As we celebrate children’s day, I am humbled as I reflect on what my 6-year-old has taught me. Truly, she has been a good teacher and she constantly invites me to be a better version of myself. Here are the key lessons that I have learned from my child.
1. Stay in the present
I love to watch her engage in activities. When she plays, her focus is always on the present moment and it is seldom that she is distracted. When something unpleasant happens, she stays in the moment and expresses her frustration or sadness, and once the feelings are out she is ready to move on. When she is happy, her joy is pure and it's reflected on her face. She does it so effortlessly.
2. Be free to express yourself
When I was a child, I was super self-conscious, and I was always fearful of judgement. I feel so gratified to see her being
so free to express herself either through dance, art, story, and emotions. What I am most proud of is the fact that she is courageous enough to tell me when I have done something wrong and that
she trusts me to be able to handle it.
3. Quick to forgive and unconditional love
A child’s love is so pure and healing. There was a period of time when I was gripped by my own insecurity that I started to push her in her reading. I expressed my frustration and disappointment when she couldn’t read and as a 5-year-old, she was confused as her mummy who had always been kind, had turned into a monster who terrified her. When I realized my mistake and apologized to her, she was quick to forgive me and show her love.
4. Be gentle and patient.
“Happy the gentle, for they shall inherit the earth”. I hardly experience or think much about gentleness till I have a child who is gentle. She speaks softly and gently and is sensitive to loud voices. I remember when she was 3 years old, I gave her a massage and it didn’t hit the spot. She waited for a while before telling me the way preferred. This year, I had the pleasure of her coaching me how to thread water. Again, she was gentle in giving her feedback and was super encouraging. She has the right disposition to be a good teacher.
5. Play and take risk
From her, I discover that children learn about risks through playing. It is not always easy to trust that she can make her
own assessment but I was greatly rewarded as she gained confidence and trust in herself. At a playground one day, there were several older kids and they were jumping from one structure to
another. I noticed her observing them and making her assessment. When she decided that it wasn’t safe, she turned around and did her own thing. She isn't pressured into behaving like others and
has a good sense of herself.
6. Being resilient
She was born preterm at 32 weeks and spent the first 5 weeks of her life in the hospital. Consequently, she had a couple of conditions that had to be monitored and went through several procedures. One that I remember clearly was for her heart. The monitor indicated that she was in distress and yet she didn’t fuss. Amazing. These days, she continues to show resilience when she falls and trips, and almost always she believes in picking herself up and bounces back.
By her own admittance, she is courageous. She shows courage by trying new things and experiences. It is quite a joy to bring her on travels with us because she is open to new experience. This year, she attended an overnight camp with her graduating class and was thrilled about it. More importantly, she shows courage by owning up to her wrongdoing and standing up for what is right. I hope that she will continue to be courageous in being true to who she is.
One of the most fundamental lessons that I learn as a parent is that I need to recognize and appreciate my child for who she is; not who I want her to be. When she has the freedom to be who she is, she thrives as we nurture and provide the right environment for her.
Let’s remember that:
“Every child is a different kind of flower, and all together, make this world a beautiful garden.
Happy children’s day!
What have you learned from your child(ren)?
What I have learned...