Having a child can truly change you – we’re not talking about change that you’ve got to deal with like lack of ‘me’ time, lack of sleep and changing diapers but real positive change. Children can teach us a lot of things and many of these become valuable life lessons for parents. Here are ten important ones my child taught me.
Life Lesson #1: Treasure each moment
It’s hard to miss this when at every turn, my child seems to be growing up (and I’m growing old!). We all know time flies and with a child, there’s further tension between spending time with our child versus getting everything else done (chores, pack school bags, shower, brush teeth and bedtime routine!). I learn from my child though – at every moment she’s engaged in something, she’s in that moment and not worried about something else.
Life Lesson #2: TLC
We as parents care for our child’s physical needs but our child may be better at caring for our emotional needs. Children are generous with saying ‘I love you’, spontaneous in hugging someone they love and not afraid to give kisses whenever they feel like! Many marriages will probably benefit from more tender loving care (TLC)!
Life Lesson #3: Be Yourself
Somewhere along an adult life, we learn to conform. Socially, that is probably on some level a necessity but surely, we can be ourselves in front of family we live with! My child dances and poses at home, knowing that her parents will not judge her. Likewise, we don’t have to put on a mask when we are with family.
Life Lesson #4: No Grudge
My child doesn’t hold a grudge. There is no resentment simmering in her life, no undertones in her speech and no ‘cold shoulder’ type of body language. Grudges tend to simmer, fester and eventually destroy relationships. I learn from my child to let go of grudges and start each day afresh.
Life Lesson #5: Trust
Children trust their parents to do the best for them – my child does not doubt I love her nor doubt our care for her. She doesn’t even hesitate when we ask her to do a ‘trust fall’ from the upper bunk bed! It may be that children are not self-sufficient but dependent that they have learnt to trust. On the other hand, adults don’t trust easily and we don’t like to depend on another. However, trust is a building block in marriage otherwise, the marriage vow of ‘till death do us apart’ has no meaning!
Life Lesson #6: We don’t need many things
It amazes me that when I ask my child if she wants to go shopping (because I want to!), she would reply that she wants to stay at home and play with us. On occasion that I tempt her into a toy shop (so that I can feel like I’m shopping!), she will not insist on buying anything. I learn that much of my life with my child doesn’t need ‘things’ but just us.
Life Lesson #7: Don’t Give Up
There is joy in learning and not giving up – every child takes time to learn how to walk, to potty train and to hop on one leg! Sometimes I give up too easily – I find it hard to learn how to skate, how to self-defend and have given up on many sports. Perhaps I ought to learn from my child and I may just discover the joy of learning something and being good at it.
Life Lesson #8: Don’t Lie
Children (up to a certain age) don’t lie. Even when my child tells a lie, she tells me the next moment that it is a lie. We tell many lies – some white lies, but possibly some are ‘grey’ or outright ‘black’! Lying is a pain too – you have to keep track of the lies so that they don’t backfire on you. Well, the easiest is not to lie and live truthfully, but don’t start telling your BFF that she’s fat (possibly gently inspire her to a healthy lifestyle instead!).
Life Lesson #9: Patience
Life after a baby requires a lot of patience – things don’t happen immediately and definitely not as and when we want them to. Sometimes I feel that time spent with my child is slower; it is difficult to rush a child especially when it tends to yield the opposite result – ask your child to eat faster, he/she may just eat slower! Patience will probably go a long way when dealing with other people, not everyone operates at the same pace and life doesn’t happen the way we want it now.
Life Lesson #10: Accidents happen
There’re plenty of accidents with a child – poop accidents, tripping or falling. In life, accidents happen too. While I tend to get frustrated over accidents and how much time is wasted, my child tends to view accidents as part of life.
Having a child has its benefits – simply put, it makes me a better person!