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Let Us Learn From Our Toddlers

by Chandrima Pal

A quick look at the innocent but meaningful aspects of being a child can set you thinking of how we outgrow childish spontaneity to cautious adulthood.

We as parents think that we are raising and teaching our babies or toddlers. But if we sit for a while and watch their activities closely; we will notice some strengths of their character. They are spontaneous, free from the thoughts of self-criticism and guilt, unafraid of screening their emotions and ignorance. Let us learn from them to improve our state of mind too.

When they do something, they do it right

When they make a tower of building blocks, bake a mud cake or scribble on a piece of paper, they dive into their world of activity with full concentration, fantasy and passion. We on the other hand, believe in multitasking. We keep speaking to a friend over the phone, watch television and try to make a project plan for the next day at work. Finally we develop a series of incomplete work along with a sense of dissatisfaction.

When they are angry, they just show it

Ask them not to mess around in the kitchen, not to open the fridge, not to eat so many chocolates and they scream, shout and get angry. After expressing all the negative emotions they are set out for the next activity on their list.

When our bosses expect us to finish those piles of work within a day, when mother-in-law always has a word of criticism in whatever we do, when our husbands keep watching cricket all day long, we too want to shout but we cannot; the result - a number of days of our lives lost under depression, suppressed anger and negative feelings.

When they don't want to talk they don't talk

Ask them to say 'hello' to your colleague and they will not do so. They will hide when your neighbour tries to kiss their chubby cheeks. They will frown, if somebody tries to talk to them and they do not find it interesting.

All of us, sometimes, do not want to talk with friends who boast about themselves or with those who are our friends only in our good times. But whenever they call us, we do talk, we do listen and then we complain of getting no time to do what we want.

When they learn something new, they are so happy and proud

They are so proud and happy when they learn to make a new five piece puzzle or draw a circle. They literally start jumping on one foot. They show it to everybody and keep on showing it until they receive a pat or hear a 'wow', from us.

When we finish a project we have a mixed feeling of happiness with a sting of, perhaps we could have done it better. We buy new curtains for the living room that look very pretty but we scrutinize the expenses as closely as we can. We never feel a complete sense of pride and satisfaction of whatever good we do.

They do not feel shy of asking questions

When children do not know something, they simply ask. Why there are no small letters for writing 1, 2, 3? Why birds do not have hands? Why everyday is not Sunday? Why can't we eat dessert for the main course? They feel proud of what they are learning and they feel it is very important to know the answers to all the questions.

We on the other hand, feel shy. We are afraid that people will laugh at us. We keep our questions within and stop ourselves from learning so many new things which we would love to know.

Let us learn from our young ones to do our on-hand job with full concentration and passion. Let us be able to easily get our negative feelings out, to prioritise our needs, to say no to some tasks, to forbid ourselves from hearing all those unnecessary critical comments, to feel a sense of utter pride about every success of our life, to believe in ourselves and ask a question, whenever we have one.

Have you ever noticed your child do things that make you think? How did it feel to be spontaneous when you were a child? Do you share what you do at work with your family and friends? To share your views and experiences, click here.

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