Instead of kids "growing up", most adults need to "Grow Down."
Let me ask you a couple questions. How many stressed out, unhappy, and directionless adults do you know? Now answer the same question but replace adults with kids 12 and younger. It’s a much smaller list isn’t it? I’ll bet a lot of the kids on your list are related to the adults from the first question. Coincidence? I think not.
That fact is that each human being is BORN with ALL the tools we need to live a successful and happy life. Children are all born with innate traits that enable them to survive and thrive. Unfortunately, they learn from the adults in their lives to go against those instinctual traits. Instead, they learn the BS (Belief System) from the adults in their lives that shape their personality and outlook. They “grow up.” Maybe the better option is that the adults “grow down.” Here are five lessons adults should learn from kids.
1. Persistence. Kids NEVER quit. They keep working towards whatever they want. I’ll bet you can’t name one kid who gave up trying to walk. Even those born with physical limitations or deformities still figure out a way to get from one place to another – even if it is not what most would consider walking in the traditional sense. How many times a day do you see people give up? How many times is that person you?
2. Decision Making. To a kid, something either “is” or it “is not.’ They love what they love and they hate what they hate. The stuff in between – they just don’t care. How much time and energy do you spend on “stuff” that really doesn’t matter?
3. Curiosity. Who? What? Why? Where? When? These are probably the five most commonly used words by kids. They are constantly asking questions. Their growing brains require information to fuel thought and further growth. How many adults do you know who “know” everything? When a person loses curiosity, the horizons of their world become the walls of their box.
4. Live like its Play. How many times have you had to tell your kids to quiet down because they are having too much fun? Kids are passionate about having fun. They love to play. The most effective educators and parents find ways to make learning fun because we all learn better when we are in that peak emotional state. So, why not be in state state as often as possible? Why not be there on purpose?
5. Splash in Puddles. What do kids do when they encounter a puddle on the sidewalk after a rain? They step in it. They kick it. They might even roll around in it if you let them. What do adults do? They walk around the puddle or try to jump over it. While trying to avoid the puddle, they either worry about what might happen and/or bitch and moan about the puddle being there in the first place. So yes, literally splash in puddles. Better yet, STOMP in puddles. Enjoy how good it feels.
Mark Papadas is a nationally recognized children’s empowerment expert and author of the highly acclaimed book “10 Secrets to Empower Kids and Awaken the Child in You” as well as President of The I AM 4 Kids Foundation – a recognized 501c3 charity committed to providing its personal empowering programs to public schools across the U.S. at NO COST to the SCHOOLS.