Easy Practical Instructions From A 3-Year-Old

Is it safe to say that children approach life differently than adults? This week I experienced an illuminating event with my youngest son who is three. One of my other children asked about participating in a community-service event. As I mulled this opportunity, the possibility of the three-year-old joining us was floated in general conversation. His little ears perked up at the mention of his name, and he immediately latched on to the idea. I decided that we would participate since I wanted to give my children the chance to serve others in our community.

Photo Credit: dagon_ via pixabay

Many young children will connect with an idea, and it will never venture very far from their thoughts. This was definitely the case with my son this week. He would ask me about the upcoming event since he kept forgetting the details he so desperately wanted to remember. The face of this little cherub innocently asking me questions is burned into my mind. It is a memory I will long cherish!

Thinking about my experience this week gave me pause. How is it that three-year-old children view everything so differently than adults? What is it that I have lost that will help me to see situations with a more expectant attitude? Let me propose five ways that a three-year-old could instruct me for a different outlook on life.

  1. Three-year-olds are short. Everything looks bigger and better when looking up at it. Make sure to take time regularly to view life from a different angle.
  2. Three-year-olds won’t take no for an answer. My son is unafraid to ask a question multiple times and in more than one way. His drive to understand and get the answers to his curiosity is unrelenting. Sometimes it is important to refuse to stop at the first no.
  3. Three-year-olds approach everything with enthusiasm and energy. Wow…do they ever! My wife and I have often joked that we could be millionaires if we figured out how to bottle that energy. How much more productive could we be if we applied our energy towards solving a problem rather than complaining?
  4. Three-year-olds will often copy what others are doing. They are observant of the tiniest of details. Younger children will often copy the mannerisms of adults. Other people that we encounter have experiences that can be beneficial in our own circumstances. Take advantage of this wisdom.
  5. Three-year-olds tell everyone about what they are doing. My son is unashamed to walk right up to an acquaintance and proclaim his plan of action. Certainly, we need to temper this approach with a little wisdom of our own. However, telling others about our intentions can put us in a position of accountability to live up to what we have said we will do.

To a large extent, our outlook on life will determine our perception of its quality. I hope this will encourage you to consider whether your perspective needs a reboot.

Question: What are some ways that your perspective has been shifted recently? What is the last thing that you allowed yourself to learn from a child? You can leave a comment by clicking here.

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