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Home » Pro » Reflections on Applied Behavior Analysis » 6 Lessons Kids Can Teach Adults


with Heather Gilmore, MSW, LLMSW, BCBA

6 Lessons Kids Can Teach Adults

Enjoy Life, Live life to the Fullest
Enjoy Life, Live life to the Fullest

“A child can teach an adult three things: to be happy for no reason, to always be busy with something, and to know how to demand with all his might that which he desires.” -Paulo Coelho

Kids and adults experience the world and live their lives differently. The way in which children function, the way they view their surroundings, the way they think and feel and process provides some lessons to help adults live their lives with more peace, happiness, and fulfillment.

1.Enjoy Life

Despite challenges that kids may face, most kids are able to enjoy life. Even kids who are going through some pretty tough times are able to separate from their difficulties and have experiences of sincere happiness, joy, and freedom. Even kids who have a heavy weight on their shoulders from the troubles they have experienced or are currently experiencing can seem to have positive experiences in life in which they are living in the moment and experiencing positivity and peace even if for a short time. Of course, some kids have more severe mental health concerns which result in less enjoyment of life, but most of the time, kids have a natural ability to find joy in whatever life they have.

2. Live in the Now

Kids, especially young kids, tend to live in the moment. They live with their minds, attention, and energy all focused on what is currently happening. This is a great life skill. Worrying about the past or future too much makes for a more stressful life with possibly increased anxiety and/or depression.

3. Love Unconditionally

Again, despite the experiences kids go through, they are able to have unconditional love for the people in their lives. Kids almost always want to be with their parents no matter how frustrated or upset they get with them. This is true even if the child’s words or actions say otherwise. Kids tend to forgive the wrongs of others. The temperament a child is born with and the experiences they have thereafter affect how nurturing a child is and how aware of other’s feelings they are but, overall, when kids love someone, they love them despite difficulties in the relationship.

4. Have Questions

Kids can have lots and lots of questions. This is a good thing. It shows curiosity, a desire to learn, and a willingness to grow, change and improve one’s self. Having questions in adulthood can support personal growth, personal wellness, and an openness to learning, understanding, and compassion, as well.

5. Be Open-Minded

Kids are generally open-minded. Most of the time kids (especially younger kids) accept others, listen to different viewpoints, and consider new ways of doing things. Some kids are born with a more natural tendency for considering new ideas whereas other kids’ temperament influences them to be more comfortable with sticking with what they know. However, overall, kids are impressionable. This can be a good thing. Instead of being closed to learning new things, kids are open to learning and hearing what others have to say (as long as the lessons being taught don’t put them on a defensive stance).

6. Be Creative

Kids are naturally creative. They build, color, draw, make, craft, and take part in all sorts of expressive activities. They sing, dance, talk (or ramble on and on about many different ideas and stories…in a good way). Kids are creative regardless of the “perfectness” of their actions and outcomes of those actions. Kids express themselves through their creativity which is a great tool for living a fulfilling life and for identifying with one’s true self.

(Pic by: © adrian_ilie825 – Fotolia.com)

6 Lessons Kids Can Teach Adults

APA Reference
Gilmore, H. (2014). 6 Lessons Kids Can Teach Adults. Psych Central. Retrieved on February 21, 2019, from https://pro.psychcentral.com/child-therapist/2014/07/6-lessons-kids-can-teach-adults/