As a father of a two-year-old most of my days — when I’m not at work — are spent caring for and raising my son, along with the help of my partner of course.
I am also the stepfather to a ten-year-old boy — who seems to have hit his teens sooner than expected, hormones have gone crazy — but for this particular piece, we focus on the younger of the two.
He is a handful at the best of times but in a good way. Always running, shouting, climbing, testing his limits and mine. Never stopping, constantly moving, always on the go.
And over the past two years of watching him grow into his own little crazy character, it has occurred to me that we should all try to be more like our kids.
Oh, to be a kid again. Not a care in the world. Every day is an adventure full of new experiences and learning. Imagination free to run wild, the world is a wonderful place. Almost magical.
And before we know it all that is gone. We have grown up and now have ‘responsibilities’ to deal with. Jobs to keep. Bills to pay. Families to raise. Not quite as magical.
In fact, it can be pretty damn stressful being a grown up — or at least trying to be. So why not revert back to our childlike ways. When times were fun and the days seemed simple.
Ok, so I don’t mean to completely forget about your responsibilities and go back to being an actual child again, that would be ridiculous not to mention selfish to the people who rely on you — i.e your children and family.
But why not take some of the traits that children possess. The ones that make life fun and exciting.
One thing that I love about my son is his sense of fearlessness. Mainly when it comes to playtime — which for him involves a lot of climbing.
There is nothing that he won’t try to climb. No matter the size, shape or height he will find a way to climb it. Never put off by the challenge and doesn’t stop until he gets to where he wants to go.
The worry for us, his parents, comes when he reaches the top and screams the words, “Big jump!”
Then without hesitation, he jumps. Most of the time he executes a perfect landing — which is amazing in its own — but not always, hence the ‘bit of a handful’ comment made earlier.
And before you freak out and jump to conclusions, this all happens in the safety of our own lounge, with myself or his mother keeping a close eye on him.
But watching him as he went about his daredevil antics got me thinking.
Using this same method in our grown-up lives would no doubt change things for the better. No, I don’t mean climbing and jumping off every object imaginable. But making quick decisions and following through instead of dwelling on them.
How many times have you sat and pondered an idea or decision that you had to make only to go with the choice that first came to mind at the very beginning?
I know I’ve done it a hundred times at least. Now think of the time and stress that could have been saved had you of been fearless and made a quick decision. It doesn’t bear thinking about at times.
A moment of hesitation. May cause you a lifetime of regrets.
Another trait that I love is that of curiosity. Have you ever noticed how young kids are drawn towards the unknown? When they see something for the first time their gaze is fixed upon it. They want to know what it is. How it works. They want to explore.
As we get older this trait leaves us. We fall into a comfort zone. Sticking to what we know and avoiding the unknown. Learning new things becomes a hassle, even a fear, as we become stuck in our ways.
I believe that if we follow suit we would be able to expand our minds as well as our skill sets. Discover the love of learning again and seek out the weird and wonderful.
Again this could only add to our quality of life and increase happiness within us. Will you be brave enough to give it a go the next time you’re faced with a new situation? Run towards the unknown instead of shy away from it?
“A hero is someone who voluntarily walks into the unknown” — Tom Hanks
There are many things we can learn just from observing and appreciating our children and whats mentioned above are just two of them.
It’s not always easy being a parent. Times can be hard. Stress levels hitting ninety but always remember to take a step back from the madness and appreciate your little bundle of joy.
These days don’t last long so enjoy every minute of it and if you can learn something along the way then that’s just an added bonus, right?