This past weekend, I babysat my nieces and nephew. With a twelve-year-old niece and thirteen-year-old nephew in the mix (who, needless to say, would rather spend time with their friends than their aunt), the weekend turned into a lot of one-on-one time with my seven-year-old niece, and I wouldn’t have had it any other way.
Here Are Seven Lessons She Taught Me
(I only hope I taught her a few too!)
1. Skip. Just Because.
When was the last time you broke into a skip? Probably not for a long time, huh? It’s fun. Trust me.
2. Don’t Believe Everything You Hear.
When tales of fifteen-year-old teachers ruled a car ride one day, I was reminded of the adage “there are three sides to every story: yours, theirs, and the truth.” The fact is that seven year olds are no less dishonest than their adult counterparts. My niece wasn’t lying; it was just that her frame of reference made fifteen the oldest possible age she could imagine for someone who didn’t look a hundred, and so that was the age she figured her teacher to be. Seven year olds just have a different frame of reference than their adult counterparts so that their truth is sometimes different from the objective truth. The same can be said for adults. Bottom line: don’t believe everything you hear from seven year olds (or thirty-seven year olds).
3. Do it. Now.
There is nothing like the impatience of a seven year old to show you the power of time. Don’t like what you’re doing? Stop. Find something you love. Do that. Time is precious. Don’t waste it being miserable.
4. You Can Color Your World Any Way You Want.
Pick up a coloring book and crayons with a seven year old and see how they view the world. Pink zebras, polka-dotted pandas, orange oceans. Do you see the world with rose-colored glasses? You can if you choose.
5. Have a Dance Party.
In your room. By yourself. Maybe with your dog.
6. Remember: You Have an Impact.
Your words and actions affect everyone around you. You may see it more profoundly in a child who mimics your habits, but a smile at the coffee shop holds just as much weight. Be positive. Be happy. Smile.
7. Do What You Love.
You never see a seven year old doing something they hate. They either find something else they want to do or find a way to make the things they “have” to do more fun. As my Dad always says, “find what you love to do, and you’ll never work a day in your life.” Mackenzie’s got this one down pat. I just hope she doesn’t lose it!
What lessons have children taught you? Please share your best ones!
Alexis Wolfer is the founder and editor-in-chief of TheBeautyBean.com, an online magazine that promotes Real Beauty, and a well-known beauty and lifestyle expert as seen on the Today Show, E!, and more. She is also the creator of the international and viral Makeup Free Mondays movement. Follow Alexis on Twitter or find her on Facebook and on TheBeautyBean.com.
*Photo by Kreative Eye – Dean McCoy.