Our feathered friends can teach our children important life lessons on how to live and aim high. Here are some lessons you must share with your child.
By Hannah S Mathew
" 'Hope' is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul
And sings the tune without the words
And never stops – at all” - Emily Dickinson
The famous American poet saw into the very soul of these splendid creatures. She describes birds as symbols of hope and tenacity. In fact, birds have been the source of inspiration for many great lives and their accomplishments. And they can be the source of life lessons for your child on how to face life and its challenges.
1. Rooster: Arise and awake
A rooster begins his day with a ‘cock-a-doodle-doo’. Your child too should learn to wake up early every day and be filled with joy. He should internalise the mantra, ‘I am going to maintain my happiness no matter what happens today,’ that will help him start every day on a positive note.
2. Penguin: Be classy
Have you ever seen a shabby penguin? They never take off their ‘tuxedos’. Your child should know the importance of dressing well every day. Help her maintain her clothes and know when they don’t fit her well. Let her know if a particular outfit looks good on her.
3. Peacock: Respect yourself
Peacocks don’t strut around because of their vanity, but because they respect themselves. Your child should also be well-groomed and take pride in his appearance. Teenage years can be especially difficult with growth spurts and acne. Help him develop a grooming routine to deal with these issues.
4. Hummingbird: Be observant
Hummingbirds are extremely observant. They notice the tiniest of flowers, insects and droplets of water. Your child should also imbibe this quality. Talk to her about how being observant of other’s feelings and happenings around her will help her be a better friend, student and person.
5. Blue fairy-wren: Be alert
The bright blue male fairy-wren is extremely aware of his surroundings and lurking predators, as he knows he is an easy target. Today, with so many crimes being committed against children, teach your child to be always aware of his surroundings.
6. Red-billed queleas: Be safe
The tiny red-billed queleas swarm in thousands and feast heartily together in the fields. They are unstoppable because they function together. Like these little birds, your child must also learn that there is safety in numbers.
7. Green-winged macaws: Respect nature
A green-winged macaw thrives in open surroundings. Like these birds, children also thrive in nature. Take your child for a walk in the park or take him trekking or visit a petting zoo together. Teach him to respect nature and always stay connected to it. This is both a calming and healthy habit.
8. Peregrine falcons: Seize opportunities
When hunting, the peregrine falcon dives into water or swoops on to land at a great speed to catch its prey. This avian can teach your child to leap into action without hesitation.
9. Baya weaver: Be industrious
The male baya weaver bird patiently weaves a sturdy nest for its family. It makes around 500 trips to build a single nest that often hangs from tall palm trees, high telephone wires and thorny acacia trees for safety. Diligence, love for family and attention to detail are qualities that this agile bird can teach your child.
10. Greater flamingos: Be accepting of changes
Some birds, like the greater flamingos are not afraid of change and move to seek suitable weather conditions and food whenever required. This bird can show your child how change can be a good thing and even profitable.
11. Messenger pigeon: Be respectful of time
Right from the ancient Olympic Games through the World Wars and to the present day, messenger pigeons have proved their ability in finding their way and delivering messages on time. Regardless of circumstances, your child should be able to reach his goals in a timely manner.
12. Frigate bird: Be intuitive
Frigate birds are more intuitive in forecasting the weather than most modern equipment. They seem to know when the weather is good to fly. Tell your child how your intuition, like this bird, has helped you in life. Coach her to trust her intuition.
13. Owl: Be flexible
The only bird that can rotate its neck up to 270 degrees in both directions is the owl. It can do so without damaging its blood vessels or blocking its blood supply. Flexibility is an amazing quality. Your child can develop his flexibility physically by exercising regularly, and mentally through learning how to adapt to situations.
14. Asian koel: Be ready to show your talent
One of the world’s sweetest bird-calls is that of the Asian koel. This bird sings in the forest and in the city unabashedly. Like this song-bird, your child must use every opportunity to showcase her talents.
15. Bassian thrushes: Always make an effort
No effort is insignificant is the lesson that the Bassian thrushes teach us. They have a unique ability to find food. Make sure you teach your child to always make an effort and praise his attempts, no matter how small.
Share some interesting stories about birds with your younger children and watch documentaries on birds with your older ones to drive home these life lessons. Like our feathered friends, show them they can spread their wings and soar.
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Hannah S Mathew