Learn From The Kids

Learn From Your Kids Those inquisitive toddlers have a lot to teach us about life if we let them. Here are three behaviours worth replicating

Laugh often 

Squeals of laughter come quick and easy to kids. When they see something silly they don’t edit themselves the way we so often do; they fall over laughing and enjoy the feeling for as long as possible.

Reciprocate those giggles and you’ll see serious health benefits. Studies show laughter boosts our mood and benefits the body by reducing stress through decreased levels of cortisol and epinephrine. Laughing even boosts the immune system by increasing antibodies while lowering bad cholesterol and boosting good cholesterol.

There is also evidence to suggest that by simply anticipating a big laugh we get a boost of health-protecting hormones. Parenting expert Kathy Walker says when we are having a good time with our children, whether laughing or dancing, we are “creating a bond between parent and child, as it brings us into their space and adds respect”.

Play nice 

Whether at day care or the playground, most two-year-olds take people as they find them. “They respond on a more primal level to others’ kindness, interest or hostility,” psychologist Lissa Johnson says. “They don’t have preconceptions based on stereotypes.”

Adults can learn by adopting this type of response, Johnson says. By avoiding categorising others, we are open to more honest, rewarding connections with a wider variety of people.

“This is important, as honest human connections are one of the strongest contributors to wellbeing, mental health and psychological resilience,” she says. “And with this childlike openness, socialising becomes a fascinating opportunity to broaden our horizons.”

Get outside 

Kids love to be outside. Go with them and take some time out to watch a butterfly, feel the wind and jump on a pile of leaves. Next time your little one stops to watch ants marching, step into their tiny shoes and be amazed.

According to Finnish research, forests and other natural settings can reduce stress and anger and increase overall happiness.

Being outdoors may also strengthen our immune system by increasing the activity and number of natural killer cells that destroy cancer cells. Being in nature also reduces blood pressure, muscle tension and depression in adults and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder symptoms in children.

Take time out 

Curling up on the couch with a blanket and cartoons is how kids get better when sick. You might prefer Modern Family, but as long as your feet are up and the BlackBerry is off, you are more likely to recover faster.

Swallowing cold and flu tablets and heading straight back to work isn’t a good idea, the Mayo Clinic says. It advises sick people to stay home when possible to “give you a chance to rest as well as reduce the chances you’ll infect others”.

It also recommends drinking plenty of fluids, lunching on chicken soup and easing congestion and coughing with a humidifier, something we usually dust off for the kids.

There is no mention of TV or cuddles, but Walker says: “It’s important to slow down, cuddle up, seek nurturing, to not always have to be strong.”

Show it off 

Colourful scribbles are works of genius when a child produces them. So why don’t we celebrate our own creative expressions?

Johnson believes it may be due to our incessant goal hunting. “Striving to become better makes it easy to ignore our achievements,” she says. “To feel capable and remain interested in our pursuits, we need to value our achievements, including the small ones.”

It’s a sure-fire way to boost your self-esteem. Plus, pride in yourself isn’t arrogance; according to Johnson it is a “form of gratitude for what we have created, and gratitude is a key component of wellbeing”.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...