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Mini-soccer reminds us what kids can teach us

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Splashing, jumping up and down and laughing! Aaah, the signs of spring! As a mother of a two- and four-year-old, I am constantly amazed at how much my kids teach me.  

Our involvement with the North Kildonan Community Centre’s soccer program is a good reminder how adults need to slow down, have fun exercising and live spontaneously.

Kids live by their instincts openly and without hesitation. They are enthusiastic about life, eager to learn, and curious about everything. Observing them can teach us many practical life lessons. Spend an afternoon watching a group of kids interact with each other and the world around them and you may be surprised at how clever they are. There is much we can learn from their behaviour.

Kids hit the ground running every morning with sheer enthusiasm, especially on a soccer day. They are excited to be alive and absolutely pumped-up for the new experiences that lie ahead. Life is much more rewarding and enjoyable when you quit resisting it. No day will ever be exactly like today, so do not waste it.

Although I sometimes try to rush my four-year-old out of daycare to make it to soccer practice on time, it does not seem to make him go any faster. Kids are never in a rush. Adults need to slow down, stop to listen to our kids and the quirky things they have to say and simply enjoy them.   

It may be hard to believe, but exercise can be fun!  Kids exercise all the time, not because it’s healthy, but because it’s fun. They play soccer because they want to be there, playing with their friends. Climbing trees and playing tag are other ways kids have fun exercising. For some reason, adults forget that exercise can be fun. It is just a matter of finding an active, healthy activity that we actually enjoy doing.

For better or worse, kids do not plan a thing they do. They live spontaneously, taking in every uncertain moment for all it’s worth, even if that means going down the playground slide in the middle of the soccer game.

It would be foolish to say that proper time management and planning is unnecessary in adulthood. However, it would also be foolish to ignore all the opportunities that spontaneously present themselves at unplanned instants throughout our lifetimes.  Occasionally you have to steer off course when you see gold shimmering in your periphery.

Do not be surprised if you catch your child picking up an ant off of the ground.  Kids are driven by curiosity, constantly in pursuit of the unknown. Curiosity guides their education and influences their path forward. Following our curiosity expands our horizons and often leads us to brilliant personal discoveries.

The lessons our kids teach us are simple, yet pertinent to living a healthy, happy and productive life.  We just need to slow down to recognize them.

Charlene Kroll is a community correspondent for North Kildonan. She can be contacted at krollcharlene@gmail.com.

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