It’s no denying it: Kids keep things pretty simple. I know there isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t wish to go back to childhood for simpler times and situations to deal with instead of all the adult responsibilities. However, I find myself taking moments after that daily wish to observe the actions and reactions of my daughter in an effort to remind myself that some things can be easier, particularly relationships.
Yes, there are some adult issues that enter into every relationship that have their own ways of handling them. But, overall, the example our children show us about how to interact with others is a principle that is worth remembering and implementing. Let’s take a few examples to heart.
When we are in a work environment, we come across many different personalities of people. The same may be said of children in a school or community play environment. As adults, we often interject office politics into the equation, which just confuses the whole situation – mostly for the worst. Children, however, rarely have a built-in understanding of the political concept, so it doesn’t come into play for them.
If a child comes across another who isn’t sharing a piece of play yard equipment with others, their innocence will allow them to say something outright to the other child about it. This often results in a lesson being learned by the non-sharing child about considering others around him. There are also those times where a little confrontation arises in this type of situation, but children are brutally honest about their feelings and how things affect them. Unfettered truth rules their reactions.
In the office, we adults often hold back from expressing our true feelings or reactions, mostly out of fear of being labeled one thing or another, or to avoid any kind of confrontation. “Playing nice” takes on a whole different concept when adults interact with each other in the corporate world. It morphs from actually being nice to one another to playing “the game”. This isn’t healthy for anyone, except those who are manipulating the game. Wouldn’t it just be easier to take the approach of a child and be honest about how the game is rigged? The game will never change if we fail to apply the heart of a child and speak up about matters that require genuine niceties’ to be brought to light.
The same principles apply to our personal relationships. Children fight with each other, even when they are the best of friends. However, they keep things simple about talking out what is really at the heart of their problems instead of glossing over things. If we were to drop the mind games we adults are conditioned to play with each other and speak authentically, as a child would and does, many personal relationship issues wouldn’t fester as long as normal.
Take some time this week and watch your children’s interaction with others. Observe how they resolve conflicts with others. Extract the principles to see how those simple choices and actions may apply to your own adult interactions. The results just may surprise you.
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