By guest blogger Serena Piper
Journalism major at the University of Oregon. Editor-in-Chief of Her Campus Oregon. Magazine, freelance blogger, future world traveler. In her spare time, she likes to read as many books as she can, go for long drives, and peruse news websites. Hopes to one day write for National Geographic.
Most of the time, if we aren’t a parent, we’re around little kids because we’re babysitting them. We succumb to their every whim, the goal being to satisfy their parent. We play whatever games they want to play, we clean up their messes, and if there’s more than one, we keep them from killing each other. They may be younger than us, and therefore seem more inexperienced, but they’ve already figured out some of the keys to life – and they don’t even know it!
1. Forgive and forget.
For little kids, forgiving and forgetting is easier because their long term memory is not quite developed. For us, forgiving doesn’t necessarily mean forgetting. But if we were to take a tip from kids, we would learn to let the little things slide. If someone takes that toy from you when you clearly had it first, don’t pitch a fit every time. Realize it’s not worth the trouble and find something else.
2. Change your mind and change it often.
As we make our way through college, one of our main worries is changing our major. We don’t want to feel we’ve wasted a bunch of time studying the wrong thing. This is where we can really benefit from thinking like a child; Were you coloring and then saw something else that caught your eye? Check it out! Make sure that if there are other options, you explore them before coming back to the one you really liked. Life is not a race – so slow down!
3. Make your own rules.
Roll the dice one extra time? No big deal. Move your token one extra space? Well, it would’ve moved later in the game anyway. The point is we should treat the ‘rules’ of life more as (in the words of Captain Jack Sparrow) “guidelines.” Throw the rule book out the window and see what happens. Not every rule is applicable to every person. With no rules there are no restrictions, and when there no restrictions, everything and anything goes.
4. If it falls on the floor, pick it up and eat it anyway! (hypothetically, of course)
Kids are some of the most persistent people I know. When something falls apart, or a page they were coloring rips, they don’t take it as a sign to give up and walk away. They ask, “How do I fix it?” Bottom line: just because something is a little damaged, that doesn’t mean it can’t be fixed. Give it another try or another look, and let nothing go to waste.
5. Say what you want to say.
Do you ever hear a kid say, “Man, I should’ve said…”? Kids say what they want to say when they want to say it – they don’t leave a conversation with regrets. We are so busy editing ourselves and filtering what we say that often we are never completely happy with the way we left things. Who wants to live like that?
The next time you’re babysitting or hanging out with your niece or nephew, watch them a more closely and you might be surprised at what other life lessons you pick up. Instead of scolding them for being a little devil, treat them as your teacher… However outrageous a suggestion that may be.