As parents, guardians, or caregivers, we feel our job is to teach our children. We often forget our little ones are teaching us not only how to be parents, but to be better human beings through patience, love, mindfulness, and so much more.
There are more subtle lessons kids teach us, too. These unique lessons are often forgotten but powerful to remember because children are innocent. As we go through life, we lose a lot of our childlikeness. Getting in touch with our original essence means we better ourselves. Here are a few things we might miss.
One of the more important things we've learned from Covid-19 is the importance of breathing. A lot of us are breathing from the wrong place in our bodies. Breathe is vital because it helps us process information.
As challenges arise in our life, our breath is affected. To process information quickly, we breathe from our chest. If we're not practicing breathing deeply, we don't process our experiences at their root. Mental illnesses evolve from acute to chronic when we don't do this.
Children have yet to experience some of the challenges and hardships we've had to go through, thus they breathe from their diaphragms. All you have to do is sit back and watch how they breathe and then compare it to how you inhale and exhale. Observe how you breathe during moments of anxiety or fear, too.
Breathing exercises can correct chest breathing. You'll find you're more forgiving, relaxed, and happier when you take diaphragmatic breaths.
Kids intuitively know when they're hungry and when they have had enough. As we grow older, we start to use food less as a means to obtain nutrition and more for entertainment, distraction, and as a means of bringing people together. We begin to lose the innate intuition of knowing our hungry and full cues.
Children are amazing teachers of intuitive eating, and we can learn from them. They are so busy doing what they love that they feel nourished by those experiences as well as with food. As we get older, we have less loving experiences. We often try to compensate for our feelings of lack with food.
We're also taught to eat on a schedule (breakfast at 8 am, lunch at noon, dinner at 5 pm) rather than a feeling. Ever wonder why kids snack so much and eat so little at scheduled times? Instead of eating three big meals, eat when you feel hungry by consuming fist-sized doses of nutritionally dense foods. For kids who are messy eaters, don't forget our Silicon Bibs are built for those seemingly endless messes.
The Value of Play
As we get older, play begins to take on a negative or reward based connotation. Children in the first few months and even years of their life, simply just want to play. Their play is their work.
Starting with school or work environments, we begin to separate play and work. Our playtimes are scheduled. We experience burnout because we have to wait for vacation days and convenient timing to enjoy life. Children are always playing and so are always happy. When they get upset, it doesn't last long. We need to value play as much as children do to live a happy life.
Everyone agrees children need to sleep. As we get older, we sleep less, but most kids still need at least 10 hours of shut eyes. Why?
Sleep is an integral part of learning. Whenever we learn, we have to process that information. Because we are taking in so much stimulus throughout the day, both consciously and unconsciously, we don't realize how much we're learning. If we're learning, we need enough sleep to match our brain's appetite. Children fight sleep because they want to stay up to keep on learning. It isn't just to make us parents insane though it often feels that way! Get as much sleep as you need, even if it's more than 7 or 8 hours.
In a child's world, nothing is complicated. Most things are easily explainable, and there are rarely gray areas. As we get older, a lot of gray hues begin to take form and complicate life. It's no longer a yes or a no. Yes can mean no and vice versa. Maybes can be no's or yeses. There are even ask me laters.
Children remind us to keep things simple. Our life gets so complicated, and it can cause a lot of tension and disease. Children are a beautiful reminder to simplify our life to stay healthy.
“If you can't explain it to a 6-year-old, you don't understand it yourself.” - Albert Einstein.
It's always good to take the path of humility, especially in the process of learning. We can learn from anyone if we're open. We need to remember if we're not learning or if we're not open to learning, we're just repeating the same day without expanding towards our highest potential. Children are closest to whatever deity you feel created us. There's a reason they come to this life the way they do. They're a reminder to be better.
Parenting is awesome. Sleep is overrated. Every day is an adventure.
Meet Our KeaMommy Contributor: Nadia Rumbolt
Nadia Rumbolt is a mom of many trades, including creative writing, blogging, van life, minimalism, veganism, the beach, nature, and the occult.