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Things we can learn from a toddler.

Lily July2012My daughter Lily is about to turn 3 and she is one busy little girl. She wants to know about everything, do everything and just enjoys life.

The world through toddlers eyes is amazing. I can’t even imagine all the things that are going through her head. But I do know that we adults could stand to learn a few things from toddlers.

Ask questions.

Why? That’s my daughters most used word these days. Everything comes with a why, including the answer to the why question. But this is good. She’s learning new things, questioning what we do and finding out new things.

Sometimes we forget to question things. We just do them because that’s the way it’s always been done. Why are we doing it? Why don’t we do it differently? Questioning things can be a good thing.

Don’t be afraid to say hi.

Lily loves to say hi to strangers. It doesn’t matter if we’re out for a walk, at Target or at a¬†restaurant. She’ll smile and say hi to just about anyone. And you know what? Most of them love it. It makes their day. One simple little word can change someone’s mood. It’s amazing.

Try new things and don’t be afraid to fail.

When is the last time you put ketchup on mandarin oranges? Or just learned something new? Don’t worry about failing; it’s all about the trying. Some you win, some you lose, and some you just don’t know what’s going on. The more things you try, the more chances that you’ll find something you love.

Happiness doesn’t come from money.

Lily loves anything pink or purple. She loves it if I print a princess picture on the back of a used piece of paper. She loves going to garage sales and finding 25 cent books. She doesn’t need labels, or new things, she likes just about anything.

When you look at adults, we often need a certain type of coffee, a specific brand of food, or clothing made by that one designer. It’s all about the brand and it’s usually about getting something new. We often overlook the value in something different. Maybe it’s cheaper, maybe it’s used, and maybe it’s just as good as anything else.

Enjoy the outdoors.

Being outside is great. There are plenty of parks, walking trails, beaches and so much more just outside our door. However, adults tend to say in where it’s climate controlled. We overlook all the beauty and wonders that lie on the other side of that door. Take a chance and visit nature; even if it is just a walk around town.

Depend on technology less. Use your imagination more.

This is where I fail. Lily has a pretend cell phone, but has more fun with her plastic food. She doesn’t have email or IM or Twitter. She doesn’t worry about what’s on TV. She plays with toys and uses her imagination.

I’m pretty good at the imagination part, but I have my cell phone out too checking updates. I’m getting a little better at that, but have a long ways to go and I think a lot of parents fall into the same technology trap.

Stay please, thanks & sorry.

We’re teaching our daughter to say please when she wants something, thanks when she gets it and sorry if she does something wrong. She’s doing really well at it and better than some adults I know.

I’m not sure what it is about some adults that think those three little words don’t apply to them. Little words like that can make a big impact.

Get over things. 

Being almost 3, Lily does throw her fits. She’ll break down over the smallest things at times and you’d think it was the end of the world. But give her a few minutes and she’ll calm down and we’ll all go about our day. She won’t hold a grudge; she won’t bring it back up later. She’ll just get over it and move on.

Don’t you wish we could all do that?! What good is holding a grudge? What good is it remembering all the bad things and storing it inside? No good. Get over it and move on already.

Don’t worry about what you, or others, wear.

I guess this should be taken with a grain of salt, but clothes are not as important as some think. Wear what you like, wear what is comfortable. If you like what you have on, then don’t worry about what others think.

And why do we care what someone else has on? If their shirt and pants don’t match, who cares? If their shirt says Hoppy Easter in July, big deal. Lets not sweet the small stuff.

Take a nap or a break.

Oh naps. Those are great. Taking a nap in the middle of the day to recharge your batteries is a great idea. Granted we can’t always do this, but if you have the opportunity, take a nap.

Or just take a break. Getting away from what you’re doing is a great way to re-energize yourself and can make you more productive in the afternoon. If you’re at work, step away from the computer for 10 minutes. Clear your head and relax a little. It just may make your day that much better.

Be creative.

When is the last time you painted? Colored? Made something out of construction paper? Just because their kids activities doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy them as adults.

It doesn’t have to be perfect either. Lily often draws a bunch of scribbles and says that’s Mommy or Daddy. Creativity can be whatever you want it to be.

Sing and dance.

Crank up the radio and just let loose. Dance, wiggle or just move in random motions. Sing whether you know the words or not. Just have fun.

Enjoy life, enjoy your family.

It’s simple really, enjoy what you have, who you are with and nothing else matters. Yes, toddlers don’t know about bills and responsibilities and all those worldly problems, but then again, there is no reason we can’t take a break from all those things and just enjoy being a kid as well.

Disconnect, forget, relax and enjoy your family and friends.

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