I can’t even begin to list the number of lessons Aiden has taught me over the past 15 months. As parents, we are always enthralled in teaching and parenting our kids that we often miss out on the various things we can learn from them, and yes, there is lots. I think in lots of ways, kids are healthier and have life a lot more under control than adults, so stop, watch your kids and take notes!
1. Be Present.
As adults, I don’t think we are ever really living in the present moment. We are looking back at the past, thinking and anticipating the future, but rarely do we just live in the present moment and appreciate what we’re doing just then. My 15 month old literally just thinks about the exact moment he is in – as he’s getting older, I can tell there is a little more processing of past and future (obviously), but for the most part, what he’s doing right now is all that matters to him. How refreshing.
2. Eat When You’re Hungry and Stop When You’re Full.
Kids have a much better sense on their appetite than adults. They don’t eat just to eat – they eat when they feel hungry and don’t eat when they don’t. Food is no big deal to them and they don’t have an emotional attachment to food. It’s really that simple to just listen to your body. As parents, I feel like eating habits are a big source of worry, myself included. Sometimes I worry on days when Aiden doesn’t eat as much as he was before or not eating three good meals a day. Kids don’t worry about meal times and snack times either. This innate sense is how eating should be and is instilled in our kids before we train them differently.
3. Find Joy in the Simple Things.
There has been several times in the past 15 months that I’ve wanted to take Aiden somewhere elaborate like the zoo, park, or aquarium and he’s not any happier than he is running around our living room. I’ve put lots of thought into gifts for him that he could careless about. He’s happiest with spending time outside, a pot and a big wooden spoon. It just shows that little kids don’t yet care about what the nicest newest toy is and they are able to find joy in everything.
4. Learn Forever.
Isn’t it just amazing how much you can watch the learning process go on in your kid’s heads? I find it absolutely incredible how much Aiden learns each day. As adults, I feel like sometimes we just get stuck where we are, think we know everything we need to know and stop learning. How sad. Learning is just as helpful for adults as it is for kids. It’s how we all grow.
5. Be Active.
I think as parents of little kids, we all complain at some point how “busy” our kids are and how we wish they would sit still for more than 1 second. Aiden has two gears – full speed and dead asleep. When he is awake, he’s always moving, learning and playing. He can run, squat, lift, crawl and maneuver just about any position. Adults go to the gym and run, climb stairs, lift heavy weights, but it’s so much different than the movement of kids. Kids do functional movements and adults really don’t. As I watch Aiden, I try to be more mindful about moving more and sitting less. I workout about 5 times a week, but then after that, I did a lot of sitting before having him. I’ve realized that extra movement all day can do a lot for my body. Kids are so intriguing – take time to watch your kids and imitate what they do. They life their life based on natural instincts which adults could stand to do a lot more of.
What have you learned from your kids?