Toddlers are little whirlwinds of joy and chaos, sometimes tipping us over the edge of insanity. As parents, we often feel as though our sole responsibility is to teach our children the ways of the world, the rules and the expectations. But what if our toddlers could teach us all some life lessons? Recently, it's come to my attention that my toddler has some pretty cool concepts about life that I need to start implementing into my worldviews. Here are my favourite five life lessons that I've learned from my toddler.
1) If you don't like or want something then you need to stand up for yourself:
Somewhere between the lines of childhood and adulthood, we were taught that putting up with what we don't want or like is just a regular part of life. Toddlers, on the other hand, will explicitly tell you that your food sucks, what they do and don't want and confidently remind you if you forget. Sure, it may be ever changing and sporadic, but at least they voice their opinion and expect to be heard. How often as adults do we see our friends, family and even ourselves getting treated unfairly because we are unable to voice how we feel?
2) Every day is a new day:
Toddlers have the miraculous ability to be up all night with sore teeth, sore tummies... sore everything... and still wakes up the next day with energy to rule the world. I can't count the number of times I've had a rough night with my daughter, only for her to wake up with a smile on her dial the next day. Life may suck, but tomorrow is a new day and should be treated as such.
3) Poo, wee and naked bodies are something to be celebrated:
Parenthood calls for celebrating the small things in life- and this includes poo's, wees and the naked body. Long gone are the child-free days where these topics were taboo, and we now embrace them as a normal part of our everyday language. Being a parent of a toddler has taught me how incredible our bodies are and how much time we waste focusing on cellulite or being too fat. Toddlers don't care about thick thighs or chubby bellies- they love themselves and others for who they are.
4) Love, love and more love + always forgive:
Toddlers are capable of such beautiful unconditional love. They don't care if they have food on their face or dirt on their hands- they will throw their tiny arms around you and embrace you like there is no tomorrow. And they are always ready to forgive. Grudges aren't a part of their vocabulary, and they move past disagreements or fights with ease. How often do we hold on to past hurts with friends and families and forget that forgiveness is healing for both parties?
5) Music + Dance solves everything:
Bad mood? Dance it out. Need to be distracted from a mundane activity? Put on some tunes. And never ever miss an opportunity to have a dance party in public. There is something therapeutic about moving to the beat every chance you can take. Forget feeling self-conscious- take a leaf out of a toddler's book, and dance like no-one is watching.
Toddlers are crazy little critters and can drive us up the wall, but they can teach us so much about life and what it has to offer. What life lessons have your toddlers taught you?