NZ Woman's Weekly
Learning from our children

Learning from our children

As parents, we are supposed to be the ones teaching our children about life. But there’s a lot we can learn from our kids – there are some things they are much better at than us.

Making friends

Kids have no qualms about starting up conversations with strangers and striking up new friendships. While they do need to understand stranger danger, it means they are better at connecting with people. Researchers have found that children have an instinctual process that enables them to determine who to bond with.

Being spontaneous

Kids are great at doing things spontaneously, partly because their ability to control impulses is not fully developed. Being spontaneous is good because it can add a spark to your life and relieve monotony.

Adapting to change

Children’s brains are more flexible because they are not yet fully developed. While this can mean they have trouble making long-term decisions, they are more easily able to adapt to doing things differently. This is why they are much better at dealing with new technology than you are.

Keeping an open mind

Children make most of their judgements based on first-hand experience. They are often prepared to see what happens before making up their minds.

Expressing feelings

The older we get, the more adept we become at concealing our feelings. Children on the other hand make it clear whether they are happy, sad, angry, scared or indifferent. Expressing your feelings openly often makes communication easier and helps you to be more sincere.

Laughing

Apparently children laugh around 300 times a day, while adults only manage to giggle 20 times a day. Laughing helps to stop you feeling stressed and the chemicals your body releases can help you to ward off illness.

Asking questions

It might drive you mad, but your child’s constant questioning of everything is one of the ways they learn, and an enquiring mind is a great asset. Many adults are worried about asking questions because they think it will make them sound stupid, when it fact it shows an enthusiasm for learning and understanding the world around them.

Speaking their mind

Yes, they sometimes blurt out things they shouldn’t, but when it comes to speaking the truth, children are much less inhibited than us. Too often we bottle up our feelings, which is bad for us. And many difficult situations would be much more easily resolved if we were able to express ourselves with ease.

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