I worked at a daycare for over three years. From afternoon playtime to full-time days in the summer, I fell in love with the little bundles of energy I saw every day. I looked forward to stories from the Pre-K kids and a movie synopsis from an overly excited two year old. I loved being able to cradle the tiniest infants and forget about whatever else in my life that seemed to be going wrong. I learned some very important life lessons from my "work babies." They may not be as important as taxes, but they're definitely important for living your best life day in and day out.
1. Hug often and hug tightly
Learning to laugh at yourself is a trick we all need. It also doesn't come easily. I have watched little kids trip and not know what to do next. Their little faces scrunch up and you don't know what they'll do next. Then they start laughing. They'll point to what they fell over and laugh harder. Their friends join in and the skinned knee is forgotten as they laugh about how funny something that is practically nothing is.
3. Don't be afraid to try new things
Getting your hand painted for a project is a weird feeling. Eating sweet potatoes for the first time is gross. Well, it may be gross. Hopefully, your teachers don't have to wear it as an unneeded accessory. Sprinkler time can be scary when you're new to walking and new to water being sprayed on you outside of bath time. However, if you really really try, you can learn to love something new.
4. Sharing is caring
6. You're never too young, or too old, to dream
My favorite question to ask the kids at work is "what do you want to be when you grow up?" I've heard everything from "a mommy," "an astronaut," "a T-rex, King Kong wrestler," to "a doctor like my daddy." Then they ask me what I want to be and honestly, I wouldn't mind being an astronaut when I grow up.
7. Tomorrow holds so much more
The promise of tomorrow is so new and so amazing to little kids. "Tomorrow I'll be all grown up," and "tomorrow I can play with the play-dough" give them something to look forward too. There is so much anticipation and hope for young kids. Maybe as adults, we can have some of the same hope and anticipation
8. Everyone deserves love
"I love you most" and "I love you more" were common phrases I heard from the kids I worked with. In the middle of playtime or reading, a little hand would fly up and all they would say is "I love you!" Little kids spread love like wildfire, that's something we can all work on.
9. Everyone makes mistakes
Little kids make mistakes. Mommys and Daddys make mistakes. Teachers make mistakes. It's what we take away from it that helps us grow. Whether it be time alone to think, or something as simple as covering up the mistake with a picture or the right answer, we're not perfect. No one is perfect