5 Childhood Lessons Worth Remembering

Remember all those books you read as a kid full of talking trees, friendly monsters and giant red dogs? Hidden among the colorful illustrations, singsong dialogue and downright trippy storylines was always a message, some big moral lesson our little minds were meant to absorb by the last page. Story time was a way of teaching us something, even if it made us a bit scared or weepy (looking at you, Giving Tree).

I wanted to share five lessons I’ve gleaned from the children’s books I read while I was growing up and with my own children. No matter your age, their messages still ring true. 

1. Treat others as you would like to be treated.
Ah, the golden rule. You would think we had this one down ages ago, but then the Internet came along and complicated everything. We need to consider how we interact with people both in person and online, thinking about how our messages come across and what our intentions really are. In the end, how you show up for other people is how they’ll show up for you.

Inspiration: Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White

2. Sharing is caring.
When we’re little, sharing our toys and snacks seems like way too much to ask. But as we get older and grow more independent, sharing our time and things can actually get harder. We get set in our ways and hold onto what we’ve acquired. That’s why we need to look for ways to give back as much as we’re able. Being of service to others is good for your community as well as your soul. Volunteering can make you feel more connected to your home and introduce you to new people.

Inspiration: The Rainbow Fish by Marcus Pfister

3. Your body is your own. And it’s amazing.
Confidence and self-esteem can take years to build. How good we feel about ourselves can also change day by day, even hour by hour. That’s why it’s important to celebrate the body we have right now and all it’s capable of and stop comparing ourselves to everyone else. We should also demand respect for that body from others. Embrace what makes you special and realize your “flaws” are what set you apart. However you feel most comfortable in your skin is perfect.

Inspiration: Corduroy by Don Freeman

4. It’s okay to make mistakes. Just keep trying.
Learning from our mistakes is always easier said than done. As a perfectionist with anxiety, I do not like to fail. And as a business owner, the prospect of failing is always in the back of my mind. I’ve had to accept that mistakes are guaranteed along the way, and while it may be hard some days, giving up is never the answer. Much as it bugged me then and sometimes still does, I have learned from every past mistake. Examining where I went wrong and reaching out for help have always paid off down the line.

Inspiration: The Little Engine That Could by Watty Piper

5. Don’t be afraid of an adventure.
One of the hardest and best things about life is its unpredictability. Much as I try to schedule every moment of every day, my plans don’t always work out. Learning to embrace change and what scares us can take us to new and exciting places that help us grow. So try not to pass up the chance for adventure, whether it’s a small change to your normal routine, a big move or new job. Who knows, you may end up bungee jumping over a dam in Switzerland one day.

Inspiration: Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak

Which childhood lesson do you find the most challenging to remember as an adult? Share your thoughts in the comments.

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