Opinion: 6 valuable life lessons adults need to learn from kids

by Lanre Olagunju


They say things just the way they are, to the best of their descriptive intelligence and proficiency.

Look into the eye of the child close to you; you can be sure that his/her eyes are clear and bright. Kids know how to smile and when they laugh they just don’t care. Little wonder why when they breathe their shoulders don’t have to go up and down like many adults have mastered. No thanks to our mastery in worrying.  It’s quite amazing to discover that majority of what made our childhood memorable and fun has been lost to adulthood. Not knowing that many of them are basically the recipes answerable to making our lives memorable and fun.

The greatest of all law is to love and like Mahatma Gandhi puts it “The law of love could be best understood and learned through little children” That makes it easier to understand why Jesus said “I can guarantee this truth: Unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven”. The following lessons can be learnt from kids;

 Dream Big

Every child has an expectation of what he or she would become. A child wants to become a doctor or a lawyer just at the site of one. Their intricate ability to dream and live in their imagination is evident in their discussions. A child would ride in the best jeep of his choice, create sound of the engine with the mouth and then get the same feeling with anyone who drives such a car as he drives to the destination of his choice. All in the mind! Only kids do such. They are naturally armed with the mind set that they can be anything, giving no thought to fear, limitations or boundaries. And to a great extend, nature works with the imagination and expectations of the mind. Though dreaming is cheap yet, many adults can’t afford it.


Kids are honest to a fault and they just don’t know how to hide their feelings like we adults do. They say things just the way they are, to the best of their descriptive intelligence and proficiency. Kids wear their expressions all over them. You essentially don’t need to have a degree in sooth saying to tell when a child is angry, happy, frightened or indifferent. Contrarily, with adults, you have to listen carefully to what is been said and then discern the messages behind non-verbal expressions. Adults conceal expressions for many reasons, making communication very difficult.

Valuing Relationship

There are only few things kids love much more than hanging out with their friends. Given the chance, Kids would never leave their friends’ side.  At that age they still have the mastery to admire, respect, and trust their friends unconditionally. Adults forget that a healthy personal relationship is a vital key to happiness.  Adults are the ones scared of talking to strangers. We still hold in high esteem the ‘don’t talk to anybody you don’t know advice, and when they call or talk to you, please don’t answer’ –hence not meeting new people, forgetting that our old friends were once strangers. Adults are too careful to spare anyone benefit of the doubt, so very afraid of betrayal. We say all men/women are the same despite that all men don’t have the same name, face or genetic makeup.

Unending Curiosity About Everything

No one is constantly driven by curiosity as a child. The fact that kids are constantly in pursuit of the unknown guides their education and help them input important files in their virgin but big memory. They ask questions like there’s no tomorrow, and you wonder if the questions will ever end. Look at how P. J. O’Rourke puts it “You know your children are growing up when they stop asking you where they came from and refuse to tell you where they’re going” Naturally adults don’t know that you hardly loose a thing when you ask but you risk all when you don’t ask.  Adults don’t ask questions for all the wrong reasons. We feel it’s shameful not to know, not minding that it’s foolish not to ask when you actually don’t know. Adults feel safer to assume not noting that assumption is the least form of knowledge. You might not get answers to all questionsm just like kids don’t, but you’ll never get an answer to a question you never asked.

Playfulness and Simplicity

The primary occupation of every child is to play and it can be amazingly dramatic to see parents spend the first 12 months teaching a new born how to talk and walk, all for them to be later yelled at to sit down and be quiet. Kids are the ones that discover dance well before coming to terms with what music is or is not. It’s not a terrible thing to be childish every once in a while. We ‘serious adults’ feel we need to constantly remain so serious to retain our maturity. Maturity is sometimes overrated. Kids live spontaneously and that naturally affords them to maximize fun, enjoying the beauty of every moment.

Great Forgiving Spirit

Kids do not know how to hold grudges; malice is a word kids have to grow up to understand. When they are hurt they might say things like “I won’t play with you again” but you can be so sure that it won’t last. Un-forgiveness has been traced to severe stress and anxiety.

Why not look for a child and kiss him/her Happy Children’s Day.


Lanre Olagunju tweets from @Lanre_Olagunju on twitter


Op-ed pieces and contributions are the opinions of the writers only and do not represent the opinions of Y!/YNaija.

One comment

  1. It’s good to share view among friends especially when it come to issue that concerned one’s life and National issues.

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