Life Lessons from the Kindergarten crowd

I have two young boys at home, ages five and six. They look to me as their guide, their counselor of life. But as I have watched them grow, I realize that they can teach me a few things too.

FOLLOW DIRECTIONS, BUT ALSO BE CREATIVE
LEGO building blocks rule in our house. The boys love them. And who wouldn’t? What a wonderful, creative toy to spark young imaginations. They come in different “kits” and themes, complete with instructions on how to build the item shown on the outside of the box. At first, I wasn’t a fan of these step by step directions. Don’t we teach our children to think outside the box? But as I watched them play, I noticed that at first, they do use the instructions and build the item shown. After they have played with the car, ship or house for a while, they tear it up and make their own creations. Lesson: There are times when you should follow directions to complete a specific goal. But next time, try something different.

SAY NO
Have you ever met a child who didn’t say no?

“Do you want to go to the park today?’ “No.”
“Would you like to help me bake cookies?” “No.”
“It’s time to go to the store now.” “No.”

Kids are very verbal in expressing what they want to do, when they want to do it. They want to be in charge of their own time, and if they don’t want to do something, they are not shy about saying “no.” Lot’s of adults (women especially) should take some clues from these little guys. Lesson: If you don’t want to do something, say no. Be in control of your precious time.

ASK QUESTIONS
My boys ask questions until they are satisfied with an answer. Be inquisitive. If you are asked to help on a project, make sure you have the knowledge you need to proceed. Are you halfway through a project and more questions arise? Ask away. Lesson: If you don’t understand something, ask questions until you do.

MAKE FRIENDS
Alone at an event? Introduce yourself and make a friend. Kids do it all the time on the playground. Who knows? You might find you have a lot in common, and your paths may cross again in the future. If you don’t click, just move on. Lesson: You never know when you might meet your next BFF, or someone who can help you achieve your goals.

PLAY HARD
Kids know how to play. They put all their emotions and spirit into a game of hide and seek or tag. Even a bike ride can be an event. They aren’t thinking about the next day’s events, they are caught up in that day, that moment. Play like a kid. And when it’s time to call it a night, you’ll find that you sleep a lot better, and are refreshed  and energized the next day. Lesson: All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.

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