Three Important Life Lessons from My Three-Year-Old Daughter!…

One of my biggest stresses, when I was expecting my Bundle of Joy, was self – doubt, I kept questioning if I had enough life-lessons to part on to another human being. You see as parents, our job is not only to feed and clothe our little humans but the most important job we have is to shape the minds of our children. So I started digging through my mental archives, searching for these gems called “life- lessons”. I promise you, sometimes, I could literally hear my own mother’s voice repeating some of these lessons: “Ayikho Inkomo Yob’thongo”, “Nurturing your outer Beauty is great, but it is your inner beauty you should nurture more”. “If at some point all you had was enough for you to either buy bread or soap, buy soap because you don’t want to be dirty and smelly with a full stomach. You don’t want every Tom Dick and Harry to know your business just by looking at you and smelling you. Rather be clean and smell good, then people might want to help you earn enough to buy food”… it seemed as if my mother had a library of all these lessons and that made me feel inadequate. I felt that I could never be as good at mothering as my mother was…

Ayikho Inkomo Yob’thongo – My Mom

Fast forward to now raising my little one, I have realised that I am learning from my daughter as much as she is learning from me. This cute little bugger is also shaping my supposedly old mind…Here are some lessons from my daughter which I would like to share with you… Obviously, there are many more lessons but these three are at the top of my list. Maybe someday I might be inspired to share more with you in another blog post but for now, here we go…

HAVE A GROWTH MINDSET

Children learn something new every day. Each day I am pleasantly surprised by something new my child can do, it could be a new skill she has learned on her own or learned at school or even a new word she has added to her vocabulary. There is always something new! Each day she grows!!

Which brings me to the question when and why do we stop growing as adults? Why do we become stagnant? I myself had reached that point in my life and career where I just did the work as a saw, back and forth, back and forth no growth nothing new, just doing the work and going back home feeling unfulfilled. Since the birth of my child, I have grown a lot. Hell, I didn’t even know I could write. From just watching my daughter I now have a Growth Mindset. I am ALWAYS eager to learn something new! I want to grow! I am not even shy to ask the question most adults shudder to ask: “How do I do that?” Each day brings a possibility for learning something new and I am all about that life!! Bring on the books, You-Tube Videos, Blogs, IN FACT, GIVE ME THE WHOLE INTERNET, I want to learn how to do IT ALL!!

NEVER EVER GIVE UP

Watching your child learn to walk is one of the funniest, exciting and sometimes painful part of child-rearing. Babies will try to walk, fall, get up, try and fall again but they keep trying they never give up. Depending on the severity of the fall they will just laugh at themselves and keep going ( to your relief I might add) but if it’s one of those hectic falls, your little one will wail!! I mean really ball!! Let it all out!! At this point, you yourself will be wondering, teary-eyed, if it’s really important for her to learn to walk! I mean is it necessary for my child to walk? Is it worth the pain? But children will cry, then give themselves time to catch their breath and within a short period of time they will try to walk again, sometimes, AT THE VERY SAME SPOT, they fell a few minutes ago!! BAWO!! Children try and try again until they learn to walk!! Kids Never Give Up!

Needless to say, I learned from watching my daughter that Giving up on myself is not an option! I GOTTA LEARN HOW TO WALK! Yes I will fail but a failure is just an event, it’s not me, it is not Thabile! I have to keep it moving and keep trying until I get it right! Also when faced with adversity it’s ok to cry, it’s ok to give myself time to wallow in my sorrows but that Pity Party should be over soon Honey! Pop the balloons and clean up quickly. I gotta catch my breath and try again…until I WIN!!

Remember that failure is an event, not a person. – Zig Ziglar

CELEBRATE YOUR SMALL WINS

Now that my daughter is older, every other day she celebrates something new she can do today that she could not do yesterday, it could be the ability to open the car door or reaching something she could not reach before. She is not shy to scream joyfully!!“Look, mommy, I can do this,… and I can do that”. Me cheering her on gives her the will and courage to try something new. However just as she does when she fails, she does not celebrate one victory for too long but she keeps it moving and learns something new, which she also celebrates…

This has taught me to celebrate my own victories no matter how small they may seem to be to other people. My celebrations keep me going and encourage me to do more. We live in a society that encourages us to do more, dream big, results, results, results. The pressure to have the best of everything is great but it also puts so many of us under pressure, which in turn causes depression. It helps to pause and celebrate the small victories, give yourself a pat in the back. Your small win could be running an extra kilometre, an extra push up at the gym, Acing that exam, buying your first car or reaching any goal you have set for yourself, no matter how small it seems, it is your goal and it is your God Given right to celebrate!

With that being said it’s also important not to celebrate one victory for too long because that also can be crippling…

Success is not final, Failure is not Fatal, it is the courage to continue that Counts – Winston Churchill

They say “dynamites come in small packages”, could that saying also be translated to “BIG life lessons come in small bundles of joy”? Yes? NO? Maybe? Oh! it sounds Cheesy? Ok, let me leave it here then…

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