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“A child can teach an adult three things: to be happy for no reason, to always be busy with something and to know how to demand with all his might that which he desires.”
In the past two years of my motherhood journey, I’ve been struck speechless by the antics of my boys SO MANY TIMES! I’ve wondered more than once who is the teacher and who is the student amongst us? Have they been gifted to me to teach me more about life? Or is it me, as a parent, who has to take on the mantle of mentoring my kids more seriously than I do now?
I’m sure EVERY parent will agree with me when I say that children are the embodiment of love and freedom. The way they move, talk, walk, eat, dance, etc. are true expressions of an abandonment that is born out of pure innocence. They have an INCREDIBLE amount of energy that is seemingly inexhaustible and are forever curious and imaginative. Their free spirited nature is the sum total of the way in which they live and express themselves!
My kids, all of 2.5 years old have given me lessons in fearless living and fearless loving in more ways than I can remember. Their freedom of expression has been showcased in a number of ways such as:-
1) They are always present in the moment
Sometime back there was a social experiment online called Do Nothing for Two Minutes, wherein adults were encouraged to open a webpage and just relax and listen to waves for 2 minutes. It broke the internet as most people, (including me!) could not manage to just switch off, calm down and not think of anything for JUST two minutes!
My kids are the extreme opposite to this, like most kids. Given any activity, a book to glance through, a puzzle to finish, a cookie to eat- they lose themselves in that activity, all their senses fully engaged! They teach me that it is wonderful to be present and live in the moment, encumbered by thoughts of what I “should” be doing otherwise!
2) They rejoice in emotional expression
As adults, we are often guilty of compartmentalizing our emotions. Most of us behave appropriately, do not create too much of a fuss if things are not going our way, keep control over our emotions, etc. Maybe we should take a lesson from our kids and lose control once in a while, to keep ourselves grounded.
My kids have not learnt this control over their emotions yet and Thank God for that! If they are hurt, they cry. If they are feeling pain, it is the end of the world. And once those few minutes of crying are over, they move on totally, not holding any grudges and forgetting about the bruises because they expressed themselves completely and totally!
3) They demand what they want and Say No like they mean it
My younger son has recently how to say “No”. So now, whenever he doesn’t like or want anything, he says “NO” distinctly, loudly and clearly. “Advait, have one more bite of your poori” “NO”. “Advait, stop pushing your brother.” “NO”. “Advait, go to sleep in the swing”. “NO”.
While it drives me crazy with exasperation, I love how clear and honest he is in his self expression. I don’t like it, I won’t do it. No hesitance at all-about what he feels, thinks and wants.
Kids are blissful and candidly share opinions about everything. This is the gift they give us. Be true to yourself and to others. There is no fear in their words or their thoughts about the consequences, and that’s exactly what adults should aim for too!
4) They move unrestricted and dance like no one’s watching!
My husband always jokes that I danced so much during Ganpati celebrations when I was carrying my twins that they picked up dancing right from the womb itself. My kids dance at every given opportunity- a baraat going through the colony, their favourite Bollywood dance number on the radio, me singing a nursery rhyme-any excuse is good enough for them to listen to their minds and bodies and act upon its impulses!
They are little daredevils as well- jumping off tables, trying to climb on top of cars, sliding down on staircase railings, etc. I say “Be Careful” so many times in a day that it can almost become my nickname, but I also marvel at my kids complete confidence in their bodies and abilities. They live in their bodies and not in their heads- something we adults can learn from them!
5) They are spontaneous in play, as in everything else as well!
“Life is full of playfulness; we need to play so that we can discover the magic around us!”
-Kay Redfield Jamison
My kids are so spontaneous, like any other kids, when it comes to play that they make me laugh out loud in the silliness of it all! While taking a shower, they climb into buckets and wear the mug on their heads like a hat. They will come up slowly behind me and scream bhow bhow, pretending to be dogs attacking me.
This is because they express what they want to in the moment and make it magical through their vitality and imagination brining a smile on my face. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we as adults could also give way to the spontaneous silliness that emerges from our hearts often?
6) They Sing and Talk Gibberish as if it’s the most natural thing in the world!
I am guilty of holding “singing” competitions with my kids wherein the three of us just scream “AAAAAAAAAA” much to the amusement of everyone else at home! It’s so much fun to just let go of all inhibitions and pretend to sing with them while losing ourselves in the spirit of the moment.
My kids talk gibberish to each other when they know no one else is watching. It’s like they’re having a secret conversation between themselves. When they do this without a care in the world, I cannot help but see them as incredibly fearless and creative beings!
7) They like making a mess!
Children see puddles of water as opportunities to splash and jump, while adults see them as obstacles. They jump straight into the messiness of life, while we do our best to keep things nice and tidy!
Getting messy for children is simply a part of their process of growing up, and the things they learn from unstructured play time makes them use their head and hearts to get out of the mess and impart problem solving skills. Simple, and yet so effective.
8) They show their love unfettered, and have a desire to be cuddled and hugged!
The most precious part of my days after becoming a mommy are when my kids come and look into my eyes and demand to be hugged or cuddled. They remind me that as human beings, we are all interconnected and we all have a feeling of bonding and belonging to each other.
Kids love to snuggle, be cuddled, held close, hugged and generally be held close by family and friends who matter to them. They identify with the web of interconnectivity more than us adults, and offer their hearts for us to love unconditionally!
It is for all these reasons that I truly believe that kids will ALWAYS be our littlest big teachers. They give us lessons on how to showcase are authentic nature, and bring out the child in us who wants to be happy without any reason and come out and play-fearless and proud!
Have you, as a parent, marvelled at the fearlessness of your kids? Have you ever found yourselves wishing you could also be a part of this “Fearless Childhood”?
I wish every kid out there has a childhood fearless and full of love that offers infinite opportunities to grow, play and love unconditionally! KhulJaye Bachpan, Saare Bachon Ka!
#KhuljayeBachpan , #FearlessChildhood
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