This Christmas Martyn’s grown up daughter Lauren is staying with us. She lives is in South Africa and comes over for a few weeks every year. She is 21 in February so there is quite an age gap between her and her 3 year old brother Noah.
Lauren arrived on the 23 December so Noah hasn’t even had a week with her yet but already he is getting on amazingly with her. Of course he saw her last year but he was only 2 then so he can’t really remember the last visit. This morning he went into her bedroom early on and was giggling away as she tickled him. No one else could get away with waking her up so early!
It got me thinking about why children are so good at building strong relationships so quickly.
One of the main benefits that Noah has is that he has no inhibitions. He didn’t worry about going into her room early on as Martyn or I would have done. He will jump on her bed and give her a cuddle without even thinking about it first. So often with friends and family we hold back because we worry about how they will react to our communication. Getting on and being more forthcoming is certainly something most of us could learn from. It doesn’t have to be physical contact, telling someone you enjoy their company could be enough to bring you closer.
Noah’s sense of fun is contagious. When you hear his giggle you can not help but feel a smile spread across your face. Whatever worry is going on for you this lovely sound brings you back to the moment and makes you see the lighter side of life. Laughter really is good for us and being around those who make us happy is certainly a good move.
Finally I think Noah’s natural childlike ability to be present in the moment is a huge factor in their closeness. If Lauren wants some time alone and goes into her room Noah doesn’t worry about her. He doesn’t question why she wants time alone he just accepts it. He doesn’t hold it against her, he is just pleased to see her when she comes back again. Enjoying the company of those that we care about often requires us to accept that they are not always there. Everyone needs time away or alone and if we can learn to accept this without worrying about it then it really is so much easier.
All of these mindful attributes that children tend to have are so important to happiness. As we grow older it can be easy to loose sight of this way of being. Mindfulness is great way to get you back there, enjoying the moment with whoever you are with.
Come on a Revitalise Day to learn how to make the most of your relationships. Often really simple changes in your behaviour can make a massive difference to your happiness.