While our babies and tots cannot show us how to walk or talk, they remind us in many different ways that the things that are truly important in life are not how many milestones have been hit, or how many dresses our daughters have.
Below are 10 life lessons I have learned from my toddler. For life lessons that you can pick up from your infant or 15 life lessons you learn in the first year or parenting, click here.
|The joys of toddlerhood
10 Life Lessons learned from Toddlerhood:1. To really live in the moment
There's no regret, there's no stress, and often there's a touch of ADHD, but it's all centered around what is going on around them at the present and taking in all the sites, sounds, views and stimulation around them.
2. It doesn't matter what you look like, they love you anyway.
Bad hair day, bad skin day, face pack on or pajamas.. You're little one (like your pet but unlike your significant other), will still want to cuddle and kiss you, play with you and be around you.
3. You can have fun, eat, or poop, anywhere.
Literally. Anywhere. As annoying as can be to a parent, we also have to take a second to acknowledge the gift that our filterless bundles come with - they can break out into a dance, sprint repeatedly up and down stairs or want to smooch you repeatedly on the lips, no matter where you are standing.
4. Learning while playing is so much fun than learning any other way.
I won't lie, I have tried teaching him things and encouraging him to learn colors and stuff (who hasn't?), but what I learned in the process is that my hair is blue, as are my nails, and eyes and puppies. The best way they do learn, is when we stop forcing it and play with them instead. With the right toys and encouragement, they learn to stack blocks, they learn about shapes, numbers, pieces and they know that the red circle will fit in the red spot on the puzzle. They also learn through songs - head, shoulders, knees and toes may be the first body parts they learn, but the rest will soon follow if you proceed with patience and time.
|Seriously, make the most of this.
5. Time waits for no one.
I know this doesn't come as news, but we live it in action when we see our babies changing in front of our eyes, everyday. Sometimes we don't notice the changes immediately but then will find that new clothes and shoes are tight, or will hear the big new word they picked up and can't stop saying.. It's tempting to wish away the sleepless nights and diapers, but really, learn to embrace it and make the most of it because before you know it, they will be in school and you will want all that time to come right back (okay, fine, at least some of it to come back).
|Blink of an eye, it feels like..
6. Love and affection sees exist beyond race, place, cast or color.
Kids are born not knowing how to discriminate. This makes my son and I sound spoiled but since we live in India it's simply reality that we do encounter people from many different social economic walks of life. I've seen my son run up to the house staff and hug them, and I've seen him wave to the security and chauffeurs and greet everyone excitedly. And no, I have no intention of stopping him or teaching him any class boundaries, nor any of race or religion. Because frankly, I wish they didn't exist and since they do, I know the world will teach him this in time. As a parent though, I believe it's my responsibility to teach him to be good, kind and humane, which is what I will stress before the world has a chance to come in to his world and alter his perception.
7. Happiness lies in the smaller things in life.
Like agreeing to wear the shoes your son picked out, even though they don't match because you know he is going to be beaming about it for a while, or in being silly together and playing drums on the cardboard boxes that actually seem to entertain them more then the toy. But most definitely in those unsolicited kisses that make your heart feel like it's about to burst!
8. Let go of the angst.
Toddlers can go from happy to screaming in seconds. But they can also go from lying down on the floor and crying to hugging, cuddling and ready to play in the same amount of time. It takes me a lot longer to shake off the tantrum and the screaming (his, not mine..) but it's important to shake it off and let go because they have forgotten about it and moved on. Plus, loving them through the ups and downs is going to help build up their security and self-esteem in the long run.
9. Put away the embarrassment.
My son is actually really shy, and yet he has times when he will burst out into chatter or even song (gibberish song at this point with a few words in between I can decipher), just about anywhere. Yes, there is a decorum that has to be maintained and I may end up institutionalized if I do that at my age, but there's still a lot to be learned from the confidence that our little children have that in so many ways can wither as we get older. So it's okay if your shoes don't match perfectly but they make your child happy - you can still wear it and walk with pride.
Yes, kids make a mess. It drives me nuts when puzzle pieces are thrown all over the room, and yet somehow I've learned that my baby learns more when I let him run with things (not scissors or markers but puzzle pieces are on the safe list), or put his hand in paint. Use the mess as a teaching moment and let them explore the colors, textures and differences between things like dough, flour, jell-O and paint. You can always enlist their help to clean up when their attention has run out (usually about 60 seconds later).
|Enlist help with the clean up!
Hope this one has given you some steps forward, ideas and moments of reflection.
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