Ever feel like you're not excelling at being an adult? We all do, at least some of the time. Between managing responsibilities, trying to maintain a social life, worrying about money, and just trying to be an acceptable human being, it's easy to feel overwhelmed. Adults need role models like anyone else, and for the perfect role model on how to not suck at life, toddlers are here to teach you a thing or two.
1. They're honest-even when it's inappropriate
We adults are under too much pressure to kindly smile and nod in just about any situation. Toddlers are the ultimate filterless humans: big enough to speak, too small to understand the mortified glares of their parents after asking a stranger why they don't have hair on their head. But, hey, they know what they want to say and they say it, and that's a great thing.
2. They know the power of the snack
Toddlers always have a snack on hand. Fruit snacks? Yep. Goldfish? Got 'em. How much brighter would your day be if you just whipped out a baggie of Cheerios anytime you felt peckish? Honestly, snacks are probably the key to world peace. You just can't start a world war with a fruit squeeze pouch in hand.
3. They have great sense of style
Toddlers don't care about what's in style, and they can't read fashion magazines anyway. Who said a tutu can't match a baseball hat? Paw Patrol socks can absolutely pair with your Sunday best. Fashion is about experimentation, you boring, cardigan-donning adult. Try something new for once.
4. They dance like no one's watching
While most adults need some liquid courage to get to this point, toddlers need nothing because they entirely lack inhibition. It doesn't matter where, when, or why; if they want to bust a move, they do. No regrets.
5. When they're happy, everyone is happy
Toddlers are the puppies of humans. Yes, they can be obnoxious and sometimes pee in your shoes, but when they're in a good mood, it's contagious. You just can't be grumpy when a grubby-fingered rugrat smiles with all of their being and waves "hi" to you.
6. They're excited about everything
Toddlers give approximately 20 times the appropriate amount of enthusiasm for every positive thing that happens in their lives (a scientifically "proven" fact). This is called "gratitude", and it's something us glum, boring grownups could use every once in a while. Toddlers practice gratitude for everything from seeing a beetle on the sidewalk to getting a sticker at the grocery store.
7. They have endless energy...
Where do they get it from? Theoretically, it's directly extracted from their exhausted parents. Toddlers can run around for hours and never get winded, never complain about their knees, and never seem to lose steam. That's a far cry from most adults who need a mixture of reluctant self-motivation, caffeine, and an upbeat Spotify playlist just to get out of bed in the morning.
8. ...Until they don't
And then the tiny geniuses nap. Naps are a close second to snacks in possible ways to induce world peace. At the very least, naps are the key to being a more pleasant human, and toddlers (and scientists) know this. Weary-eyed adults need to fight for their right to at least one midday snooze per day if they don't want to be cranky.
9. They are the ultimate lesson in mindfulness
Toddlers aren't worried about the tantrum they had yesterday, or the shot they'll get next week. They're only concerned with right now, even if right now is demanding a slice of cheese from mom or stuffing cars into couch cushions. While adults are living in a multitude of have-beens and could-be's, toddlers are living in exactly the moment where they are, for all that it is.
10. They're unequivocally kind
Toddlers are too young to have developed prejudices. If they don't like someone, it's usually because that person isn't particularly pleasant or nice. They only judge people on their character (and sometimes whether they have gummy bears), and that sounds a lot like the dream of a very important man.
11. They love, love, love
All you need is love, right? There are a lot of benefits to being a grown up, like being able to eat cookies whenever you want, but too often we fail to give and receive the love we deserve. We spend our time and energy on people who take but don't give, and we don't show enough affection to the friends, partners, and family in our lives who deserve it. Toddlers freely give love to everyone, and that love makes the world a brighter place. That's a lesson we could all learn from. After all, the love you make is equal to the love you take.