Learn From the Things They Do

BE HON­EST

Simply Her (Singapore) - - Learn From Your Kids -

The truth hurts, so adults some­times lie in or­der to spare some­one’s feel­ings. Kids, how­ever, haven’t fully grasped the con­cept of cause and ef­fect.

“Kids speak their minds and sel­dom have hid­den agen­das. To re­ally be hon­est like them, you need to over­come your fear of the con­se­quences of telling the truth, be less self­ish and re­move your ‘need to win’ men­tal­ity,” says Clara Tan, founder of Molly Man­ners Sin­ga­pore. Kids hardly have any emo­tional bag­gage or past ex­pe­ri­ences to skew their view of the world, Clara points out. “Chil­dren are more up­front be­cause they do not over­anal­yse is­sues – they see things as they are and say so. They don’t feel a need to hide any­thing as they em­body a sim­ple view of the world,” she adds. “Adults can learn how to speak plainly and sim­ply from them, by trust­ing that do­ing so will help build more au­then­tic re­la­tion­ships.”

Adults tend to put up a de­fen­sive wall when meet­ing new people for fear of be­ing re­jected, says life coach Joe Lee. Kids, on the other hand, have no ex­pec­ta­tions when it comes to mak­ing friends. He says: “They gen­uinely seek com­pan­ion­ship and, know­ing that they won’t be re­jected, aren’t afraid to ap­proach new people to strike up a friend­ship.”

Clara adds: “Kids ac­cept one an­other re­gard­less of lan­guage, re­li­gion and the colour of their skin. They make friends while bond­ing over ac­tiv­i­ties and shar­ing things about their life. Adults too, should have the same courage to be real with oth­ers. We can take risks to open our­selves up to other people.” The key is to live in the mo­ment, as chil­dren do. “Kids live only in the present. When they play, they re­ally play. When they cry, they re­ally cry. They don’t hold on to the past and they don’t project a fu­ture,” says Joe. So stop fret­ting about what’s yet to hap­pen – you can’t con­trol what you don’t know. Em­brace life in the present, like kids do, and you’ll prob­a­bly feel hap­pier.

Clara agrees: “Chil­dren are gen­er­ally op­ti­mistic – they for­give and for­get eas­ily. So live in the mo­ment and let go of your grudges – you’ll be mer­rier that way.”

It con­stantly sur­prises adults how chil­dren can move from fight­ing over a toy one mo­ment to be­ing friends again the next. Once the is­sue is set­tled, they don’t dwell on it. “Chil­dren don’t put too much mean­ing into events. A spade is a spade to them,” ex­plains Clara. “On the other hand, adults tend to de­velop bi­ased view­points due to painful ex­pe­ri­ences. We need to ac­cept life the way it is and not get too emo­tion­ally or men­tally at­tached to a life event.” So, see the big pic­ture in ev­ery­thing you do.

Lit­tle ones be­lieve they have a right to say no and have no qualms about turn­ing a re­quest down. As adults, we need to stay true to what we want, too, says Clara. “We must value our time and speak up. Say­ing no will be eas­ier this way.”

Joe feels that the key to say­ing no with­out guilt is to stop car­ing about how the other per­son may take your re­jec­tion. “When you don’t feel like agree­ing to a re­quest or if you feel that help­ing some­one may drag you down, just say no – no ex­pla­na­tions needed.”

If it’s re­ally dif­fi­cult for you to deny some­one, Joe sug­gests you prac­tise say­ing no three times a day, in front of a mir­ror, to get used to say­ing it. “Very soon, you’ll be com­fort­able do­ing it,” he adds.

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