9 Life Lessons Learned From a Nine-Year-Old

Education is a component to everything in life.  We think too often that it is limited solely to our time spent in a classroom, whether that be the line from Everything I Needed to Know I learned in Kindergarten, to suffering through middle school, to almost finding out who we are in high school, to the realization that we have no idea who we are once we hit college, to returning to college as a middle-aged adult, we relegate learning to classrooms. A nine-year-old would tell you that lessons learned were from school.

Why do we need to know this?

And we do learn in school; actually more than we think. Remember these questions:

“When are we really ever going to use this?” or “Why do we need to know this?”

Many times teachers really didn’t have a logical explanation. I, myself am guilty of both – asking the question and not having an answer.

But the simple truth is this. Anything we learn, we use. Maybe not in the truest sense of a complicated algebraic equation, or the purpose of memorizing the dates in a history class, or understanding what Shakespeare really meant and why.  

But from those pieces of knowledge taught by exuberant (most times) teachers trying to impart their wisdom to young minds, comes actual learning. Learning how to problem solve an everyday life situation. Learning tricks to remember important dates and facts in your children’s lives. Learning how to communicate through perspective and understanding.

nephew picking weeds in garden in South Dakota

Learning goes beyond the classroom.

Looking back, it’s pretty easy to see that school is quite valuable, but learning goes far beyond the walls of a classroom.

  • How to behave when tumbling head over heels on the handlebars of your bike.
  • How to clean up a broken dish without cutting your fingers.
  • How to tell your parents that you really don’t want to go bed right now without making them mad.
  • How to determine if you can get away with secretly playing your dad’s guitar when he’s told you a million times not to touch it.
  • Or, one of the big ones in today’s world – Should I laugh, click like, and share the post of my friend crying because everyone else is doing it, too?

Those lessons learned seem minute from what we have to deal with as adults, but to a nine-year-old, these are big deals and big lessons, and we have a lot to learn from nine-year-olds.

Lessons from the family farm

For the past week, I have been visiting with family on my family’s farm. It has been a cornerstone in my not so solid youth. A cornerstone for my great grandparents, my grandparents, my parents, my children, my cousins, my siblings, all of their siblings, and their children and now their grandkids – my great nieces and nephews. A true family farm.

farmhouse where lessons were learned for a nine year old South Dakota

And as we all convene around the fire for dinner every night, there are stories. It doesn’t matter that we have heard these stories more than once. What matters is these stories stick around. They may change as time goes on; as I’m sure they already have when my dad was growing up here, listening to his parents tell their stories, and now we listen to our parents telling their stories, and later, grandchildren will listen to us telling our stories.

Time marches on, stories change with the times, but the foundation of those stories remain the same: lessons learned from being a kid.

Lessons learned from being a kid

And being a kid on a farm (even if only for a moment), can you really learn much better from that? From nature? I watch my great nephew chase fireflies, catch toads, moo with the cows, start campfires, roast marshmallows, eat too many marshmallows, roast hand picked wild asparagus, eat too many asparagus, pull weeds from the garden, drive a tractor, fall out of a hammock, cry, laugh, cook dinner on the grill, beg to ride atop the riding lawn mower, get pissed when he can’t, but immediately forget about being mad because he caught another toad. 

“What do they eat? How much do they eat? Can I feed him spiders?” 

Off he goes to catch spiders.

Back again, with no fear of, “Hey you’ll get warts,” or “Hey, don’t touch that dirty thing.” In fact, no fear whatsoever as evidenced by the next sight you see of him; swinging in the hammock with the toad on his head.

As the adults continue their incessant talking and gossiping about politics (Is there anything else that adults talk about nowadays?), he is nowhere to be seen. I tracked him down and found him lying on his bed, tablet in hand, completely engrossed in some online balloon war with his virtual buddies playing the same game. 

nephew gaming lessons South Dakota

“Hey, what are you playing?”

“I can’t talk now, Aunt April. I’m in the middle of an intense battle. I only need five more minutes, and then I can explain the battle to you in detail.”

Yes, that is how this nine-year-old talks.  I love it.  His vocabulary is stunning! In fact, when he is told no, his response is as follows:

“My state of mind is now so low that I might need help getting out of it. I think I should be able to do what I want to do, to increase my state of mind.”

Right?! Stunning!

Done with his balloon battles, he flies down the stairs of our 140 year old farmhouse (once a stop on the Pony Express), out the door, screen door crashing behind him. Great Grandpa is starting the tractor.

grandpa and nephew on tractor in South Dakota

“What’s that for? Why is the oil brown and not black?  Maybe it will start if you try this?  Can I do that? I can help with that! Why is this engine different than that one?  Does it make it work better?” 

Can you imagine the stories that will continue to be told around the campfire when he is 50? 70? 90?

Those are lessons learned from a nine-year-old that we can all gain wisdom from.

9 Life Lessons Learned from a Nine-Year-Old

Need some clarification on what those lessons are for our over-worked, over-analyzing adult brains?

  1. If you are afraid of something, face it head on. In fact, just put it directly on your head, like the toad. If it’s with you all the time, you’ll really get to know the fear, and you will no longer be afraid of it.
  2. Try something new…a lot of somethings, in fact.
  3. Ask questions…all the time. Take the time to get to know the subject.  Need an example? Don’t just read the headlines and think you now know it all and can condemn those that don’t. Do the research, ask the questions, spread the wisdom.
  4. Use reasoning to communicate and understand how your emotions can impact that reasoning.
  5. Run places, don’t walk – Why? Because you’re excited to get there!
  6. Be one with nature. Reconnect to the simple pleasures of watching the fireflies and mooing with the cows. Be calm for a moment and breathe in the air, focusing on nothing but the moon, the stars, and your calm breathing (even if you only have a few minutes – remember, a minute is a lifetime to a nine-year-old).
  7. Work hard – win the battles, lose the battles. But when done lie in the hammock, doing nothing. 
  8. If you fall, get right back up. It’s OK to cry as long as you know when it’s also time to laugh and move on.
  9. Be in the moment. Every marshmallow you place in your mouth, enjoy it. Is there really such a thing as too many marshmallows?  Find that thing that makes you feel like a nine-year-old roasting marshmallows on a cool summer evening and nothing else exists – not even the thought of your bedtime being only 30 minutes away.

Learn, Relearn, and Unlearn with Integrated Natural Health

Want to take these lessons from a nine-year-old and expand them to meet you where you’re at? We need to learn, relearn, and unlearn a few things for our adult brains to create real-life balance in our lives. 

We can help you find your way back to your nine-year-old self, while maintaining the pieces of your adult life that you love.  

Contact us today for a free consultation to help you regain your passion for your life. One that matches you and your needs. 

Make your someday your nowday.

Click here for upcoming individual yoga classes to start and end your days.

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