Lessons from My Young Child

As a mother,  I always thought I have inculcated some moral values and life lessons to my 3-year-old daughter (DD). But lately I realised that unknowingly, she has also imparted some life lessons to me through our daily interactions and conversations. It's a humbling experience to learn from a young child, and these are the things I've learnt from her:

1. Do not let the sun go down on your anger.
DD never goes to bed angry. She may be a little 'chilli padi' at times but she doesn't hold her unhappiness or frustration for long. She recovers quickly from any unhappy incidences and does not harbor grudges, even those who had upset her.

Many times, we adults can hold grudges from wrongs done to us decades ago.

2. Be thankful for little blessings.
One day out of the blue, DD just looked at me and said, "Mummy, thank you for making me very happy!" I was a little stunned by her sudden declaration because I haven't done anything spectacular for her that day. But I managed to recover from my surprise and gave her a hug, speechless for word because I was so touched by her attitude of gratitude.

Sometimes we are so blinded or numbed by the daily pursuit of life that we forget the little blessings that lurk behind every challenge.

3. Laugh at yourself from time to time.
I read somewhere that humor is the best medicine in life and any relationship. How true it is! Both hubby and I are rather serious folks. But since DD came into our life, she has taught us to laugh at ourselves and our silly antics at times. For example, she would make funny faces or do funny gestures just to make us laugh. She is not afraid to act silly just to humor us.

As adults, we sometimes take ourselves too seriously that we fail to view life from a humorous perspective. We are so strict with ourselves that we have forgotten how to laugh at ourselves and when life throws us a hard ball.

4. Be contented but not complacent.
There is a difference. Being contented means to be happy and thankful with what you have, and not demanding what you could not have. Being complacent means just accepting what you have without any joy or thankfulness.

DD has a deep quest for knowledge. Whenever I bought her books, she would spend the next one hour flipping through the pages of her new books. But when we went shopping and she saw a toy or book that she liked, she would not demand or pester us to buy for her. There was once when she held something that she liked very much for quite long, and when we said, "Come on, let's go!", she would quietly put it down without kicking up a fuss. She knows Mummy and Daddy will get whatever she needs for her, and she knows what are 'must-haves' and what are 'good-to-haves'.

Often people are discontented with life because they do not differentiate the 'needs' from the 'wants'.

5. Have compassion and empathy for others.
There was once I went to fetch DD from school and since I was early, I waited outside the classroom. As I peeked in through the window, I happened to see DD gently patting a boy's head and talking softly to him. Later I asked her why she patted her classmate's head and she replied that the boy had a plaster on his arm and she was consoling him. I was touched that at 3 years young, she already knows how to show compassion for her classmate. 

Sometimes life has made us so jaded that we may become immune to those who are suffering or going through a rough patch.

Footnote: Life is made up of experiences. And experiences can be converted into meaningful lessons if we have an open and humble heart to learn from it.


Do not let the sun go down on your anger

can someone advise me, my DD, she is in K2, but she likes to sleep with me.  Sometimes, she went into her room, feeling sad..not able to sleep with me at night....but I do like her to be more independent and a habit of sleeping in her own room.

But letting her go into her room herself, will conflict against :" Do not let the sun go down on your anger"..cause she may feel sad and made a fuse....yet, I want to set a routine...is it the same??

Lingbel | Thu, 21/07/2011 - 11:36am

Hi, your case is different.

Hi, your case is different. Your DD is 6 yo already, it's good to let her sleep on her own. Maybe you can stay with her in her room until she falls asleep before you retire to your own room?

The phrase "Do not let the sun go down on your anger" means to go to bed filled with anger, resentment and grudges. I don't think your DD feels that way just becos you won't let her sleep in your room. Talk to her nicely. :)

Angelight | Thu, 21/07/2011 - 6:32pm

we adults can hold grudges from wrongs done to us decades ago

Today I was still "angry" over a issue that happened in office yesterday !!!

Oh Mine! Learning to forgive n forget is an art.


jiyou2003 | Wed, 13/07/2011 - 9:37pm

Forgiving needs grace n courage

Hi jivou, learning to forgive and forget is not only an art, it also takes alot of grace and courage. Take heart, we are all learning to forgive everyday. And you're lucky to have a DS who brightens your day!

Angelight | Wed, 13/07/2011 - 10:02pm

Laugh at yourself from time to time.

Just read this parts to DS. I recalled he ever comment I am "angryfull mummy". On a different day he asked how to make Mummy happy. 

I was to serious in life, cant relax.

A great blessing, I hv DS to brigthen my life.

jiyou2003 | Wed, 13/07/2011 - 9:22pm

That is so true!

They can really teach us many things. Everday, I am learning new things from my kids.

smurfymum | Wed, 13/07/2011 - 5:21pm

A blessing to learn from our kids

It's indeed a blessing to learn from our kids.

Angelight | Wed, 13/07/2011 - 9:55pm

What a special girl!

What a special girl!

financial_guru | Mon, 11/07/2011 - 10:04pm

Thanks for sharing

Thanks for sharing, Angelight. You have brought up a beautiful and loving child. Shd be proud of yourself too.

schweppes | Mon, 11/07/2011 - 8:53am

Time will tell...

Thanks for the encouraging words, schweppes! I would like to believe I've brought up DD well. But the litmus test will come when she's grown up and DH and I are aging.  

Angelight | Mon, 11/07/2011 - 5:03pm