What Can Your 5-Year-Old Teach You?

Updated on September 12, 2019
Abitha Deepak profile image

Abitha is a creative writer who draws inspiration from daily life and tries to look at a situation from different perspectives.

Explore five qualities that you can learn from your 5-year-old to improve your adult self!
Explore five qualities that you can learn from your 5-year-old to improve your adult self! | Source

Parenthood is by no means easy. There are moments of pure joy, fuzzy cuddles and loads of laughs. Then there is a good dose of overwhelming pressure to discipline and educate our kids on the hows and whys of life. With such responsibilities weighing on your mind, you are probably wondering what can you possibly learn from your 5-year-old child. Isn't it the other way around?

Right now, you are probably thinking about how to keep your child occupied with a storybook or puzzle or playground as you watch them jump excitedly up and down on the couch. (The same couch you are sitting on, trying to drink your hot cuppa while glancing at this article!)

Hold on, I have a simple request. Later, I want you to give this article some thought—the ideal time would be after you finish their bedtime story tonight and watch them curl up and sleep contently. As you gaze at your’s child’s peaceful face and feel the same peace within you, that instant would probably be the right time to dwell on the following list of suggestions!

The Top 5 Qualities You Can Learn From Your 5-Year-Old

  1. Be Very Curious
  2. Be Stubborn
  3. Be Excited About New Things
  4. Show Empathy
  5. Be Creative and Silly

Photo Credits: Author
Photo Credits: Author

1. Be Very Curious

At this age, children talk constantly. You might be thinking, "Didn't I answer three questions in a row? How many more does she or he have in mind? How do I gently guide their attention away before I lose my sanity?" Granted, it is not easy to feed their curiosity constantly, but the focus here is their insatiable curiosity! You have to marvel at how they are never satisfied with the responses you give and want to know more. This thirst for knowledge is what you need to learn from them. Be curious enough to create this thirst and go on a quest to quench it.

Seek More Answers

Don’t take things at face value; look deeper for better answers. You will be amazed by how much better you cope with everyday situations. Another way is to trigger your thirst for learning. Is there a new sport you want to learn? Did you love something as a child but never got to pursue that dream? It is never too late to learn something new. Do your research and figure out where you can learn it from!

Don’t shy away from learning because you feel you are too old or that you don’t have the time to pencil it in your schedule; make the time. Age is never a deterrent to learning new things. Scientific studies highly recommend that our brains be engaged constantly to keep your brain cells buzzing and improve your memory and creativity. It also empowers your health against diseases like Alzheimer’s, for example!

Scientific studies highly recommend that our brains be engaged constantly to keep your brain cells buzzing and improve your memory and creativity. It also empowers your health against diseases like Alzheimer’s, for example!

2. Be Stubborn

If you are like me, you have often idly observed your child playing with toys, cardboard boxes and all kinds of objects around the house, which you sometimes grudgingly deem safe (but by no means less messy). Have you noticed how they sometimes struggle to figure out something that needs fixing? As you fight the urge to help, you see them keep at it stubbornly. They often try different ways to get what they want out of the toy or your kitchen utensils. As kids, we are usually very enthusiastic about fixing a problem without giving up easily. When life gets you down, you need to think like a 5-year-old—figure out alternate possibilities!

Don’t Give Up When You Are Up Against a Wall

Is there a problem you have always brushed under the carpet because it was just too complex or stressful to think about? Is there some insecurity plaguing you? Take a piece of paper and write down the problem. Figure out how this problem is bogging you down, how it is affecting your progress, and think about the possible solutions—even if they are out of your comfort zone. Put away that paper, give it a day or two, come back to it and dwell on each part until a promising answer shows up!

3. Be Excited About New Things

When you decide to take your child to a new neighbourhood shop, have you seen their excitement? Especially if it is a supermarket—they just love to help you shop and like to take the toddler trolley along! Why? They love the colours, the different sections, the assortment of things, the lanes to explore . . . as you read this, you might chuckle and ask, "Abitha, are you sure they're not just excited about those boxes of chocolates that are in plain sight?" Yes, sure, that is a compelling factor, too, but it is never just that!

Renew Your Zest for Life

As adults, sometimes we get absorbed by our routines. For that matter, a child loves his routine, too, and like us can get upset if it is disrupted. Yet they jump at the chance to try something new! Some of us cannot be bothered about venturing into an unfamiliar zone, be it a place or habit. Just to get out of your comfort zone, try to get unstuck from a routine or habit for awhile!

It could be that you cannot live without that cup of coffee, or maybe you love sleeping late—try something new in place of the old habit. Just for the sake of it, replace coffee time with lemon tea or wake up early just to see the sunrise! Try attending a music summit or a spiritual fest. (Note how it is not a spiritual summit or music fest anymore!) Embrace the newness of it.

As a first step, you could find out what is happening in your neighbourhood that matches your interests—it could be a trekking or rollerskating club or a group for cycling enthusiasts or a poetry reading club. Pick one activity where you can meet people who share your enthusiasm.

As adults, sometimes we get absorbed by our routines. For that matter, a child loves his routine, too, and like us can get upset if it is disrupted. Yet they jump at the chance to try something new!

4. Show Empathy

Remember those times when you stubbed your toe or bumped your shin into some furniture in the dark and yelped in pain? More often than not, it eventually fades away. Your child, however, might remember it much later and sometimes inquire quite sweetly if you're feeling better! It surprises you every time, doesn’t it? You expect to be their caretaker and not the other way around. Apart from treasuring those moments, you have the opportunity to learn from them also.

Put Yourself in Someone Else's Shoes

If you haven’t tried it before, try to put yourself in other people’s shoes, especially if they are loved ones. Show empathy and try to see two sides of the coin to help your relationships gain a better perspective. This often helps you observe a situation with clarity after an argument, for example.

5. Be Creative and Silly

When you are reading a bedtime story, sure enough, your child chimes in and adds a dose of creativity to the story or takes turns with you to come up with their creative additions. They grab words you use often and spin them into unique sentences which amuse you to no end. Also, have you noticed how they act out stuff or draw whatever they see or read?

At times, when you discuss their artwork with them, thinking you know exactly what it is, they surprise you once again with a different context to it, don’t they? It is a joy to see them use their imaginations during play or when they come up with wild narratives of their experiences, sometimes exaggerated a bit much.

Challenge Your Creativity

Infuse creativity into your everyday life. Try a new recipe that seems dauntingly creative, like a 10-layer cake. Sail paper boats with your child when it rains next, or try jumping in muddy puddles (with your boots like Peppa Pig does, of course). Whatever suits your fancy, be creative; be silly. What happens when you do this? This will seep into all other areas of your life, and you will start experiencing a perspective shift. Things you missed before may become obvious, and it will greatly aid your problem-solving at work or home.

Connect With Your 5-Year-Old Self

So what’s stopping you? Connect with the 5-year-old self that you once were, and bring back your mojo for life. Once you have a bit of this and a bit of that, watch your transformation and cherish it—take a break from the usual you. Reinvent yourself! Revel in change!


What do you love about your child the most?

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This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

Questions & Answers

    © 2019 Abitha


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      • Abitha Deepak profile imageAUTHOR


        2 days ago from Chennai, Tamilnadu

        Dear Peg,

        Thanks a lot for the lovely comment. Happy that the article brought back wonderful memories. I love the curious spark your son had at age 6. Very true what you say about paying attention. At this age, it means a lot to them. I also believe it helps a great deal to remain connected as time goes by.

      • PegCole17 profile image

        Peg Cole 

        2 days ago from Northeast of Dallas, Texas

        Children are truly a source of entertainment, education and wonder. It reminded me of, long ago, when my 6 year-old would ask poignant questions like, "What makes the sky blue?" or "How does the stoplight know when to turn green?" Thanks for sharing these tips about paying attention to them.

      • Abitha Deepak profile imageAUTHOR


        4 days ago from Chennai, Tamilnadu

        Thanks for the thoughtful comment Peggy, yes children often help us see what we sometimes miss out on!

      • Peggy W profile image

        Peggy Woods 

        4 days ago from Houston, Texas

        This is a very thought-provoking article which is well written and illustrated. Yes, we can learn much from children!

      • Abitha Deepak profile imageAUTHOR


        4 days ago from Chennai, Tamilnadu


        Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to read. I love your feedback on the article, it definitely encourages me to write more. I hope to see you here again very soon. Meanwhile, I do have a question for you. If there is any particular trait you would pick from your children to make it a part of your life, what would it be? Looking forward to hearing your response.

      • profile image

        Sereen Thottan 

        4 days ago

        Abitha, this post is the coolest and most original thing I've read in a long while. Thankfully it is not mere advice and you have made your point beautifully. It made me look at my girls and the meantalness around them through a new perspective. Yea we sure do have a lot to learn from the tiny feet walking around us. Empathy, enthusiasm and persistence is my takeaway from here. Following this space for more such good reads.

      • Abitha Deepak profile imageAUTHOR


        9 days ago from Chennai, Tamilnadu

        Thanks, Shaloo for taking the time to read. Children are delightful :)

      • swalia profile image

        Shaloo Walia 

        10 days ago from India

        There's so much to learn from children. Their innocence, creativity, curiosity, enthusiasm, laughter and so on. Well written hub!

      • Abitha Deepak profile imageAUTHOR


        2 weeks ago from Chennai, Tamilnadu

        :) Thanks for stopping by! You have an interesting hub collection!

      • Abitha Deepak profile imageAUTHOR


        2 weeks ago from Chennai, Tamilnadu

        Thanks much Prantika, glad you liked it!

      • Abitha Deepak profile imageAUTHOR


        2 weeks ago from Chennai, Tamilnadu

        Thanks for the kind words Murali.

      • soni2006 profile image

        Rajinder Soni 

        2 weeks ago from New Delhi, India

        Abitha, I remember when my daughter was of that age and I can relate. Now my son is of 4 years and he has a lot of curiosity and applies different ways to solve a problem. Sometimes he connects lots of toys together and make some sort of chain reaction. But whenever he does that we appreciate him because this is really needed. Kids need inspiration when they do something positive and this thing should start from home.

        And you are true with your words that we learn a lot from our kids. If we all will think like them, then we can solve different problems of our life while learning from them. We can replicate from their constant effort without judging or expecting anything in return. Their curiosity to learn about new things, their creativity and feelings about different colours, objects and patterns is something we should adopt in our life.

      • Prantika Samanta profile image

        Prantika Samanta 

        2 weeks ago from Kolkata, India

        It's a well written article. I am sure that many parents will find it interesting and helpful.

      • Guckenberger profile image

        Alexander James Guckenberger 

        2 weeks ago from Maryland, United States of America

        I can't wait to have kids.

      • hmkrishna profile image

        Halemane Muralikrishna 

        2 weeks ago from Murali Sadan, Ichlampady PO, Kasaragod, India - 671321

        Wow, Ms Abitha, Very exhaustive and thought provoking Hub. Interesting illustrations. This article will be useful to many parents.


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