'They Play Harder Than They Work,' And 14 Other Ways Our Kids Are Smarter Than Us

by Joelle Wisler
Originally Published: / Shutterstock

Despite all of the bad decisions kids make with toilet paper, I believe that they are some of the smartest creatures out there. Babies are born already understanding the important stuff like love, touch, warmth, and family. In fact, I learn something from my kids every single day. Just today, I learned that I am incapable of drawing a Hello Kitty without it looking like a panda bear, and I know this because my 5-year-old told me so.

Kids know how amazing they are and how wondrous life is and that sometimes it’s okay to get really excited about seeing a cow outside your car window. They get life, and we should all really try to remember what that was like.

1. Moving your body feels good.

When did sitting still start to feel better than somersaulting off the couch? How did I get to be too tired to hula hoop? Kids know that bodies are meant to move and that if there is a tree that looks like it should be climbed, you climb it.

2. Silliness is the key to life.

If we could all just focus on this one thing, life would be much less scary, and the comments section on articles wouldn’t be a place where all hopes for humanity go to die.

3. They question authority.

As a parent, this can be challenging. But when was the last time you questioned a boss’ unreasonable ask of your time? My kids question most things I say and I really need to remember to appreciate this.

4. They play harder than they work.

Their priorities are probably more balanced than ours. Obviously, life is meant to be fun. Why else do we have bodies that know how to do the hokey pokey, brains that can invent things like roller coasters, and the desire to occasionally sing all the words to “Baby Got Back.”

5. They become whatever they can imagine.

Just this morning, in a 10-minute span of time, my 5-year-old was a princess, a polar bear, and a fashion designer. I had a hard time keeping up. I would love to remember how to bring all of my dreams to life just by imagining that they are so.

6. They trust their instincts.

As adults, we tend to not want to hurt someone’s feelings, and kids are like, “Screw that! I’m totally not kissing Aunt Myrtle.

7. They do things for the simple joy of it.

No Facebook documentation or Instagram pictures, or anything else. Just the simple happiness of jumping a rope or pedaling a bike or fighting a dragon.

8. They know to just eat the damn ice cream.

No guilt. Just eat it and enjoy it and spend your time worrying about other things, like if your new shoes really do make you run faster.

9. They understand how incredible they are.

Watch a kid try to talk to you while there is a mirror in front of them. They are simply fascinated by the wondrous creature that they are. We could probably all take some lessons in self-love from them.

10. A hug from someone you love can help solve a lot of problems.

The human touch is some powerful medicine for everything from torn-up knees to broken hearts. My 9-year-old tells me more about his life when he is bent up crookedly in my lap than at any other time.

11. They are vulnerable.

Kids are pretty happy beings. Maybe that has something to do with knowing that they can cry if they need to and that someone will comfort them.

12. They forgive easily.

I can be the biggest jerk in the world sometimes. I yell at my kids when I shouldn’t and take stuff away and I act like a crazy person. Minutes later, my kids will be telling me fart jokes and asking me to read them a story. We could all learn to forgive like a 5-year-old.

13. They aren’t afraid to express themselves artistically.

They aren’t afraid of what someone might say if they draw a three-armed snake shooting radishes out of his nose and juggling. We shouldn’t be afraid of the crazy mess of creativity that is lurking inside of us either.

14. They dance like they invented dancing.

They dance unabashedly, shaking their butts, waving their arms, doing whatever feels right. Kind of like their dad after a few martinis.

15. They understand that life rocks.

I think sometimes we get too bogged down in the muck of daily living, and the perception that we are missing sleep, and “Oh! I have so much to do!” Grown-ups forget about the fun. Kids remember.

So, let’s all take some lessons from our kids in the art of living and jump in that leaf pile, roll down that hill, whisper secrets to our friends, and make grown-up fools of ourselves. Let’s not forget that this whole thing called life is supposed to be a really great time.

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