10 Things I've Learned from Children

I used to be afraid of small children. 

So much so that I feared I’d be a terrible mother. Now, two children and two grandchildren later, I find tiny human beings incredibly fascinating. 

Here are ten things I’ve discovered about them: 

1. They have no fear of dirt or bugs, but run from washcloths and tissues. 

Helping Gigi make meatballs.
2. They wrinkle their noses in disgust at the dinner you’ve prepared, but will eagerly eat acorns, paper, and stale Cheerios they find lodged in the sofa. 

3. They’re amazingly observant and will point out, loudly enough for the world to hear, the spider veins on your ankles and the “prickles” on your legs. 

4. They love repetition. They’ll eagerly listen to six choruses of “The Ants Go Marching,” and beg you to read Chicka Chicka Boom Boom and Going on a Bear Hunt every chance they get. 

5. They love routine and predictability. They take great security in knowing that the second shelf in the pantry always holds boxes of raisins, cups of applesauce, and packages of peanut butter crackers. They’ll choose “the pink plate that looks like a flower” every time. And if you mess up by giving Sissy the pink sippy cup instead of the blue one, prepare to be corrected. 

6. They’ll surprise you in the sweetest, most spontaneous ways. 

“Giiiiiiigiiiiiiiii,” I heard three-year-old Lauren call a few minutes after we’d tucked her into bed. “Lemme show you somefing.” She held up five fingers, then carefully folded down the middle two—the International Sign Language symbol for “I love you.” 

7. They have a quirky sense of humor. Our neighbors have just adopted a dog, so we walked over to meet him. 

“His name is Oliver,” I told Lauren. 

“Like olive,” she said. “His nose looks like an olive.” 

8. They’re always up for fun. From a jump in a leaf pile, to a pillow fight, to silly bathroom jokes, no one will ever accuse children of being too serious. They love to laugh, and their giggles are the sweetest sound on the planet. Carefree and spontaneous, they hang in the air like chimes in the wind. 

9. They’re fascinated by everything. Pulling baby oak trees and finding acorns beneath the soil. Filling a watering can from a spigot in the rain barrel. Watching a squirrel hop from branch to branch in the oak tree overhead. The world is their classroom, and they are eager, engaged learners. 

10. They remind us that life is an adventure, and the best way to experience it is with those you love. 

I’m not surprised that Jesus enjoyed children. Naturally inquisitive, trusting, and transparent, they embody the characteristics of a good disciple. 

"Let the little children come to me,” he said, “and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it” (Luke 18:16-17). 

Now it’s your turn. What characteristics of children do you especially enjoy? In what way do you wish you were more like them? Leave a comment below and join the conversation. If you’re reading by email, CLICK HERE to visit Hungry for God online, scroll to the bottom of the post, and leave a comment.

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  1. The thing I like best about my grandson is the big smile he always has on his face when I see him. He calls "grandma" and comes running and gives me a great big hug. He has Down Syndrome and is the most loving and caring little boy.

    1. Aw, Linda, your comment made me smile! You did such a great job describing your little man and the joy that bubbles out of him when he sees you. Thanks for sharing that great word picture :)

  2. I love how they don't hold grudges. All it taKes is a little distraction to turn a frown to a giggle. I want to be more like that.