Okay, so maybe I’m reversing the roles a little here. As a parent I usually associate myself with the teacher role when it comes to my kids, and they (usually!) learn from the skills and life lessons Adam and I teach them. And that’s fine. On one level, this is how it should be.
However, there is much we can learn from our children as well. Unconvinced? Well, consider the following, and then maybe spend more time in a learning capacity.
Our kids can teach us…
#1: To be better with technology
If you’re on the wrong side of 30 (ahem), you might find it hard to believe but you are possibly less proficient with tech than your children are. In today’s schools, they start to use computers and other tech devices at an earlier age, and most of our children’s homework is set online now. They also use more technologies at home than most adults ever did, with smartphones, advanced gaming rigs, tablet devices, and more. So, if you struggle to set your Digibox to record, have difficulty setting the alarms on your phone, and get lost in jargon when it comes to the different pc components your computer needs, perhaps you should ask your kids. Chances are, they will know more than you do.
#2: To forgive others
As adults, we often lose the capacity to forgive. When our neighbours damage the garden tools we have lent them, and when our work colleagues do something to embarrass us, we can hold onto grudges for a long time. Heck, we might even hold onto grudges forever! This isn’t usually the case with children, however. Five minutes after they have fallen out with their friends on the playground, they somehow seem to make amends again. An hour after they have slammed the door on you for something you have said in anger, they return to you with grace and a smile. Why do they do this? Well, it might be because they have more patience in their youth, and it might also be because they know they won’t get what they want from the people around them if they hold onto a grudge for an age. So, learn from them. Make amends with the people who have offended you. And be a nicer person overall, as not only will other people benefit, but you will benefit from what they can offer you.
#3: To have fun
Okay, so our kids aren’t bogged down with household bills, taxes, lawns to cut, houses to clean and other adult responsibilities. In some ways, they have more time to have fun than we do. But if you have ever envied the joy your children receive from the games they play and the jokes they tell, perhaps you should take note of the fun they are having. Join in with their games, have fun as a family, and kick some of your adult concerns into touch for a while. You aren’t learning how to be a kid again, as others might suggest. You are actually learning how to be yourself again, the person that has long since been buried by the pressures of life as an adult.
So, learn from your kids. Talk to them, listen to them, and watch them as they engage with people and life in general. You will learn a lot, I’m sure, above and beyond the examples I’ve given here.