1. They do things before they are ready.
Despite the fact that they are cognitively, developmentally and even physically unprepared for most of what the world has to offer, children are the masters of jumping feet-first into unknown waters. They aren’t worried about meeting the pre-requisites for new activities. They say yes first and then figure the rest out as they go. It’s a strategy us security-obsessed adults could learn a little something from. Kids are living proof that we don’t always have to be fully prepared in order to move forwards.
2. They ask for what they want.
Children probably get told “No” more times in a day than most adults do in a year. But this doesn’t discourage a child from trying again. Children know that if you want something in this world, you have to ask for it. Sometimes one or 70 times.
Adults will go to great lengths to avoid rejection. Children, on the other hand, know that it is only a part of succeeding. For every couple of times they are told “No,” they are probably told “Yes” at least once. And those odds are good enough. Kids know that basking in their victories feels a whole lot better than sulking over their defeats.
3. They let themselves need people.
Children, much more so than adults, understand that interdependence is a natural part of what it means to be human. While us adults take large, often counterproductive, measures to preserve our images as #Strong #Independent people, children see no point in this. They cry when they get hurt and they run out in search of company when they’re lonely. Children don’t let pride hold them back. They understand the inherent need for human connection and they find no shame in seeking it out.
4. They ask questions.
Yes, your 5 year-old cousin who consistently asks you “Why” is annoying as hell. But guaranteed he learns a lot more than you do every day. While most adults embrace black-and-white answers to complex questions, those who keep asking “Why” become the catalysts of change. They ask why we do things the way we do. They reject outdated practices and search for the better solutions. Why is a question we should never stop asking. No matter how annoying it makes us seem.
5. They move through their feelings.
A kid gets hit and they bawl. A kid feels slighted, they complain. A kid feels elated and you bet your ass they’re out screaming and shouting on the playground about it. Children feel the heck out of their feelings, both the good and the bad. But they also forgive the quickest. Laugh the easiest. Love the strongest. By allowing themselves to be entirely emotionally present, children allow themselves to move through their emotions more quickly. Watch a child bawl over a foul ball one moment then excitedly rejoin his peers the next if you need proof.
6. They invent solutions when they can’t find any.
Put two children of who speak different languages into a room together and chances are they’ll find a way to communicate — be it through hand gestures, non-verbal games or even a temporary pidgin they invent on the spot. Put two adults who speak different languages in a room and they’ll shrug, give up, and start awkwardly checking out their iPhones.
Most adults solve problems by wracking their brains for a pre-ready solution and giving up if they can’t identify one. Children solve problems creatively. They use trial and error when reference isn’t available. As a consequence, they create their own solutions. Ones they may later draw upon as adults.
7. They move forward.
Children are incredibly psychologically resilient. They employ a range of coping strategies that adults reject but — perhaps most importantly — they employ the strategy of moving the heck on. Kids do not wallow the way adults do. Children harbor an enduring belief that the future will be better than the past, and they move towards that future enthusiastically. It doesn’t matter if the future actually delivers. The optimism gives them momentum and that momentum moves them forward.
8. They forget about self-image.
Ask a child about their body and they will tell you how fast they can run with their legs. How loud they can shout with their voices. How many pictures they’ve painted or words they have written with their hands. Children are not interested in Instagram filters or Twitter followers. They understand that their bodies and minds are merely vessels they’ve been given to experience life. They are interested in how they can use them to engage with the world around them — what they can learn, understand and experience.
While their adult counterparts are sitting in therapy rooms using self-analyses to ponder why they cannot find joy, children are out in the world unearthing that joy first-hand. Their self-image is not the center of their universe and as a result, they are generally a whole lot happier.
9. They accept things as they are.
Children are not born with pre-conceived notions of how the world should be. As a consequence, most of what they experience comes as a pleasant surprise.
By the time we reach adulthood we have enough experiences to reference that we quickly forget the simple novelty of enjoying things without making comparisons. We assume that different means worse, even when that isn’t necessarily the case. To a child, different simply means new — and new is always an exciting notion.
10. They appreciate the absurdity of life.
There is a reason children laugh significantly more often than adults do and it isn’t because the jokes they tell are that much more hilarious. Children find humor in the situations that we stress out about. They laugh when something makes no sense. They laugh when a situation turns out differently than they’d expected. They find joy in the absurdity of what they do not understand.
Whereas adults often fear what they don’t understand, children are okay with simply letting some aspects of life be ridiculous. They don’t expect the world to make perfect sense. They just expect to enjoy it. And, as a consequence, they do.