My little girl is almost four. She rarely has a bad day. Sure, there’s the odd three-nage tantrum or sulk, but it is always short lived. Each day that I pick her up from nursery, she’s positively bursting with energy – full of smiles, hugs and ready to tell me all about her day. Every. Last. Detail.
Me on the other hand, I arrive at the nursery high on caffeine and sugar. Frazzled from a day’s work. Irritated from the long commute and grumpy from something my boss probably said. I can barely string a full sentence together.
The more I watch Maia and her classmates in action, the more I think…these kids are on to something!
We are so focused on teaching them things, we can sometimes forget how much they can teach us. When it comes to finding laughter and goodness in each day, why can’t we follow their example? What if we approached every day like a preschooler? I bet we would tap in to their crazy energy reserve and find extra giggles in our lives…
The healthy habits of preschoolers we should adopt:
1)Complaining – Preschool kids are great at complaining – if they don’t like something, they will be sure to let you know. Immediately. Adults, we need to stop being so darn British and let the negative thoughts escape too! If we let them fester, it will weigh us down and ultimately wind us up. The other day I took the kids to the hairdressers. Harrison’s crop looked horrendous. A little too short and a little too wonky as you can see below.
‘That’s great, thanks’ I said to the hairdresser in true polite British style, secretly seething inside that I had to pay her actual money for it. Maia looked straight at the hairdresser and simply told her in her sweet voice that Harry looked very silly. Inspirational!
2) Going to bed early: The kids do. And look at how much energy they have first thing in the morning! I know, I know, it’s not always possible. There are a cajillion things you can get sucked in to once the little ones are finally asleep – cooking, laundry, shaving those neglected legs, Celebrity Big Brother, Whats App… but every once in a while we should all aim to ‘sleep like a baby’ and force ourselves to switch off. Leave the non essentials and hit the hay.
3)Slowing our pace: We’re sometimes running around so fast, we are forgetting to notice the little things. We walk one mile to nursery each morning. It should take around 20 minutes, but it usually takes around 40 as Maia stops to look at every slug, snail, red car and pine cone. She soaks up every detail. The other day she leaped with excitement seeing a fox dart out of someone’s front garden. I looked up and realised that I had never seen that front garden before. I’d never even noticed that particular house before with its odd shaped tree on the lawn. I’ve walked that same street for two years now, but I’ve not actually been looking. Maybe it’s time we slow down and enjoy the view like the little ones.
4) Not holding grudges: We need to get angry, argue, forgive and forget, just like kids. It usually takes around 3-4 minutes for a preschooler to complete that cycle. There’s a push or snatch, followed by tears, an apology and then a big hug. Minutes later, the kids are back playing together, laughing and joking, with all the drama left behind them. If we resolved all of our conflicts that quickly, perhaps we wouldn’t be drained of so much positive energy.
6) Remembering that Mum is always your best friend: Every day that I collect Maia from nursery, her face lights up when she sees me. “Mummmmmmmmmy” she squeals as she sprints across the room to hug me. Every day. She looks so proud ‘showing me off’ to her friends. I’m her ‘best friend’ she tells them. As grown-ups, we should always be that pleased to see our Mummy’s too shouldn’t we? Sure they can be intrusive, bossy, and annoying at times, but no one knows us like they do. No one else has been there for us like they have. We need to remember to show them that we think the world of them too, while we are still lucky enough to have them. Go on, make their day!