Parenthood is an incredibly eye-opening experience, specially when it’s your first time. Every single day is unique because babies are smart little things. Over the last 12 months I watched in awe at how quickly my baby grew and developed. So much so, that I in fact learned lessons for life from him! Here’s five of them.
1. Be a ‘knowledge sponge‘
Babies are fast learners. They learn from the day they are born – possibly before that too! Sometimes I notice my little munchkin watching the most mundane things with the intensity and focus of a surgeon during an operation. He doesn’t just glance, but watches closely, not letting anything distract him. I think babies really are knowledge sponges! How else do you go from not been able to hold anything with your hand to flipping a light switch on or testing to see if all things have touch-screens (like the washing machine or TV).
“Children are sponges, soaking up every verbal and nonverbal interaction”Dr Asa Don Brown, Psychologist
My ‘SpongeBob’ reminds me to keep learning – always. No matter what age, stage of life or career we are in, there’s always more to learn – from everyone and even the most basic things in life. We can only grow as individuals by learning.
2. Get right back up when you fall
It is normal for babies to slip and fall as they learn to move around – I mean the every day kind, nothing sinister. Isn’t it amazing how quickly they get back up and keep going? Sure, there are the times they’ll have a cry or want a cuddle. But they don’t fret on it for more than a few minutes, before moving right on. I try to remind myself to be more resilient like my baby. To dust off and keep walking when life knocks me down. It takes courage, but that’s the only way to succeed.
3. Keep testing the limits
Babies seem to have quite the talent for testing the limits. Every time I stop mine from chewing slippers or making a dash to the bathroom – he wants to keep doing more of it. Sometimes I catch him watching my face curiously as he tries, yet again, to jam his fingers into an open cupboard. Setting the discipline factor aside, I think it’s an incredible life skill to have. Too often do we let others (or even ourselves) define and limit our abilities. We need to test our own limits to uncover our hidden strengths. Challenge fears that hold us back. Only then can we develop ourselves.
“I don’t have any limitations on what I think I could do or be”Oprah Winfrey
4. Be energetic
The amount of energy my little man has never fails to surprise me. Babies are full of life. Always ready to crawl, run or jump around. And they don’t seem to tire easily – even when the parents are. What a treat it would be to have that kind of energy to manage our busy lives. We would get so much done, not procrastinate as much and find a better balance between life and everything else. I try to channel some of my baby’s energy to kick-start the day and keep me going. I’m still no match for him but hey, I’m trying!
5. Don’t hold a grudge
One of the things I admire about babies is their innocence. All you see in their eyes is love, trust, curiosity and joy. They aren’t mean, rude or hateful. As parents, we do a lot of things babies don’t like – take them to get shots, stop them from playing with the keys/ remote, don’t let them eat cables or dirt. But they still come running as soon as we get home. They teach us an important lesson in not holding grudges. A grudge does no good. It breaks or damages relationships and the negative emotions affect our mental health. We’d be much happier if we could, like babies, learn to forget and forgive.
Babies are much smarter than we give them credit for. There’s much to learn from them. They remind us to; keep on learning, be persistent, test our own limits, be full of life and let go of grudges. Next time you’re playing with a baby, pay close attention – you might actually learn something!
Do you think there’s things we can learn from babies? Let me know in comments.
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