When we have children, we often dream about all the things we’ll teach them, all the wisdom we’ll impart, and all the amazing things we’ll show them in life. What we don’t realize is how much we will learn from them. If any parent stops to listen and watch his child, he is sure to gain a new level of understanding of the world. Here are some of the most significant things that our panel of experts has learned from their own children.
How to Love
Whether they’re loving a dog or a mean older brother, children truly know the meaning of unconditional love. They don’t love because they get something out of it. Rather, they love because they were created to love and be loved. Gervase Kolmos, a freelance writer, editor, and life coach, said that her dislike of dogs was drastically changed when she watched her one-year old love on dogs. “It’s as if I’m seeing the animal through her eyes and I love it too,” she said. “Meanwhile I came dangerously close to adopting a dog with her recently because just watching how sweet and loving she was with it made me tear up.”
Our children teach us that love is not a feeling, but a choice, a great lesson that many of us need to remember on a daily basis.
How to Forgive
Along the same lines as loving unconditionally, forgiveness is a hard thing for adults. But for kids, it’s as simple as choosing to forgive. Children somehow know that little things aren’t worth staying mad over, and they generally choose to move on very quickly. Danielle Larkin of tiny-trots, LLC said, “I have two boys, and while one beats on the other, the assaulted will still give his brother a hug or his lovey. As a result I’ve learned to forgive, forget, and move on.”
How to Say “No”
Children want the best from everyone around them. They somehow understand that saying “no” can often be the best answer. Single mom lifestyle expert Kerri Zane said, “One of the most surprising things my daughters taught me is it’s okay to say no. Even to them! They’d rather have me not do something and not have a stressed out mama, than to overdo it and be grouchy.”
How to Be Assertive
Simply having children tends to make us more assertive because we’re willing to fight for our kids than we are for ourselves. But as our children grow, they become more assertive and willing to stand up for themselves (and us!). The founder of PresentParentTraining.com, Sherlyn Pang Luedtke, said “My kids, now ages 5 and 10, taught me to be assertive and ask. When they were potty-training and needed to go and there was a long line in the public restroom; I did not hesitate to ask the ladies if they would be willing to let us go first. By the same token, I am also very willing to let others go first.”
Kids truly are sources of knowledge that goes far beyond their young years. When we take a moment to observe them and interact with them, we are refreshed and encouraged by the important life lessons that we gain from their wholesome take on the world.