Today, I am introducing you to my son “Neev”. I became father in early 2018 and since then my life took a very beautiful turn. Honestly, everything which I had left as part of growing up was back into my life. Toys were back, Lego sets were back, Cartoon shows were back on my television. It seemed like I am getting to live my childhood back again with my son. While, spending time with Neev has been a lot of fun and games. When I reflect on last 2-3 years, he has re-affirmed or re-taught me certain lessons which we as adults sometimes forget or ignore in our day-to-day life.
Neev has been constant source of my inspiration and motivation. Ideally, parents teach their kids the ways of life. From the moment that he came into our lives, we knew that it is our responsibility to guide and teach him. As newly formed little human, he has a lot to discover and learn. And as his parents, we are the tour guides who will help him to figure out this world. Daily, we impart knowledge, provide wisdom, and offer information. And just like little sponges, he soak it up and in. He has learnt to walk and to talk, and to not lick the bottom of his shoes. But, as his teachers, we are so busy rearing, educating, and helping him to navigate the world that we often do not realize that he is teaching us enormous life lessons.
Lessons that I have learnt from Neev in last 2 years:
- Unparalleled Curiosity: Neev has been very curious to many things which are present in his surroundings, things like cell phone chargers, pushing buttons, climbing grills, playing with photo frames. Its important as an adult to re-affirm that being inquisitive is how we learn. And there is always room to learn.
- To be Fearless: Neev has been climbing grills of our windows since very young age. Now, he has taken on jumping from one sofa to the other. It is a very good re-affirmation that being bold and fearless makes best memories and develops new set of horizons and extends boundaries
- He Falls and Gets up again: While playing kids fall, tumble and rollover. Neev has been no different. However, every time he falls, he gets up, smiles, and tries again. That is how he learnt how to walk independently. So, Persistence is wired in brain naturally, we just have forgotten.
- Keep solving until you find a solution: This reminds me of an episode when one of Neev’s cars was kept on a sideboard little higher than the usual height and he wanted to play with it. Honestly, the car was little out of his reach. He dragged one of the small stools towards the sideboard, climbed on it and then tried reaching it. But Alas! He was not able to. He repeated the same with slightly bigger stool and this time he was able to pick up the car from the sideboard. I was observing this while sipping my cup of tea. I had the urge to help him out, but then I wanted to see to what distance can he keep trying. I did not teach him solving this, Problem solving is natural to human brain. He solved the problem without shedding a single tantrum or tear. As adults, we limit ourselves and resort to acceptance of the problem instead of solving it. On top of it, we keep crying about it all the time. Lesson here is “Keep solving until you find a solution”.
- Need less to be happy: One of the best things, which I appreciate of Neev is happiness to him can be very simple. Till date, a simple piece of chocolate or even an inexpensive ball or toy can make him very happy. Children appreciate the simple pleasures because they don’t have unrealistic expectations. They understand that joy can be found anywhere. As adults, we must remember to keep seeking the simple pleasures.
- Smile Often.. Sometime for No apparent reason: Neev has been smiling and responding to stimulus from Day 1 of his life. And increasingly, he has been responding to funny videos on internet or even his cartoon shows. Neurologically, Smiling is re-affirmation of comfort and enjoyment. Smiling often triggers a happy emotion in the brain which constructively helps you get over the bad experiences and displeasures of life. Kids use to smiling as a powerful loop mechanism. Smiling feels good, so brain tells you smiling more often. As adults, our experiences of life alter this mechanism. This could be a lesson which we as adults can pick up from infants, toddlers, and kids.
- Throw a tantrum… If Nothing works: Quite self-explanatory, isn’t it? Neev like other kids, if none of the modes of communication work throwing a tantrum with yells, sobs and tears is the only way out. Very valid for adults as well, just don’t overdo it.
I am sure, every kid at some point in time would have gone through a similar phase of learning and experimenting. So, take a close look at your kids they can teach and re-assure a lot of faiths and learnings which you might have forgotten while growing up.