As parents, we pretend to be the experts at everything. After all, our kids turn to us for the answers to all of life’s questions! It’s a daunting task, and some days we nail it – some days we don’t.
You may feel like you spend your day telling your toddler what to do (and what not to do). But in between the arguments about what to wear, where to wee and what to eat, you might discover that our toddlers are teaching us a thing or two as well. Here are some of the life lessons our toddlers are teaching us each and every day.
1. Empathy and compassion are everything
Despite their young age, a toddler’s ability to understand these complex emotions is amazing. Their ability to feel empathy towards living creatures (and stuffed animals) and demonstrate kindness to pretty much everything, from a speck of dirt to a bug someone accidentally squashed, can be exasperating, but it is also so sweet.
2. Imperfections don’t matter
You might feel a bit self-conscious that you still have a bit of a baby pouch, you have bags under your eyes and your hair could use a bit of attention, but, to your toddler, you are perfect, stretch marks and all. Which is how we feel about them too, isn’t it?
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3. Never (ever, ever) give up
Just ask a toddler who wants something. Nothing gets in the way of a toddler’s desire to have a certain toy or snack, even if it’s on the highest shelf, belongs to someone else or is on your plate…
If she wants it, she’ll find a way to get it. Guaranteed.
4. Appreciate the little things
Shells on the beach, rocks in the garden, flowers on your walk to school – we pass these things all the time without even noticing them. A toddler, on the other hand, will spend hours looking at the surroundings and breathing every little thing in. It’s good to be reminded that there is plenty of joy in the little things.
5. It’s okay to let your emotions show
If your toddler is upset, the world is going to know all about it! And while spitting the dummy might not be the ideal way to handle your emotions, it’s often good to be honest about how you feel. Toddlers are truly the experts here. Although you might not be able to understand exactly what they’re saying, you’ll never be in doubt about how they’re feeling.
6. Forgive, forget and move on
One moment your toddler may be on the floor in tears because you turned off the television. The next moment he is happy to move on to a new game with you.
One of the greatest skills in life is the ability to forgive and move on to make happier memories. And a toddler’s ability to forgive, forget and keep moving is a beautiful gift to any family they are part of.
7. A kiss and a cuddle go a long way
Many tragic moments in a toddler’s day can be miraculously fixed by a kiss and cuddle from mum or dad. And that’s a great reminder to us that sometimes a kiss and cuddle helps us grown-ups too. We can’t always change our circumstances, or those of our family, but we can walk alongside each other and offer a cuddle when it’s needed.
So, on behalf of parents everywhere, we want to extend a big cuddle, kiss and thank you to our toddlers for reminding us about these important life lessons.