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  • Writer's pictureAkumu Fiona

How To Be a Child (Again)

I have been curious about the idea of being a child again after a couple of interesting readings on child psychology and this exceptionally insightful video from TED by the surprisingly confident ‘child’(as you may call her)- Adora Svitak.

I totally agree with her. There is a lot to learn from them just by watching them be.

I am remembering my recent close interactions with children.

  • The child on the matatu recently who was so fascinated by my bag strap that he/she tugged on it and consequently licked it wet.

  • The calm toddler who lives close to my place of work

  • My 3 year old niece- playful, confident and expressive

  • My 14 year old niece- smart, empathetic and obedient

  • My 8 year old niece- strong, talkative and a free spirit

I have observed from them some very basic but important life lessons that any adult can pick up:

  • Curiosity- Children are driven by a constant curiosity to learn. My niece can ask 10 consecutive questions in a bid to understand something as simple as why you are sweeping the floor. The key to being aware is to ask questions. Children know this(and a bit too much!).

  • No grudges- Children lose their anger as quickly as it comes. And here I am speaking about children below the age of reason- because the age reason comes with emotional baggage. Children will cry or shout at you when you cause them dissatisfaction and love you just the same the following 5 minutes.

  • Imagination- Children have no limits to their imaginations. They can speak to a cushion, imagine a response and continue a completely candid conversation. Their minds have no limits as to what is possible or impossible. Then sadly, as the years go by, big bad ‘adulthood’ comes and blows it away.

  • Creative- Children have innate creativity cells running in their blood. Whether it is through drawings, created games, role-plays, little white lies, ingenious explanations after getting caught red-handed or their innocent solutions to problems- they are constantly tapping into their creativity. Sir Ken Robinson is categorical on how current school systems are muffling this in one of the most-watched TED talks ever. I would be lying if I said I don’t agree.

  • Free-spirited- Children live in their own world; A world with very few cares. Adults cannot exactly choose to be 100% care-free…but they can choose to enjoy life’s little pleasures and a bit of spontaneity from time to time. You Only Live Once, right?

  • Expressive and open- Children find it really hard to hide thoughts and feelings from the adults around them. In keeping secrets- they will either do a lousy job feigning normalcy or spill the beans unknowingly in expression. Adults can always see right through them.

  • Optimistic- Children are naturally optimistic in their outlook on life. They are still unscathed by negativity- unless their parents infuse this on them. They always see a positive way out of even the worst situations. And they almost always choose to see the best in people.

So, go on, be a child!

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