Our Children Can Be Our Greatest Teachers
Recently, I came across this quote by Professor T. Ripaldi- and it spoke to me and made me think - Are we really waiting for our children to become something? Or are they already something?
“When we adults think of children, there is a simple truth which we ignore: childhood is not preparation for life; childhood is life. A child isn’t getting ready to live; a child is living. The child is constantly confronted with the nagging question, “What are you going to be?” Courageous would be the youngster who, looking the adult squarely in the face, would say, “I’m not going to be anything; I already am.”
This got me thinking…
While we have had more time and more life experience than our children, they have clearer eyes and a fresh outlook; we can learn so much from them. It’s time that we regard our children as active participants and contributors, as our co-learners and co-teachers. While they certainly have a lot to learn from us, as we guide, teach, impart knowledge, wisdom, right from wrong and much, much (much) more - for this post, let’s focus on seeing our children for who they are right now, and what amazing things we can learn from them!
Let’s first go back to the quote and consider that our children are not getting ready to be somebody or something rather, they are that somebody living this life right now, teaching and learning new things every day.
My children teach me (directly and indirectly) every single day. Although I don’t always take time to reflect upon these lessons, this week I’ve taken time to note them. In fact, earlier this week, I learned a valuable lesson from my little co-teachers. While hanging out at the local swimming pool, I watched my children feeling great joy and excitement while jumping off the diving board. I was sitting in my lounge chair writing in my journal. I looked up and witnessed my children’s utter joy and precious laughter. It helped me realize that in my state of sadness and grief, over the recent loss of my grandfather, it is possible to find joy. In that moment, I hopped up, joined my children, and jumped off the diving board- it was an exhilarating feeling! They taught me something very valuable and I have continued to try finding these moments of laughter and excitement in each day since.
My children are (re)teaching me lessons every day. Like I stated earlier, I don’t always take time to reflect on these, but when I do, it inspires me, they are truly amazing humans. Here is my list of child taught lessons (but definitely not limited to):
-Patience (even on the days that I have none left).
-Crying is okay.
-Asking for help is okay.
-It’s good to try new things.
-It’s important to notice the little things.
-Laugh and smile often.
…and the list goes on!
(Re)learning these lessons from our children, reminds us of when we used to have these abilities. For some of us, we lost them along the way and it’s time to gain them back. Maybe it’s time we consider learning more from our children- from the people they are right now, our contributing co-teachers! I am convinced, if we could all tap into our inner child, we would have a world filled with deeper kindness and greater wonder.