Learning From Our Children

Raising a child teaches caregivers to celebrate the little things, including the small milestones.

How many times as parents have you felt the need to return to your childhood self? It is often asked to the parents of the children. The answer most often is ‘quite regularly’!

Children are born with a pure heart, stress-free mind and creative instinct. However, adults lose these beautiful traits with age. But not all is lost, our children have the power to help us realize and remember the basic tenets of life like love, care and joy of learning. Therefore, as parents, it is important that we nurture these positive traits in the overall learning process of our children. This is a symbiotic process where while encouraging these traits in our children, we also learn from them. Here are some intrinsic qualities that adults can learn in the process.

Compassion and Forgiveness: Children are inherently compassionate. They not only teach us to accept without judgement but also to forgive, forget and move on. They may have a sibling spat or tussle with a best friend at night and wake up the next morning with love and forgiveness for them. In awe of their company, adults also learn to be more accepting, forgiving and compassionate towards their partner and others. However, children need to learn, accept and cope with different feelings - even ones that may not necessarily 'feel good'. To nurture this emotional understanding at the primary wing of our school we have a regular ‘circle time’ on emotions and coping skills with children where we try to help children identify how they are feeling, encourage them to communicate and eventually support them in coping with the feelings such as anger, sadness and jealousy. it is important to tell them that it’s okay to be angry about something; or cry over a loss and thus, play a part in nurturing them into emotionally stable individuals.

Creativity: Children love to create new things. Often, children would paint, dance or build blocks for hours without a planned ending, then finally label it as whatever they imagine the finished product to look like. Rather than starting with the idea of what they ‘should’ create, they create and then label. Their thought process is natural and not product driven and it is precisely for this reason that adults need to give them the freedom and encouragement needed to pursue the pathway of creativity. One of the programs offered as part of our school curriculum, lays a lot of emphasis on children’s right to create, pursue art, play in order to inculcate holistic perspective of life and live happily.

Adults often lack this ability! When it comes to creating something, they get stuck with the idea of what the end result will look like. As children experiment and learn, many parents and even teachers find their way back to their own creative pursuits. Painting, dancing, playing with children awakens the curious, care-free inner child within adults as well.

Courage: Children are courageous. They have the courage to be who they are, sing how they want, dance like nobody is watching and question everything. While adults are restricted by the fear of judgement or failure; children have the curiosity, will and strength to ask difficult questions and express themselves without boundaries. Courageous children demand courageous parents. Often, adults are seen facing their own fear of failure or judgement so that they can allow their children to be their authentic, true selves. Children teach us to budget for failures and we must encourage children to find their own paths, take their own risks for them to keep their courageous self as they grow up and take on the challenges that come their way.

Finding Joy: It takes little to light up the twinkle in a child’s eye: a warm hug, an excited smile, a funny dance moves and sometimes just showing up. Children find joy that is pure and uncomplicated in simple things. Raising a child teaches caregivers to celebrate the little things, including the small milestones.

As they say, “it takes a village to raise a child”. While parents teach children the ways of the world and prepare them for the future, children teach parents the art of returning to their authentic selves: wild, fearless, curious and expressive.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house

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