There aren’t many people in the world who would say parenting is easy. As a parent, you spend most of your time taking care of your little ones. You pour your heart and soul into your kids. You teach them the difference between right and wrong and cheer them on as they discover their individual gifts. It’s tiring, sure—but not without its rewards.
One of the greatest things about parenting is discovering how children have a funny way of understanding life better than most adults. They don’t overcomplicate things. That might be part of the reason Jesus said the kingdom of heaven belonged to them (Matthew 19:14). So next time you’re busy teaching your kids, take a minute to stop and see how much they’re teaching you!
Here are five lessons you can learn from your kids.
1. Believe in yourself.
Think about how often you’ve tried to help your son, only to hear him say, “I can do it!” Or count the number of times you’ve watched your daughter dress up and dance around the room—not worried about what anyone thinks. There’s a reason children say they want to be the president, an astronaut, or a ballerina. They’re confident in who they are!
2. Forgive easily.
It isn’t uncommon for children to get upset with you one minute and be completely fine the next. Kids forgive easily. They aren’t interested in carrying baggage around day after day. A hug and a simple “I’m sorry” go a long way in the eyes of a child.
3. Be courageous.
One of the most powerful lessons you can learn from your kids is to be fearless. Have you ever noticed how kids leap off swing sets, climb trees that are ten times bigger than they are, and make new friends with ease? They aren’t worried about failing—they are completely focused on trying.
4. Ask questions.
Children soak up information like a sponge absorbs water. And it isn’t that surprising, is it? Kids are naturally curious and ask a ton of questions. Many adults worry about asking questions that might make them sound dumb. But kids have no problem asking why, what if, and how.
5. Live in the moment.
Kids don’t waste much time worrying about tomorrow. They take Matthew 6:34 (NIV) seriously: “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself . . .” Kids live in the present and take each new day as it comes. They stop and smell the roses—sometimes literally—and find time to notice the little things.
Raising your kids might be the toughest job you’ll ever face. But next time you’re knee-deep in the hard and holy work of parenting, pause and think about what you can learn from them. There is so much!
In some ways, they’re raising you just as much as you’re raising them.