8 Reasons Why Babies Are Awesome And Adults Should Learn From Them.

Babies have some of the most amusing and ironic mannerisms and at any given moment Fraya’s behaviours offers us the best entertainment that you can get for free. Unbeknownst to them, babies have a constant dotting fan club that comes with round the clock paparazzi and our constant adoration of Fraya’s quirks reveals a deeper value in all her traits. Here’s a list of eight classic behaviours that babies display on a daily basis, which I believe we should also try and emulate.

1.) The only focus on what they want.

  • A baby’s eyes are like a set of magnets for the object of her desire. Nothing else around them matters during a moment when baby is eyeing the string in your shirt, the fluff on the carpet or the crumb stuck between their fingers. Even as I try to flash something more appealing within her view, Fraya does not shift her interest from whatever she is intent on making hers. Approaching our pursuits with this type of passion is what motivates us to remain focused solely on the means of achieving them. It takes a baby-like dedication not to become discouraged by the difficulties we encounter while pursuing our desires.

2.) They let go of anything they don’t need.

  • A toy, pacifier, bottle or a cup, when an object is no longer useful to a baby, it’s leaving their hands like a hot potato! Consider the practicality of a baby freeing up their explorative resource to embrace something  of greater interest once they are finished with another item. We may fail to discover our creative potential if we remain preoccupied with ideas/thoughts that are not useful. Our mind is our most valuable creative resource and it’s not beneficial to invest our imagination reinforcing thoughts of what makes us unhappy. I believe that we must develop an understanding of the emotions that give rise to our negative thoughts in order to eliminate nonconstructive ideas  .

3.) They let you know when they are unhappy.

  • Babies are living the high life because they let us know when we need to remedy something in their environment. From arching their back, fussing, squealing, crying, grunting and that snake-like rotation maneuver freeing them from your grasp; babies are good at conveying their discontent until someone understands how to fix the problem. However, as adults, we have to be able to identify WHAT is causing our discontent to remedy our unhappiness and this is probably the biggest obstacle to creating positive life changes. Our lack of fulfillment signals that something is amiss but we may be unable to identify the cause; I believe that we should develop a daily practice of questioning and understanding our negative emotions to discover the source of our discontent.

4.) They get over things quickly and move on.

  • Babies will have you believe that the world is ending in one instant and will be playing blissfully just moments later, showing that they know how move on once their discomfort is over. This is currently a noted blessing with Fraya entering the recurring head bumping stage of her mobility. I am passionately practicing this concept of letting go of displeasing sentiment(s) and it’s becoming hard to fathom why I would have ever remained preoccupied with negative experiences. The secret is that we need to progress emotionally before we can move on mentally, which requires an understanding of the fear(s) that are manifesting in our negative emotions.

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5.) They find joy in the simple things. 

  • They could be half a dozen fancy toys in front of a baby but they will unfailingly find the commonplace house hold item to be more fascinating. A spoon, a piece of paper, a sock, her books are just some of the items that causes Fraya’s eyes to light up. I believe that it is a baby’s sense of wonder that intrigues them to discover the joy in ordinary items. We stop enjoying the simple experiences/things once we start to believe that we need more to be content. Yet, a reduced sense of fulfillment may diminish the means that we are willing to utilize to acquire more. It is a practice of love that enables us to find joy in the ordinary and the resulting sense of passion is the currency we need to fulfill greater desires.

6.) They know that a smile is a good way to you what you want. 

  • Even our funkiest moods can be altered by a full-hearted ear to ear smile from a baby and I’m starting to think that Fraya already knows when to flash her winning grin. And of course, when a baby blesses you with a smile, you automatically reciprocate and become interested in how they want to engage with you. Similarly for the rest of us, as they say “you can catch more flies with honey than vinegar”; a positive attitude is truly the best approach to adopt during any of our pursuits, especially if we require the support of others.

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7.) They pay attention to the little things. 

  • A baby’s development depends vastly on their ability to collect information/cues from their environment and incorporate it into practice. Fraya is now at the stage where her eyes are drawn to the most minute details in her surroundings and I know it’s only a matter of time before she’ll become the household vacuum cleaner. We sometimes become too distracted by the bigger picture that we overlook the little things, which are often the essentials or pre-requisite components to materializing the broader picture.

8.) They love freely.

  • This is undoubtedly the most meaningful lesson that I have gained while living vicariously in Fraya’s world. Babies demonstrate that our true nature is love, and it is their lack of perception that enables them to freely embrace every moment. My spiritual journey and awareness reveals that the perceptions that inhibit our ability to love is a fear of being unhappy. I now understand that every emotion, thought and encounter is an opportunity to choose love or fear and the choices we make from fear foster various forms of our discontent.We can be sure that we are acting out of love if our thoughts during any interaction echoes the positive energy of contentment.

What are some of your favourite traits that babies possess?

XO

Ini Anana

“Steeping joy, brewed with all that life has to offer”.

Enabling Older Children To Experience Personal Failure: How It Helps Them Win.

“There are two lasting gifts we can hope to give our children, one is roots; the other, wings.”–Hodding Carter Jr.


“What’s the point of being on the best team, if you don’t get to play as much…I’m just going to stay put and improve myself with this team”. When my son made those remarks a few days ago, it immediately gave me the incentive to write this post. He was responding to rumors that several of his teammates plan to leave to another team that has a better chance of advancing to the U16 Nationals soccer tournament. As you can imagine I was impressed by his insightful and mature reasoning, yet two years ago, I would not have envisioned his ability to display such logic. That’s because two years ago, he himself was bouncing from club to club determined to be on the best team. He insisted on this pursuit against my rational persuasion but I realized that it was an opportunity to grant him greater ownership of decisions that ultimately only affected him. So, I dared to allow him to fail, because I recognized that it was the only means for him to learn certain important life lessons. And fail he did, after making one of the top club soccer teams during the outdoor season, he was subsequently cut from the roster when the team accepted fewer players during the indoor season. My boy was heartbroken and it was the type of sadness that us parents never enjoy seeing in our children. I scrutinized my decision to allow him to leave his former team as we now faced the prospects of him missing an entire indoor season. Yet, my son’s gradual growth from such scenarios confirms that the teenage years is an appropriate time for parents to give their children wings to navigate some of their own decision making that may cause personal failure. My classification of failure does not refer to a child’s sense of personal hopelessness about circumstances that are out of their control. It is our job as parents during such occasions to take all necessary steps to restore our children’s confidence and positive outlook. Rather I am defining failure as the repercussions in personal matters that the child is inherently more invested in than the parents. Empowering my son to make choices where there’s a potential of failure enables him to learn important life lessons about perseverance, self reflection and personal accountability.

The sky is never really falling.

After he was released from that team, my son did not know how he was going to live if he couldn’t play soccer and he felt more helpless because he burned bridges with his former team. The spoiler alert is that he did not miss that indoor season and made it onto another  club team but not without learning the intricacies of determination. The most critical component of perseverance is establishing your next desired outcome and I recall asking my son “do you want to play soccer” to which he of course said yes. Once he affirmed his intention to play, I then encouraged him to only focus on brainstorming how to bring this to fruition. In other facets of life, we must also employ this same intentional mindset as we decide to move forwards after unforeseen setbacks. It didn’t take long for him to recall that one of his previous teammates had joined the team half way through the season after asking to attend a couple practices. We did not know that coaches often choose to keep a smaller roster for this very reason and so I began sending out emails to several teams requesting for my son to attend a practice with a prospect of being brought onto the team. The approach worked and he found a new team. As we continued to discuss the lessons from this event, he understood that there’s always a way to move forward and interestingly came to the most profound conclusion, stating “mom I feel sorry for kids who have to feel like for the first time when they are older with something that’s really important”. Yes, HE said those words and it was the biggest reassurance that I am making the right choice in giving him more freedom to experience failure. As they mature into adults we would all want our children not give up after rejection and  it’s beneficial for them to become familiar with how to create possibilities after failure while they are still young.

Reflecting on what went wrong.

Learning from mistakes has proven to be a meaningful occasion to help my son develop insight about his choices; our follow up discussions provides him a safe landing place as we utilize his new awareness to improve his outlook on life. Once he was accepted onto another team, I asked my son how he felt about his decision to hop teams in the first place. He explained that he sincerely thought that being on a better team would make him a better player. However, being one of the more novice players on the team (at that time) he received less playing time and became more tentative during game situations, which may have contributed to his subsequent release. He later admitted that as a relatively new club player, it would have been preferable for him to remain on a team focused on player development than winning. I honestly do not believe he would have gained this insight without the fallout from his attempt to seek greener grass elsewhere. We often do not recognize the tunnel vision of our goal setting motives until we discover the multiple influences that impact our desired outcome. Previously, I could not convince my son that becoming a great soccer player entailed more than being on the best team but he gained that insight independently after his expectations were not met. As we continued to talk about this experience, I explained that its important to consider the various factors of each option in any decision and we are now in the habit of creating a pros and cons list in these situations. Hindsight is 20/20 but insight also offers us a broad viewpoint and I am beginning to see proof of my son’s ability to understand his role and responsibility in creating favourable conditions for his own success.

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Been there, done that.

I asked my son why he doesn’t feel tempted like some of his teammates to leave his current team and he responded “because I’ve already been there and done that”. He followed up with an explanation that at his age division most teams have been cohesive for many years and are loyal to their players. Therefore, even if a team expands their roster during the upcoming outdoor season, they would likely release new players before their veterans going forward. If you have children in sports then you may be familiar with the politics of player loyalty, which is a discussion that’s beyond the scope of this post. What I find commendable about my son’s current outlook is his desire not to potentially repeat the same mistakes as before. He knows what it feels like to regret a choice and feels responsible to avoid the same outcome. Failure helps us to become accountable by making us aware of what to do differently to avoid similar set backs. Of course, there is a balancing act of also recognizing when it’s appropriate to step out of our comfort zone and take new risks that challenge us and enable us to thrive. I believe that one’s motivation for pursuing or abstaining from certain goals typically reveals whether it is the prudent choice. And in his case, his motives for remaining on his current team enhances his self development more than the alternative. From bad relationships, wrong career choices to poor judgement of character, we often learn to do better going forward after we understand where we went wrong and enabling older children to implement this skill will be valuable to them as they get older.

Allowing our children to fail is difficult because it contradicts our innate parenting instinct, which desires the very best for our children. Yet success is a continuous journey of getting up after we fall and it is important for children to develop this ability while they are gaining a greater sense of identity as teenagers. If one insists on keeping all the balls in the air for our older children, they will indeed succeed in those moments but unless we plan to micro manage them forever, we must eventually allow our children to experience disappointment and help them to grow from it.

How are you navigating the domain of allowing your older children to make choices that may disappoint them? Is it easy or challenging? I would love to hear about your experiences.

XO

Ini A.

“Steeping joy, brewed with all that life has to offer”