Although I am not sure this story is true, I personally believe it could be. As a physical workout, a sports coach had a member of his team follow a two-year-old for one full day and do everything the child did. The sports figure reported back that it was the most difficult workout he had ever had.
I believe that children can teach us so many things. If we would just follow their lead and move as they do, we wouldn’t have to worry about our weight. They never stop moving! Research now tells us that it isn’t just about what we eat—it’s also about how much we move each day.
We tend to shut our children down as they age. Instead of nurturing them and opening them up, we harness them with so much structure, so many “no’s,” and so many restraints that they lose their spontaneity and zest. We even put them in structured programs that do not allow them to move around naturally as they would like. Thus, we have created our own childhood obesity crisis in this country. If we would allow children to teach us, we would learn so much.
One thing that children do very well is find such pleasure in simple things. Have you ever noticed how a child can play in one little rain puddle for an hour? He will experience the feel of the water on one foot. He will ask: “What does it feel like if I put both feet in?” “How does the shoe look when it’s wet?” “Does the water roll off my shoe or does it stay on there?” “What happens if I take off my shoe? Will it sink? Will it float?” “How does the water feel to my hand?” He will put one finger in at a time and then slap the puddle as hard as he can. The child is truly “experiencing” that little rain puddle.
Yes, we see the wet shoes we have to dry, the germs and dirt on his hands, and the soaked shirt. But I challenge you to stop and enjoy this simple pleasure with your child. Stand beside him and ask: “What does the water feel like on your foot?” “What does it feel like on your hand?” “Does it feel cold?” “Did your shoe float?”
Seize the teachable moments with your child. Go barefoot. Let your child engage his senses by playing in water, playing in the sand, lying in the grass, playing in the mud, rolling down a hill, lying outside at night and gazing at the stars, and any other “simple pleasure” that he can find. Let your child lead and teach you.
Enjoy these moments and don’t miss the simple pleasures in life. They will become some of your favorite memories…I promise.
Written by: Donna McClintock, COO Children’s Choice Learning Centers