As the countdown to 2019 draws close, I wanted to share some of my reflections on working with your children this past year and some of life’s golden nuggets which I have learned from being with them. Working with them, I am continually encouraged and influenced to remain playful, creative and light hearted.
Children are naturally joyfully, curious and trusting – qualities we can easily loose over the years after setbacks and disappointments – however, I hope by sharing these lessons with you, it will ignite your inner child for 2019. Here are the life lessons I’ve learned from children in 2018:
· Do More Cartwheels – Children have a natural ability to go with the flow and engage in activities that make them feel good. I can’t count how many times, I catch the kids at dance just randomly throwing themselves into a cartwheel, no questions asked, no attention seeking, just doing what feels good. If us adults took this “doing cartwheel” and unapologetically replaced it with an activity we know we feel better after doing, whether that’s blasting the music and dancing around the house or singing at the top of your lungs at in the car, I can guarantee we would be more light hearted and happy individuals.
· Be Excited For Others & Cheer Them On – In the various settings we work in, there will always be a child chosen or offering to freestyle or perform for the group, and as wonderful it is to see the individuals confidence grown to be able to stand up in front of their peers, the real magic is watching how their peers react. Cheering, clapping and whole heartedly congratulating them on their performance. The children are genuinely excited for one another and feel encouraged and inspired to do the same.
Many times in life, it is easy to fall into a comparison or jealous minded trap when we see someone doing something we would love to be able to do, but just as the kids do, we should allow it to inspire us to do the same.
· Be Interested & Curious – Myself and Lisa laugh at some of the brutal questions from the children “Do you have eczema?” (pointing to my acne scars)” “Why are you wearing (insert item of clothing you thought was fashionable)?” as well as “What’s your favourite colour?” “How many brothers or sisters do you have?” “Are you married”(?! :D ) – the thing I love is that the children I GENUINELY interested in how many siblings I have, and will probably remember weeks from asking. How many times, as adults, do we talk to people without really being present? Or maybe ask questions just so we can tell them our answer? Lesson learned here is to engage with others and be genuinely interested in what they are sharing with you.
· Forgive Easily – On occasion, I will presented with an upset child saying “Angela, she’s pushed me” pointing to another child with a big frown on their face. I ask the other child if it’s true “Yes, but I didn’t mean to”, and after a quick mediation, both kids are back to being friends with a big smile on their face.
Sometimes, when we are upset by the actions of others it is easy for us to hold a grudge, to distance ourselves and write off that person – and sometimes that is necessary. However I truly believe that in the majority of cases, the people around us do not intend to hurt us – whether it was an accidental “push” or words that hurt – step away from feeling that it was their intention and realise accidents happen in many forms. We are all human.
· Be Honest – One of my favourite things I love about children is their honesty; they tell it like it is and exactly how they see it – of course this can be pretty brutal at times “Angela, this song is stupid” – however it’s refreshing to know there are no lies or two faced behaviours from them. On the flip side, this also means that when they tell you the love something, they truly LOVE it.