In the modern world it is generally accepted that it is the adults that teach the children, this is mostly true we mold and shape them into what we as parents, grandparents and carers hope to be a responsible, happy and respectable human being. Teaching them the principles and guidelines of what is acceptable and what is not, how to treat people with respect and accept them for who they are.
This obviously has a wide range of diversity between cultures and backgrounds into what is acceptable but deep down we are all trying to achieve the same thing within the context of our beliefs, but what can we learn from them?
When we look at a child they are a blank canvas looking up to you for guidance but some of their behaviors that come naturally are often confined to the boundaries we set, perhaps some of these things could actually be of benefit not just for them but for us as grownups.
Over the next few posts I will discuss a selection of childhood traits that we should try and bring back into our lives for well being, some might be easier to employ than others and might push the boundaries somewhat but that’s what it is all about.
I have written previously on the benefits of natural movement and it doesn’t come more naturally than with children. They have no concept of exercise as we think of it they just move, and they move lots. But the way they move is different, it is varied, multi direction and full body. Running, jumping, crawling, rolling, balancing and climbing all without any real conscious thought into a reason why they are doing it, it’s just for fun for them.
At the same time though they are unconsciously training themselves for the real world (Or the real world that should be), the real world that eventually begins to restrain this inbuilt desire to move, sitting still at school, in the car in front of the T.V, being told to “Stop it” by the parents. Here is the disconnect, we are meant to move but modern world holds us back, flat surfaces, chairs and social acceptability bring an infinite number of movements into the confines of a box.
Try and count how many varied movements you do a day, it will probably be a short list of walking a little, sitting down a lot and not much else. Then watch a child at play and see how much they move it’s in all directions at all speeds, on the floor, crouching, kneeling, and crawling. Then out of nowhere they are jumping up, twirling round, hanging from somewhere and they just don’t stop.
Now I am fully aware that it is not always that easy to just start rolling around on the floor or hanging from a lamppost but why not try and bring them in from time to time? It doesn’t have to be all the time, just a different type of movement throughout the day to break up the stagnant patterns your body is used to will help you in more ways than just the hour of standard exercise in the gym (If you’re even doing that).
Try and copy a child at play, it’s hard to keep up!
Stop worrying about other people’s opinion.
This leads nicely on from the last point as to when and where you add movement in. If you decide to hang off a tree branch, jump over a park bench or balance on a wall you will probably get some funny looks from passer byes, but don’t let this hold you back. Their opinion of you is just the opposite of if they saw a child doing the same thing. It is again the social stigma of the confines of what is acceptable as a grown up, but this wrong in my opinion.
A child has no problem in what people may think of them they just do it, unless it is the privite property of someone, climb it, hang from it and jump it forget what people may think, they are probably just thinking they wish they could join you.
This should cross into all areas of life, forget what people may think of you if you are happy with your life that is all that matters, the clothes you wear the way you have your hair are all personal choices. As long as your choices are not hurting anyone then do what’s right for you.
We will explore more lessons from children in my next post.
Keep it Primal