6 Things we can learn from our children
November 3, 2014  |  Written by Carlota Nelson

Do you realise we spend the majority of our adult life wishing we were more like children? Being more like children is something that teachers, psychiatrists, gurus and great thinkers encourage. The truth is, children know what many adults have forgotten: they live in the moment, have more confidence in themselves, are braver and enjoy life with far more intensity. There is no doubt that there are many things that we can learn from them. Here are 6 lessons that our children teach us on a daily basis.  Lessons that, when put into practice, will help us be more like them; be happier. Or at least, allow us to live life to its fullest.

Jorge Luis Borges, one of the most influential writers of the 20th century,  wrote about what he would do if he had the chance to live again in his poem Moments. And in it he seems to be describing a child:

If I had my life to live over, 

I’d try to make more mistakes next time. 

I would relax. I would limber up. 

I would be sillier than I have been this trip. 

I know of very few things that I would take seriously. 

I would be crazier. I would be less hygienic. 

I would take more chances. 

I would take more trips. 

I would climb more mountains and swim more rivers. 

I would burn up more gasoline. I would eat more ice cream and less bran.

Dream of the Impossible. Children aren´t afraid of dreaming. In fact, they think that anything is possible. To a certain extent, this is a virtue. But as we grow older, we acquire fears, distrust, we lose our self-esteem and create so many mental barriers that it makes it almost impossible to accomplish our goals. Surely, you´ve heard yourself say: “I´m not sure I´m going to be able to do this”, “I won´t do it well” or “I´m too old for this”. Well, let us learn to keep dreaming, just like children, and believe in the possibility that we can achieve our goals, whatever they may be.

Live in the Present. This will ring a bell for those who have read books on how to reduce stress or how to be happier. Even people who practice mindfulness learn to “live in the present” because it´s the key to feeling better.

Children do this naturally. When they play at something they are living in the present moment and enjoy each second. The same thing occurs when they draw, talk to someone, when they do a cartwheel or eat an ice cream. They aren’t, like the majority of us adults, worried about what others will say, what will happen is we don´t do it right or how we´re going to spend our weekend.

Be more Positive. Each day is a new opportunity to explore, learn new things and enjoy. Children do not drag their problems around like us and neither do they postpone their happiness. Each day is a gift and the start of a new adventure. Children don´t judge others either. Nor do they fear rejection or the unknown. They don´t care when they make a mistake. They simply try again.


Be more Brave. Children aren´t afraid of doing something for the first time. They don´t fear diving into the pool, picking up an insect, or flying. They are fearless by nature. The lesson to learn here is that adventure, discovering something new and doing things for the first time is not only positive but helps awaken our spirit. If we were more like children, we would stop worrying about what the neighbours will say. We would be more fearless, sing out loud and dance when we felt like it. So, let us try something new and if we make mistakes, it´s just a question of trying again.

Remember, when a child falls from the jungle gym, he doesn´t interpret it as a sign of weakness. Each scar, each attempt, each accomplishment is a sign of strength and makes for a good story.

Be more Creative. It´s a fact, creativity is one of the most important and useful skills there are. Experimenting allows us to try other possibilities and come up with different solutions. Doing something creative also improves our concentration and helps reduce stress.

Children can spend hours at a time drawing or inventing games and stories. When they grow, however, they start thinking those creative moments are not productive. But this is a big mistake. Let us re-learn what we did during our childhood and make time for our creativity and play.

Aware of the Little Big Things. For a child, a puddle is an opportunity to jump. A rainbow makes them dream of other worlds. Stars inspire them to ask where things come from or what the world is made up of. These little big things dazzle them and awakens their innate curiosity. When we grow up, we stop asking questions, stop gazing at the sunset, the changing colours of the leaves or we stop observing how ants organize themselves. Let us be more like children and continue to be amazed.

What do you learn from your children? Please share your experience with our readers and us.

Photo Credits: Scooter Lowrimore

Photo Credits: Roberto Trm


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