Recently I’ve been spending a lot of time with my little cousins, and besides having fun, I was also studying children’s behavior, comparing them with us, adults, and trying to understand how we grow up to be such a mess.
I think I’ve discussed a similar topic, that kids don’t need anything specific to be happy. They don’t need tonnes of toys. They can get happy from seeing a rainbow, going to a grocery store, visiting their relatives, even those, whom they don’t see for months and years. Everything excites them, every little things feels like a great adventure, they’re just happy to be alive. And then, of course, we ruin them.
You know to what other conclusion I came this time? Kids don’t complicate their lives like we do. They don’t care, if it’s too hot or too cold outside. Have you ever met a kid, who’ll say “oh no, I don’t want to go out and play cause it’s too sunny or snowy”? They won’t, unless they’re already spoiled by their parents or others. They won’t sit and complain about high or low temperature, like we do, they’ll just do what they always do-have fun and not care, no matter the weather. Kids don’t feel bad, when they’re hungry or thirsty. When they’re so involved in sth, in a game, for instance, they don’t even notice, that they haven’t eaten for hours. They don’t get headaches from spending too much time watching TV or playing on computer, they don’t suddenly feel blue or feel dizzy because the weather’s changing, they don’t feel moody and depressed, because another planet is being in retrograde. They don’t, and we didn’t at some point, a long time ago. So how did we end up being like this?
All because later in our lives we start learning all this crap about how different things can affect us physically or even mentally, we start seeing hostility and danger in everything. Our parents, teachers and society in general tell us that everything is bad, harmful for us. And that’s our number one problem and difference from kids: they don’t see this world and its inhabitants as enemies. We do.
But that’s not our fault. It’s our parents’. I don’t specifically mean your parents, or mine, but in general, all our ancestors. I don’t know from which point in our long-long history, people forgot what it means to be a kid, a careless and jolly spirit, and decided that we want to suffer instead. Do you realize, that 99% of our problems we created ourselves? It just feels like whatever we do, wherever we go, we screw things up, make a chaos and live in it.
So I absolutely agree, when psychologists say, that most of our trauma come from childhood. Because that’s the period when kids are the most vulnerable and fragile, they trust everyone, especially their close people. And what do these people? Break the kids. Not intentionally, obviously. When parents tell their children “you haven’t eaten for hours, you’re going to feel bad“, they don’t actually want it to happen. They act on their own prejudices and negative beliefs. All parents want the best for their children, but sadly most of them don’t understand what’s actually good for them.
In reality, kids just want to be kids. To be wild, young and free. To have as much fun as possible, to have thousands of mini-adventures. To live, laugh, love and feel loved. That’s what they need. Nothing more.
These past couple of weeks spending with children made me understand lots of things. I saw the sparkles in their eyes, even when they were doing the most mundane things. I kind of tried to see things from their perspective, and it actually changed mine a little. No, not changed, but brought back, to be more precise. I remembered myself, when I was little, got to reminisce about my own vision and worldview of life at that time. Remembered how simple, peaceful, fun and exciting everything felt. That’s how life should have been for everyone.
So, a little advice – instead of scolding, yelling at your kids, instead of being irritated and annoyed at their active energy, loud voices or small mistakes, just try to observe them more closely. Doesn’t matter who it is- your own kids, younger siblings, cousins, nephews and nieces or even neighbor’s children. Instead of teaching them how to be grownups so early, try to learn from them how be like kids. By that I don’t literally mean go play with dolls or cars, no, just try to see and perceive your life like they do. Life’s complicated itself, so why won’t we try to make it a little easier and more enjoyable for ourselves?