7 Life Lessons I Learnt From My Toddler
When toddlers aren't throwing tantrums, they can be great teachers. Here we tell you a few things you can learn from your little one.
By Leena Ghosh • 8 min read
If I had to ask for a superpower, as a parent, I’d wish for the ability to read my toddler’s mind. For, I am curious to know what my toddler thinks 'while she’s trying to jump off the sofa’ or ‘when she finds her mom asleep’ or ‘when she wakes up in the morning’ or ‘when she takes the baby powder container and empties it on the floor'. Unfortunately, my curiosity isn’t satiated. But, having said that, being the parent of a toddler is an experience like none other. While my toddler rules my world and keeps me on my toes 24/7, she keeps teaching me new lessons about life. And, while I am still learning, let me share some lessons I've already learnt from her.
Life lessons I learnt from my toddler
Be persistent: One of the earliest lessons, in fact the most important one, that life teaches us is, we can’t have everything we want. But, like others her age, my toddler is either blissfully unaware of that teaching or isn't willing to learn it yet. So, she can keep asking for a bag of chips or for permission to play in the park on a hot afternoon a 'hundred times', if that’s what it takes to get her way.
Learn to love unconditionally: One of the most endearing things about toddlers, something adults should learn as well, is their ability to give and accept love unconditionally. They do not care about an individual's caste, religion, educational or financial background. If you love and care for them, they’ll love you back, no questions asked. My toddler taught me not to judge others by their status but by the way they treat and behave with others.
Be ready to explore and learn: Author and educator John Holt once said, “The child does not merely observe the world around him. He does not shut himself off from the strange, complicated world around him, but tastes it, touches it, hefts it, bends it, breaks it. To find out how reality works, he works on it.” My child’s enthusiasm to explore and learn, even from her mistakes, is a quality that I find worth emulating.
Treat every day as a new opportunity: If only we could approach every day with the same enthusiasm as a toddler, life would certainly be more exciting for us. For my toddler, a new morning brings with it new opportunities to try the same things in different ways. She does not see her colourful blocks or set of dolls as the ‘same old toys’. Instead, every day, she comes up with new ways of playing with them.
Don’t be afraid to make mistakes: Falling down, getting hurt and making mistakes is part of the learning process. And, this is the way of life for every toddler. Watching my toddler take a tumble and then get up and move on reminds me that mistakes are fatal only when you refuse to learn from them and move on.
Take a break whenever and wherever possible: If there is one attribute of toddlerhood I am envious of, it is my child’s ability to sleep anywhere and everywhere. As adults, we refrain from switching on the snooze button even when our body and mind badly need a break. I am trying to learn to indulge in some self care and take a break whenever possible.
Observe and learn: Children are curious by nature. They hear and see everything, even when you think they are probably not paying any attention. One of my friends has two daughters, with not much age difference between the two. However, when the older child joined school, the younger one wasn't old enough to get admitted. But, both girls learnt to recite the letters of the English alphabet at the same time because the younger one observed and listened to her mother teaching her elder sister every day.
While parenting a toddler can be difficult and challenging at times, the love and adoration you get in return is not only rewarding but also healing. Just like your child observes how you behave and act, spend some time listening to and observing him. While he has a lot to learn about himself and the world around him, he can teach you a few lessons on how to experience life as well. Happy parenting!
Celebrity parents on their toddlers
If you are having a harrowing day as a parent, here are some quotes from celebrity parents talking about their toddlers, to tell you that you are not alone:
Anna Faris about her son Jack
“I don’t think so mommy!” is what my child said after “Can you please pick up the popcorn you threw all over?”
Olivia Wilde while preparing for a long trip with her toddler
“What does one pack when going on a long trip with a toddler, you might ask? Bribes.”
Busy Phillips about her 3-year-old daughter
"You know that thing where your 3-year-old is dropping her nap but then passes out on the way to dinner so you have to hold her for 45 minutes & try to not drop chips and salsa on her head?? That happened to me last night. And aside from a few crumbs, her head stayed clean!"
Alyson Hannigan on her kids
“Why don’t kids realise that their nap is not for them but for us.”
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