For the past week, I have been volunteering at my local church's vacation bible school. I've been helping with vacation bible school since I was 13, but this is the first year I've helped teach preschoolers.
This means that, for the last five days, I've spent approximately five hours a day with 8 two and three-year-olds. Throughout the week, I've made a lot of observations about the hearts and minds of kids that I thought were worthy of sharing.
I've always thought that adults should strive to help and teach kids and be good role models. What I didn't realize is that, when you spend any amount of time teaching toddlers anything, they tend to teach you just as much (if not more on some levels) than you teach them.
One of the most striking things about kids is that they love unconditionally. It doesn't matter what you look like, who your parents are, how much money you make, what kind of car you drive or clothes you wear, if you love them, they will love you right back.
Kids don't judge. They couldn't care less what your sexual orientation is or where you went to college, they only care that you can make them laugh or show them something cool. If we all learned to love people the way toddlers do, the world would be a much brighter place. Kids prove that hatred is learned, and it usually begins at home.
Toddlers (at least in my somewhat limited experience with them) are also really good about not letting one bad moment ruin their entire day. Sure, they may cry a lot, and they may be pretty dramatic sometimes, but when something that makes them mad or upset, they (generally speaking) get upset for a few minutes, forget about it, and move on. They don't let one broken toy or dropped cookie ruin their entire day. We could all be a lot happier if we got over the troubles in our lives the way kids get over the things that upset them.
Kids are creative and inquisitive and funny. They color outside the lines and constantly want to try new things and learn new things. They're energetic and kind and even smart, at least for tiny people that have only been alive for three years. Toddlers are little, but they have the biggest hearts and the most eager minds. We can learn for them, and we should be striving to learn from them as we teach them.