What have my children reminded me?

People say that children are here to ‘test’ us, and that they do. Daily…I am ‘tested’. I probably need to be more grateful for that sometimes, but in the moment, it can be difficult to think of it that way.

But recently I have taken the time to reflect upon all the ‘teachings’ and ‘reminders’ my three children have provided me. Whether you have children or not, these reflections are so important. Things that we often neglect, forget or underestimate the importance of. So where did my reflective journey take me?

  • Be less judgmental: Everyone is their best friend. You have the same shoes you are best friends. Ok, yes this can come with its risks as they have not yet developed the self-awareness around who may be a risk, but I am highlighting here the time that two children meet at a park, a playground or new school. There is no judgment made of the other child’s skin color, weight, height, hair color or clothes. These thoughts do not even cross their mind. They engage with them because they are fun to be around.
  • Appreciate the little things: It could be the size of the waves at the beach, the birds in the trees or how tasty a marshmallow is. Like that of being present and in the moment, ‘stopping to smell the roses’, appreciating the small things was for me, about making time to enjoy the wonder in the smallest things. Not taking for granted something that is truly beautiful or enjoyable. No longer shovelling food in quickly, instead savouring the tastes and the smells. Looking out at the ocean with my children and watching the waves crash. Life is full of pleasures we miss every single day.
  • All the toys and ‘sparkly things’ in the world cannot replace time together: Yes, my kids love their toys, but what they want the most, is the 10 minutes of jumping on the trampoline together. No longer be ‘to busy’ for 10 minutes of jumping. 10 minutes of silly play. What may seem pointless to you, may be the one thing they have been waiting to do all day. Buying another toy car or teddy bear cannot replace the connection they feel, and we feel, when we play together. Let go of the fear of judgment and just have fun. Again, human connection, laughter, and joy.
  • The clothes do not make the person: You can wear Luis Vuitton, Tommy Hilfiger, SEED, Nike….none of it matters. It all gets dirty; it all gets damaged. It’s the person in the clothes that is most important of all. This may be deep, but sometimes clothes are worn to simply cover insecurities. Strength and happiness in self can be shown through letting go of that idea of ‘image’.
  • The importance of cuddles: Yes….human touch. Why have we all become too busy for cuddles? Hugging makes us relax and feel calm. It enables the release of Oxytocin (the cuddle hormone). Sometimes a child just knows the right time to deliver the perfect cuddle. It is like they sense your stress, your worry, your anger, and they know a hug will make you feel better. Nothing should stop us from showing this love to others.

It’s only over years on this earth that we become ‘socially moulded’ by the people in our network, TV and social media, but if you stop to reflect upon yourself as a child, were the things above important to you? And, when did they stop becoming important…or, did the material possessions and image become a primary concern.

Children are (or should be), happy little humans. Little humans that are wanting nothing more than to enjoy their surroundings, their days and feel love and affection. Is this not something we should all be desiring as well?


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