What can we learn from children?

What can we learn from children?

Children are constantly learning, and it is no secret that seemingly their favourite question to ask is ‘why’.

As adults, we are typically the go-to for answers (scary thought I know). But did you know that children could actually teach us a thing or two?

Focus on the now

Very often we forget to live in the present. Today’s fast-paced society leads us to constantly try and plan ahead for the future, or we sometimes might let past experiences get in the way of progress. Either way, this can elevate our risk of feeling anxious or depressed. Children, however, are great at fully immersing themselves into the here and now: an argument with another child at nursery yesterday is completely forgotten about today. They don’t put off starting a really fun project or experiment ‘until next week’, it gets underway straight away. By bringing your conscience back into the present, you are able to enjoy experiences much more freely.

Ask questions

Curiosity becomes massively underrated as we get older. All of a sudden we’re afraid to ask questions and think outside the box. Not your typical child. The average four year old asks 437 questions a day! It is this thirst for knowledge that cultivates the great minds of tomorrow – think engineers, inventors, scientists and entrepreneurs. Which brings us onto the next lesson…

Use your imagination

A child’s mind is bursting with ideas. Something as simple as a cardboard box can become a castle, a robot’s body or a doll’s house with a little imagination. Although we might not come across projects as fun as castle-making in our professional lives, we can apply the same creativity when it comes to problem-solving. As Walt Disney himself said: “if you can dream it, you can do it”.

How to breathe better

Babies take in more oxygen than adults do when they breathe, and typically have a stronger diaphragm. This is because babies tend to take deeper and fuller breaths, expanding their chest and diaphragm. As we mature they need for this wanes and we become a little lazy, inhaling shallower breaths. Deep breathing has many health benefits including de-stressing, increased cardiovascular capacity and feeling energised. So when you’re next feeling frazzled, remember to take a moment and breathe!

Learn to fall…and get back up again

Part of childhood is facing setbacks and learning how to overcome them. We may fall many times, even get hurt, but it is important to remember the power of not giving up. A video of a child teaching us just that recently went viral; check it out:

Laugh more

Being a grown-up needn’t mean we have to be serious 24/7. Laughing and having fun is enormously therapeutic and invaluable for bonding with others too. Children typically laugh up to 300 times a day, compared to adults, who laugh at most between 20 and 60 times a day. Embrace your inner silliness and feel the benefits of having a cheerful mental attitude.

These simple tips are second nature to children, but we should all take time to practice them in our daily lives. If you are inspired by children, and are interested in nurturing their development, our Early Childhood Development and Learning course at CU Coventry, CU London and CU Scarborough will provide you with the knowledge and skills required for a very rewarding career ahead.