Parenting is a non-stop job. Anyone who has children will tell you it is the most difficult, yet most rewarding aspect of their life. Even the most well-behaved children can drive you to your wit’s end.
Why do children who are thankful, respectful, and well-mannered still push you to your point of needing a break from them? In addition to having all family members who live together eventually needing moments of alone time, there are deeper aspects when it comes to your children. Heavy responsibility as an adult may dampen your sense of excitement and vitality for life that so often (and easily) shines through for children. Kids have it all figured out—you may on the other hand have programmed yourself into being a more responsible version of them.
While you do have responsibilities, are they as serious as you make them? Are there tricks you can learn from your children to enjoy life and the chores all at the same time?
The answer is yes, and here are some of the lessons you can learn from your children.
A child can get extremely excited over the smallest things. It may be playing with a dollar toy, having company come over, seeing the mail man pull up, or better yet, nothing at all. The thought of something exciting can send a child on a 10-minute, high-on-life excursion.
Often adults will tell them to calm down—that it's not that big of a deal. In reality, you need to get that excited too! Everything can be a gift when you change your perspective and appreciate more. This level of energy not only has the potential to make you much happier, but also helps you to manifest more of what excites you. If the Universe speaks in frequency, nothing is more powerful than excitement!
Use Your Imagination
What can you imagine? When a child tells you a story or a goal, can you see it? It may be the most outlandish explanation you have ever heard, but what is your first reaction? Do you dismiss it as “just a kid” talking, or do you engage and go on an adventure in your mind? Are you an adult that says, “Go for it!” or “That's impossible”?
Whatever you can imagine, you can create. Play and downtime sparks the imagination. Do you take that time? If not, make a list of how the imagination could help with goals you have now, and begin a journey once a week to gain that childhood trait back into your life.
Express Unconditional Love
Your children are the humans on this planet who actually make you understand what this truly means. They get it!
Have you ever got upset with your child then later realize how much you blew the situation out of proportion? You feel horrible, prepare yourself to beg for their forgiveness, and by the time you get to them, they have already forgotten all about it? They love you—no, like really, soulfully love you—to your core. The good, bad, and ugly—they have seen it all, yet are more than happy to hug it out and spend the rest of the day with you.
This is not to say it's impossible to push a child to the point of not wanting to speak to you or be around you, but even then, they will still have deep love for you. Loving someone doesn't always mean you have to like them or their actions—that is unconditional love. In hopes of spreading this throughout your world, it starts at home.
Okay, so they may not be the most patient creatures on earth, but they sure will make you turn yours up a notch, or five. From the baby stages of waiting for them on the potty, to the countless check-ups, doctor appointments, activities, and the famous school car line—your patience is tested in every way possible.
Instead of complaining or thinking about what else needs to be done, think about what you would tell them when they are waiting on you. For example, every parent pulls their child to some event or long car trip that they don't necessarily want to be at. I would guess you say the following line in these situations: “Take something to do/entertain yourself.”
Take your own advice: get out of the car and walk or soak up some sun instead of sitting in the car line, catch up on a good book or some articles, or play games on your phone (that's what they would do). Did you know playing phone games can be a form of meditation?
Kids show up with an “I can do anything” attitude. The dreams that children have are backed by a heap load of confidence. This only lessens in them when they hear, “You can't do that” or “That's impossible” multiple times by people they love or respect. Even then, many rebel toward such negative attitudes. They are intuitive enough to see that particular adult has been jaded and failed at their own desires.
Inspire them to keep the confidence, speaking on a failed attempt as an opportunity to improve. Allow their determination to spark your confidence as well.
No, not a night out on the town or an adult vacation. Play seems to mean a new categorical list from childhood to adult. Here I am speaking on good ole fashioned childlike play. Get outside, jump on the trampoline, hula hoop, swim, skate, climb up the monkey bars, and go down the slide. You're not too old! What are you afraid of exactly? Will your clothes get dirty? Maybe, but the fun you will have by the end will take all cares of that stain away!
Play increases your health by raising your heart rate, decreasing blood pressure, lowering cholesterol, and most importantly, boosting your happiness.
Adulting is time-consuming. It often takes more effort to relax than not because your brain is still focused on what you need to be doing.
Let’s change the perspective and programming on this a bit. Just for a week, give this a try. Instead of yelling at the kids to get off their butt and clean up their shoes, sit down with them. For 15 minutes just relax and breathe for a bit—can you hear your breath? It's probably the first time you've heard it all day. After 15 minutes is up, go back to your chores. Now ask the kids to help you. Pay close attention to how differently you are asking now verses how you may have spoken to them 15 minutes ago. Kids work hard and play hard but they know the importance of some good chillax time.
Ever notice how much you get on your kids’ nerves when you explain what could, maybe, possibly, or might happen? You know the dangers of this world; it's everywhere you turn when it comes to any social media or news, not to mention what you may have lived through or witnessed in person.
Here's the trick though: Kids really do see, feel, and know the bad in life, but they live as though they are always safe. They trust their intuition to guide them away from harm should it come close to them. They have an understanding of it's only a part of reality, not totality.
“Worry is like praying for something you don't want.” – unknown
Children see people for their soul. They just want to be around loving, fun humans and critters. It doesn't matter where you live, shade of skin, what hobbies you do or do not enjoy, sexual preference, or what you did “bad” in your past. They genuinely do not care! How are you treating them in the now? That is where their attention flows. If you hear a child being prejudice, racist, or judgmental in any fashion outside of the frequency they feel coming from someone, it has been programmed toward them to repeat it. We could all use a lesson from this category in some way or another.
Nurture All Aspects of Your Personality
You may see a child in a superhero costume and 15 minutes later they are playing with a doll. This same routine goes on all day long, skipping from one character to another. They love many aspects of life, including personalities and archetypes. Rarely do they tunnel vision in on one category. A kid wants to explore all the thoughts and interests that can pop into their mind at any given moment, as should you. Those thoughts spark imagination and lead to roads of deep passion and authenticity. While some are short-lived, a gift will always be a part of the journey. One new factoid or epiphany of self-knowledge is worth the effort.
Adults want to ask children what they want to be when they grow up. It is my personal opinion that you should dump this question. I mean do you even know what you want to be yet? You change every day; your ideas, perspectives, and passions change with each new experience. Your career may be long-term, or maybe just a stepping stone to the next adventure. What you do now for your bill money may be your dharma, but even in the midst of a dream job, the universe may have another surprise to keep you on your toes. Your life is not about working to collect money and spending it on responsibilities—it’s about engulfing in your happiness so much that you no longer see work as a restraint.
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