with friends about politics or environment and have queries if something is new to us. There is no shame in learning something new at any time in life – as we grow older, our egos come in the way of many new learnings. In simple words, be like a child if you want to walk the path of knowledge.

Take life lightly

As life moves ahead, it seems to get heavier. We keep adding baggage after baggage of relationships lost, hurt given and received, troubles dealt with. The added load doesn’t just tire us but makes us weary to the things that are going to happen to us next. We worry about what might go wrong more than what might work in our favour. As a result, we take everything very seriously.

Children have a fascinating nature that allows them to take both happiness and annoyance in their stride. For instance, if you ever scold a kid, he or she will feel bad and might even cry at first. They will recover from the hurt soon enough, laughing and playing with you in the next few minutes if you as much smile at them. One may call this being naïve or one may say adulthood doesn’t work this way. We will be ridiculed if we give in so easily is the general thought we have as grown-ups.

But what if we allow ourselves to feel all these feelings; anger or hurt? Once we are done expressing the emotion we feel, we can learn to pick ourselves up sooner and not wallow in misery. With time, this habit will hold us in good stead, no matter what befalls us.

Play everyday

Aren’t playgrounds the best places to watch life unfurl? Kids climbing on blocks, going down slides, chuckling at little friends of theirs, being happy in general; playgrounds can cheer anyone up. Kids master the art of play anywhere and in any circumstance. They can enjoy over a board game, simply run and channelise their pent up energy or sing to their heart’s content. We adults prioritize everything in the world before we choose time to play or unwind.  However, if you have spent one day of your vacation playing cricket with the kids, you’ll know what a rush of happiness that gives.

As adults, playing can be any number of things that release feel good hormones. Exercising, doing yoga, going to the gym or simply swimming or playing badminton regularly will keep our mind and body fitter and happier. We won’t become as flexible and enthusiastic as our children overnight, but we will move closer to our peak wellbeing. So make some serious time for play.

Life is beautiful

As the years pile on, humans receive a lot of pain in the form of poor health, rejections or passing of dear ones. We carry a sense of loss that seems to be unending. Often we confide in our friends and say, ‘I don’t know when things will get better. I can’t seem to catch a break!’

So what can we learn from children here? It is the fact that life is still beautiful and is made of small pleasures. It is difficult to forget life’s travesties as we tread adulthood, but we can stop to smell the roses; appreciate a friendly colleague, be grateful for that coffee with our partner or celebrate our grandparents’ 60th anniversary. The world is a beautiful place and no matter how much the rat race consumes us, all we need to do is look at our kids for inspiration. They find beauty in the simplest of things, an ice cream, a run in the park, an art project on a Sunday noon. We can too.

“Youth is happy because it has the capacity to see beauty. Anyone who keeps the ability to see beauty never grows old,” said Franz Kafka. So learn to have excitement for little things, observe life in all its myriad hues, play and taking life lightly. As children will certify, age is just a number.

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