Toddlers straddle the worlds of infant and child. As they attempt to master new skills, they face more obstacles than most adults and do so with joy and determination. We adults could learn a few things from toddlers. 

Get dirty

Small children are often filthy and smiling. There’s pleasure in getting your hands dirty and connecting with things in a physical way. Spend your time in joyful pursuits, not worrying about whether or not you’ll get messy along the way.

Never let another’s pain go unnoticed

As children learn to relate to one another they are often overcome with empathy. When we get older, we can become so consumed with our own lives that we ignore the suffering of others. Cultivate empathy by acknowledging the pain of fellow human beings. Often we can lessen their burdens and our own by reaching out to one another with compassion.

Celebrate your accomplishments

Children learn to clap before they learn to speak. They are cheered on by their families and are unabashed in their self-congratulation. Life can be difficult and our successes are worthy of acknowledgement, at least as much as tying your own shoes for the first time.

Acknowledge all your emotions and let them go

Happiness, sadness, fear, anger – children feel them fully. Toddlers have not yet learned to attach judgments to their feelings. No emotion is good or bad, it just is. Difficult emotions can overpower temporarily, but when they linger it’s because we are holding on to them. If we let them go we can make room for what is next.

Toddlers live fully in the moment. They love themselves and others without question or judgment. They remind us that our fears and insecurities are learned behaviors. Let the wisdom of toddlers inspire you to be a bit more childish in your daily life.