Lessons From a Toddler
By Monica Y Mateo
I never knew that a little human could teach me so much about life. How a toddler can see life so simply while I rush off into different directions. We all started out this way — living life in our most simplest forms. Pleasure seekers who created adventure no matter the circumstances.
I am learning so much through my son’s eyes and I feel like I am seeing life — for the very first time.
Six lessons I’ve learned:
- Wake up in the morning with a smile. My toddler wakes each morning with a HUGE smile on his face. It’s a brand new day for him with so many different possibilities. He starts off each morning so HAPPY to see us — so HAPPY to bring on a new day. He has let go of yesterday and is embracing the new experiences.
- Strive to make someone happy. Toddlers are pleasure seekers. They have not been tainted by the world and see everything as lighthearted pleasure. They enjoy what gives them happiness and avoid what doesn’t. Sometimes, we as parents, take that away from them because we have forgotten this simple way of life. We don’t understand that every moment is an opportunity for pleasure and happiness.
- Saying NO when they truly mean NO. Ever wonder why it’s the first real statement they understand and recite endlessly? Because that’s how important “no” is in the human language. They are not afraid to tell you “no” because it’s how they truly feel. We were once like that at their age, we spoke our mind without any ounce of guilt. But something happened to all of us, we were taught at home and in school to comply with the world. We lost that edge and we became robots all saying “yes” when we really mean “no.”
- They don’t want you on the phone. I do not overuse my phone when I am taking care of my son. I hate the idea of a screen blocking me from him. Toddlers don’t need distractions even though we think they do. They don’t need tablets and nonstop entertainment. They need to imagine and play pretend — they need to sit on your lap and read a book. So a huge lesson for me is to let go of the phone.
- The world is still pure. They look up into the sky at airplanes and marvel at the sound. They enjoy the mooing of cows and dance to music on the radio. They can play the same game for hours without getting tired. To a toddler, the world is so AMAZING and they haven’t lost that sparkle. As we get older, that sparkle in our eyes only lights up when we travel or do something we truly love. Ever notice that sparkle? Do it more often because we should always have that sparkle radiating in our eyes.
- They seek out protection, love, comfort, and joy. I understand that as adults, we must work in order to sustain our lives. However, along the way — we got lost. We started to fill voids with materialistic objects and unhealthy relationships. We need to go back to the basics of what we truly want out of life — protection, love, comfort, and joy.
If you have your own list add it to the comments below and don’t forget to share it!
About the author:
Monica Y. Mateo is a licensed social worker by day and writer/blogger by night. She is currently working on a memoir to be published and a special project for vegans and meat eaters alike. She is a 7 year survivor of Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma ALK+, which taught her that people can change unhealthy patterns and behaviors. She enjoys yoga and practices Buddhism, which has taken her on an adventure of a lifetime. She has a wonderful fiance and son who have inspired her to achieve her goals.
Disclaimer: MONICAYMATEO.COM is not providing medical advice and this information is not in place of medical advice.