Life is never boring or monotonous when you are the parents of toddlers. Each day you have little reminders of resilience in action. No matter what knocks them down they jump back up. Along the way you may have to shield your ears as they succumb to screaming fits of frustration. You may even have to watch a temper tantrum or two when they don’t get their way.
But they always run to their trusted adult a few minutes later and ask for hugs, kisses and reassurance. Oh to be a toddler again when resilience wasn’t a conscious thought but a natural reaction.
Toddlers teach us lessons by their acts of wisdom. Yes I said acts of wisdom. Spend an hour with them and you will see them live out skills we wish some adults could understand. Here are a few examples of their infinite wisdom:
1. Knowledge of their client base/salesman:
Ok we know toddlers don’t have clients but bear with me. Children learn what each parent or caregiver will allow them to do and what they won’t be able to get away with. They adapt their behaviors to meet the needs and expectations of the caregivers in their life.
Teachers, parents, siblings, grandparents don’t often see the manipulation in action with them but it is easy to recognize when used on others. “They don’t do that with me,” is often overhead when discussions are held about the child’s behavior and later after comparing notes, the adults learn then have been manipulated by a master salesman who may not as yet conquered potty training.
2. Adaptable to new demands/change:
Either weekly, monthly or yearly children hit milestone which may require change to their environment. They conquer solid foods and move away from breast milk/formula. They conquer rolling over and then it is time to crawl and then before you realize it they have grown up and walking. The behavioral expectations increase along with the child’s development. While they may not like the new rules, they adapt and keep going. They don’t let the change stop their momentum.
3. Purpose Driven determination:
Advocating for what you want is sometimes a lost art form that children have mastered. They make their mind up as to what they want and they go after it with single minded determination. First it’s, “may I ____? Depending on your answer the next thing you will hear is either “thank you” or “why.” The why question will continue until they either get what they want or you find a distraction. But don’t think you won that round because once the distraction fades, they return to request a new goal which is often the original question. They got distracted but they didn’t forget their goal. They picked the idea back up and pursued obtaining it.
As you plan for 2017, what are a few lessons you can adopt from the children in your life?
Til next time,
“Each of us has the opportunity to change and grow until our very last breath. Happy creating.” – M. F. Ryan