4 Life Lessons Learned From My 4 Year Old

This little lady is 4 today. I can’t believe it. Yet at the same time I do.

4 Life Lessons Learned from a 4 Year Old

A lot has happened in 4 years. A lot has changed. But I am ALWAYS learning from her.

As we celebrate her today, I wanted to write down 4 life lessons I’ve learned from her.

1. There’s always time for a hug.

Every night after we read our bedtime stories, we snuggle and talk about our day. One of us tucks her in, turns off the light, then says goodnight. Lately, she’s been saying “I want to give you a hug and a kiss…don’t hug me, I want to hug YOU.”

She wants to show she loves me by letting her give the affection…not just receive it.

Many nights the bedtime routine has gone on much longer than it has needed to and I’m ready to put an end to what seems like a procrastination tactic; however, I always accept a hug from my daughter — no matter what.  And no matter what, I always feel better after receiving that sweet, innocent hug that strongly screams out I LOVE YOU MOM!

2. Everyone has a story worth exploring. 

When you’ve been around a 3-4 year old, you know they love to ask questions (especially “why” and “what”).  Whenever we are at a store or on a walk, Shiloh will start asking a barrage of questions:

  • “What’s your name?”
  • “What’s your granddaughter’s name?”
  • “Did you already eat lunch?”
  • “Where do you go to church?”
  • “Do you like pink and purple?”
  • You get my drift….

Most people oblige and enjoy sharing a little piece of themselves. Some people start opening up and have a full conversation with her about themselves.

When she’s not interacting with the person directly, she looks up at me and asks questions like:

  • Where’s that lady’s husband? (If she’s sitting at a restaurant alone.)
  • Why is that little boy sad?
  • Who do you think they are going to visit? [when at the airport]
  • Do you think doing {fill in the blank} for someone will make them happy?

I love her heart for others and true concern for what’s going on in their lives. I think we would all have a bit more empathy and understanding for others if we started asking more questions instead of making assumptions (my hubby felt the same conviction recently and blogged about coaching children). [cue in conviction….] Yep, talk about a painful life lesson.

3. “Take Chances. Make Mistakes. Get Messy.”

Words of wisdom from Miss Frizzle from The Magic School Bus. Don’t you sometimes wish you had the courage and fearlessness of a 4 year old? They are bold. Not afraid to try something new. Definitely don’t worry about messes. And don’t blink and eye if something doesn’t turn out the way they wanted it to.

I love the creativity and imagination my daughter has. After finishing a roll of toilet paper, she takes the roll, puts it in a pile and says “WE COULD MAKE PENGUINS OUT OF THESE ROLLS! Let’s go get the paint!” I have a whole bin of “trash” that is just ready to be up-cycled into a new creative item.

Don’t be afraid to try something new, get your hands dirty, and see what happens!

4. Love strongly. Forgive deeply.

There are days when you feel like you are on your last string and don’t have an ounce more to give….And you snap. Everyone knows that shameful feeling of having to go to someone, admit that you were wrong, and ask forgiveness.

And I hate when I have to do that to my kids…yet at the same time I am so very thankful and love that I get to do that. It shows that I am human, that I make mistakes, and that little kids aren’t the only ones who can lose tempers. It’s a life lesson that can only be taught in the moment.

And in those moments, I see my daughter extend grace to me without a bat of the eye. She truly forgives me for the ways that I have wronged her. She lavishes an amazing love on me that humbles me.

There are a million other life lessons that I learn from my daughter on a daily basis. I am daily reminded of the precious gift that has been given to me and Brad…and I can only hope that she continues to develop and exhibit the strong character God has formed in her in these first 4 years of life.