Children are considered immature, innocent and creatures without knowledge. You might have heard the people’s saying, ‘Don’t behave like a child’ or ‘You seem childish’. Such statements express our mentality about children. As a parent, teacher or society member we try to teach children, preach them and show the right path to make them better human being. But a child’s behavior is not always “childish” or “immature”. At times, they show even more sensibility and maturity than adults. Children are more empathetic, confident, and courageous. They enjoy life far more intensely than adults. In Maria Montessori’s words, “Children are human beings to whom respect is due, superior to us by reason of their innocence and of the greater possibilities of their future.” Though every child is unique and characteristics vary child to child but few traits are common in children.
Following qualities could be learnt from children:
1. Curiousness: Children are very curious in each and every aspects of life. They have a sense of wonder. Everything surrounding them holds some sort of fascination for them. They love to explore each and everything by touching, seeing, testing, feeling etc. They like to do things on their own. Though they seem dependent on others but it is not their choice.
2. Activeness and Enthusiasm: Children’s energy level is just unmatched. Being enthusiastic and active are their natural traits. From morning till night they remain active. They rarely get tired. If any child is not so there is likely some problem.
3. Momentary fights: Children’s negative emotions like anger, sadness, or quarreling with friends are all momentary. After few seconds they forget about such feelings. It takes only few seconds for them to forget about mistreatment, or scolding received from parents or caregivers. They don’t keep grudges like their elders.
4. Happiness: Children become happy and get excited with small things. Their smiles and laughter are impartial and unconditional. They offer their smile to each and everybody. They have ability to find joy all around them. Just watch the humor a child can find in a garden, shopping mall or during prayer. They see silliness everywhere.
5. Never Give-Up Attitude: Children never give-up. You see children when they try to stand, try to climb the ladders, learn the language or writing an alphabet. Falling or failing does not matter for them. They keep on trying without caring about others.
6. Keen Observation: Children are keen observers. They can notice very minute things. By observing and imitating others they learn a lot. Most of the parts of their learning come through observing others only. According to James A. Baldwin, “Children have never been very good at listening to their elders, but they have never failed to imitate them”.
7. Live in Present: Every morning kids jump out of bed and prepare to live the day to the fullest. When a child is having fun nothing else exists. They forget each and everything during play. They only know this moment; right here and now, and they seem to understand something that we adults forgotten; that the present is what counts and that each day is a gift waiting to be discovered. Children don’t carry baggage from one day to next.
8. Honesty: Children are naturally honest when they enter in this world. They speak without manipulation. Though it can be a mixture of their imaginations because they are unable to differentiate between reality and imagination, but it does not mean that they are liars. They start speaking lie when they do not get desired response or under the influence of friends or TV serials.
9. Innovative: Children are innovative by nature. You can easily find a child loosing him/her in a creative project for hours. They are never afraid to play a sport they have never tried before. They don’t have any fear of failure. As an adult we fear the unknown. We don’t want to leave our comfort zone.
10. Empathy: You might have seen that children start crying when they exposed to another one who is distressed or crying. In a group of children, if one starts crying others also join him/her. Children show such expressions because of empathy. Empathy is the ability to understand the feelings of others. Children easily acknowledge the pain of parents or friends and become upset as a response. Not only they feel the pain but they try to soothe it also. Of course, their expression of empathy is different from adults and they don’t say, “I can feel you” but in reality they do.
The author of the above article is Dr. Pradeep Shyam Ranjan. He obtained his Ph.D. (Psychology) from Dr. Harisingh Gour Central University Sagar (MP). He has been working as Counselling Psychologist from 2007. He likes to write on positive psychology, personality development and psychological issues. He has published in various research journals and magazines.