Have you ever looked at a child and admired their creativity, sense of wonder and enthusiasm? Growing up might be inevitable, but that doesn’t mean that we can’t learn a thing or two from the children around us. In fact, here are five lessons that adults can learn from kids.
1. Ask for help
Children are never afraid to ask for help, perhaps because much of their life depends on the support and assistance of adults. As we grow up, however, we become more independent, and tend to be less likely to ask for, and accept, help from others. Here’s the good news: research suggests that asking for advice can make a person seem more competent. With the right advice and/or support from others, we are better positioned to progress with confidence on a given project or initiative than if we did not ask for help.
2. Be vulnerable and express your emotions
Some children make friends and connect with others easily because they’re willing to open up, express their emotions and/or be vulnerable. You may have noticed that children generally don’t hide or disguise their emotions, whether it is happiness, sadness, anger, confusion or hurt. As adults, we can be expert at bottling up emotions and hiding what we feel from the people around us – usually because we don’t want others to think badly of us in some way.
As an adult, being open to others and allowing yourself to be vulnerable can help you to make friends and improve relationships with family members and colleagues. Scientists say that’s because one of the things that facilitates the formation of friendships is an environment where people open up to one another. Learn more about the value and power of vulnerability by reading some of Professor Brene Brown’s research on vulnerability.
3. Admit that you don’t know everything
Children are always learning new things because they accept that they don’t know everything. They are always asking questions, even simple ones, and they’re often curious about the world around them. As adults, we might sometimes feel like we have to know everything, but the truth is no one does. And, besides making you seem humble, having a healthy sense of curiosity will strengthen your personal relationships (because you’re actually listening), and boost your performance at work (because you’re always trying to improve).
4. Try new experiences – even if you’re not prepared
Children don’t wait till they’ve mastered a skill before they actually do it. They often learn by jumping in feet first and embrace the challenge! As adults, we often allow our pride and fear of looking bad prevent us from trying new experiences that we don’t know much about. Think about how much we might be missing out on when we operate this way!
5. Remember, there’s a whole world out there for you to explore
It’s easy to get bogged down in the details of everyday life, but try to take a step back every once in a while and acknowledge the beauty and adventure of the big, big world around us. Be present and more observant wherever you go – you might be surprised at what you actually notice and learn when you give yourself the chance.
Whether it’s places, people, courses or ideas, the unfamiliar does not have to be (and should not be) scary. Learn Local organisations offer a number of courses that can help you to reach your career and life goals. Visit www.learnlocal.org.au to discover which courses are available near where you live.