7 Things I Learned From My 3 Year Old Girl

Today is Bianca’s 3rd anniversary. She is the most precious gift life gave me so far. I am just happy to be around her and she is making me so happy just by being around.

Since she came into our lives, everything changed. Each year, I find myself learning more from her than from my books, my personal development workshops, my any other source of information . When she was one, I learned that “Once you’re down, there are literally a gazillion ways to get up again.” which, along with other 6 things made from my first round of 7 things I learned from my one year girl. When she was two, I learned that “The world is what you say it is” which, along with other 6 things made from my second round of 7 things I learned from my two year old girl.

This is what I learned from my 3 year old daughter last year:

1. Do things on your own

During the last year she had an irrepressible need of doing things on her own. She wants to be there when I assemble furniture, when I plant trees in the garden, when I clean the house, when I cook, when I write, when I check my emails on my iPhone. And she wants to do everything I do, on her own. Maybe some of her experiences are difficult and she’s having a hard time trying to do complicated stuff but she’s enjoying every second of it. Life is better when is experienced first hand.

2. Love is the same, regardless of the loved persons

Her mom, my beloved wife Diana, is having a special relationship with her. They’re playing together, they’re laughing together, they’re watching cartoons together. With me, she is trying to play games or to help me with harder tasks. With her grand parents, she’s inventing on the spot some new moves or activities. With her English kindergarten friends – although she’s not speaking yet very good English – she’s playing like nothing is wrong. Love is the same and is coming from the inside, it’s not a function of the person you love.

3. Making friends is the easiest thing in the world

I’m amazed by her capacity to relate with unknown persons. When we eat out, every waiter is trying to talk with her and she is so responsive, like she knows the guy from the day she was born. She doesn’t reject anybody, unless the person is really annoying and/or boring. Kids don’t have social constraints when it comes to relationships, they’re just interacting naturally with everybody around. No need to exchange cards, phone numbers or to ask for a favor. Bianca is making friends like this is the easiest thing in the world. And I learned from her that this is the easiest thing in the world.

4. Don’t fake it

When she wants something, she really wants something. If she doesn’t get it, she cries. Instantly and with big tears. And you know what: she doesn’t fake it. When she is happy she can laugh for  half an hour continuously. And she doesn’t fake it either. When she’s upset, she’s really upset. When she’s joyful, she’s really joyful. I don’t think I ever saw her faking something, even when she’s trying to pretend she’s upset, she’s so authentic about her pretending. There’s no need to fake sadness or joy, things are so much better when you give yourself permission to be authentic.

5. Learning is better

Last year she had an uninterrupted flow of lessons: she started to talk, she started going to the kindergarten, she started to be more and more autonomous. She’s embracing totally every new experience and she is silently learning. Even when she is not sharing things with us or when she’s not learning directly from us we know that she’s listening, she’s watching and she’s integrating every experience into her life. At some moment we’re just amazed by an unexpected phrase she said, or with a certain sequence of activities she performs on her own, without any help from us. Learning is better.

6. Endless playing

I am amazed about her capacity to play. In every place, in every situation, in every physical state. She plays when she’s tired, she plays when she’s happy, she plays when she’s outside the house, when she’s alone, when she’s with us, she plays everywhere. If I would look through her eyes I’m sure I would see the world as a huge playground, a place created and maintained for our infinite appetite to play. And I love to look at the world through her eyes.

7. Always like the first time

Last year she started to look at short cartoon movies. In fact, with her astounding learning capacity, she started to learn almost all Disney movies we have. But despite the fact she knows the movies by heart (and she can even sing some small passages from Mamma Mia) she constantly ask as to play the same movie again and again. The joy she’s expressing each time is fantastic. It seems like each time she looks at a movie is like the first time. And, in fact, she is. And I learned how to do the same: I can look at the same thing a thousand time and still find something new in it.

I just can’t wait to see what I will learn this year. :-)



Dragos Roua

The guy who started all this. Entrepreneur, ultra-marathoner, tanguero, father and risk taker. I'm blogging here, but I also spend a lot of time in this marvelous space.. You're invited, by the way.

This Post Has 41 Comments

  1. Peter Levin

    That is very powerful lessons.

    I don’t have kids yet, but I’ve read books about how to raise them and it interesting but what I’ve learned is that we can learn a lot more from kids then from any other source, because children are still bot burden by conditions which our society impress on us.

    Peter Levin’s last blog post..5 Simple Ways to Know if You Will Make it Big

  2. dragos

    @Peter Levin you’re right, they’re not yet “contaminated”. Thanks for stopping by :-)

  3. Faizar

    I also learn from that 3 year old boby

    Faizar’s last blog post..Job Search OnChat

  4. Lance

    What a wonderful list!

    If we’re open to seeing it – our kids can teach us so much about life. The lessons you share – they’re ones that we probably had as kids ourselves – and then as we grow up and become adults – we sometimes forget some of these important lessons that were so easy for us when we were so young.

    Thanks so much for sharing this list – these are all great lessons in life – and worth hearing – even if we know them!

    Lance’s last blog post..Sunday Thought For The Day

  5. dragos

    @Faizar glad you learn from your kid too. I guess… :-)

    @Lance so true, we know all that stuff, but we forgot it along the way. Thanks for the comment :-)

  6. makminmai

    Hi Dragos,
    mine is a different perspective as my children are starting their own independent lives. It is fantastic, on the one hand, to observe how they try to continue the things they have experienced at home over the years. On the other hand, in new cirmustances and without the wisdom we (parents) have, they may find it hard to go smoothly from being carefree to being careful. Their life is full of blessed chaos from which will hopefully emerge balance and deeper understanding and continuous awareness if their childhood and adolescence years were lived according to the described three (by now :) “7 things” and in the company of aware adults who love them.
    Lance, a very good point about remembering our lessons.

  7. makminmai

    Happy birthday to Bianca! :)

  8. LisaNewton

    Often times, parents think they are the teachers, but just as you discovered, we are indeed the learners. Even though my children are now grown, I’m still learning from them.

    LisaNewton’s last blog post..An Afternoon with Media at the Center

  9. dragos

    @makminmai I’m sure the experience our children are offering us will become more and more fascinating over the years. I really look forward for Bianca’s next years. Thanks you for the nice words, I appreciate it :-)

    @LisaNewton exactly, this shift in perspective is what children are offering: we’re the learners :-)

  10. Jay

    Having no kids myself I can only imagine the joy they must bring to their parents. I find it quite paradoxical that kids have it right from the beginning, then we forget and spend the rest of our lives looking for the right way to live. We need to go back sometimes, not forward. This post is a perfect example of that.

    Jay’s last blog post..The Sunday Ponder

  11. Jonathan - Advanced Life Skills

    Hey Dragos,

    My daughter is 34 years old and I am still learning from her, it’s a beautiful thing. Some of my most valuable lessons have and personal growth lessons have come from her. You have much to look forward to.

    Jonathan – Advanced Life Skills’s last blog post..Do You Have Glory Day Syndrome?

  12. Daphne

    Dragos,

    I love your point that making friends is the easiest thing in the world! Sometimes we adults make it harder than it has to be. I have a 3-year old nephew I see almost everyday and I’m learning a lot from him as well. Lovely post!

    Daphne’s last blog post..17 Inspiring Examples of Personal Creeds

  13. BunnygotBlog

    I am still waiting for this privilege of being a parent. I have to say when I am with my friends children I do appreciate and I am so surprised by them as individual little people and seeing the world through their eyes is a pleasurable experience.

    Cheers and Happy Birthday little one:)

    BunnygotBlog’s last blog post..Productivity: Time And Change, Part Two

  14. Daniel Brenton

    Dragos —

    Sounds like you have a reincarnated Zen master — especially #7: “Always like the first time.”

    Yes, Master Obi-Wan, we are all students here.

    Daniel Brenton’s last blog post..Reality 101-4: Truth

  15. Stacey / Create a Balance

    My two year old is turning three is a few more weeks, so I understand your joy, love, and lessons learned.

    Stacey / Create a Balance’s last blog post..How Do You Balance It All?

  16. nutuba

    These are great lessons! Never stop learning from your kids … as kids get older you’ll find that you can continue to learn from them. Keep that communication open.

    nutuba’s last blog post..March Serenity

  17. Juancav

    Just wait you become a grandfather,it´s great.

  18. joshi daniel

    so true especially the fourth one! nice post!

    joshi daniel’s last blog post..Holi girl

  19. Angela

    Thanks for these happy thoughts, indeed children in their wondrous simplicity teach us so much. Give her a hug from Hawaii for us!!

    Angela’s last blog post..Links Added 3/10/09

  20. dragos

    @Jay you’re so right about that paradox. Back and forward are often just illusions, what we need to search is authenticity. We may find it walking forward or turning back.

    @Jonathan congratulations! Must be a real blessing to see your kids on their own :-)

    @Daphne welcome to my blog :-) Making friends is my favorite too, maybe because I was not so good at this before 😉

    @BunnygotBlog I know what you mean, seeing the world through the eyes of a kid is blissful :-)

    @Daniel Brenton We are all reincarnated Zen masters, we only have to awake the master inside :-)

    @Stacey congrats for your kid, I wish all the good things in the world for him and for you. Be happy for your gift :-)

    @nutuba agree, I feel I only scratched the surface here, there’s so much to be learned. Adn yes, communication is the key.

    @Juancav wow, I admit I can hardly see myself there but I somehow really look forward to it :-)

    @joshi daniel thanks for the comment and for being authentic :-)

  21. dragos

    @Angela thank you for your nice words, I will pass on the hugs :-)

  22. Evelyn Lim

    Lovely post!! I have two kids on my own. They have been excellent teachers to me!! I’ve learned a lot about life in the process. I have not experienced so much joy, love and happiness since they came into my lives.

    Evelyn Lim’s last blog post..How To Ground Yourself In 7 Ways

  23. dragos

    @Evelyn Lim glad you’re having such wonderful teachers :-)

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  25. Bogdan Belcea

    Is it not time to put the post in the “7 Things I Learned From My Year Old Girl” series ? 😛

  26. dragos

    @Bogdan Belcea thanks for the heads on :-) I assumed you referred to the “Parenting” section in the Top Posts page. Done!

  27. Rusty - Fitness Black Book

    Dragos,

    I wish we could meet people like we did when we were kids. I like how kids do it.

    “My name is Rusty, what is your name?”

    Simple, to the point and effective! Nice site by the way…I can’t believe I haven’t seen this before.

    Rusty

    Rusty – Fitness Black Book’s last blog post..Workout Intensity and Fat Loss – Hitting the Sweet Spot

  28. dragos

    @Rusty Hi, my name is Dragos, nice to meet you :-)

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  34. Laurel

    Dragos, I love your list! It’s wonderful that you’re so willing and able to really see her so clearly. This will be such a blessing to both of you as she grows up. I would love to hear what you’re learning from her now that she’s a bit older!

    I have an insight that I learned a long time ago from my one year-old: when you’re learning to walk, every object you encounter becomes a tool for walking. It doesn’t matter if it’s a coffee table, a balloon, a chair, a box, the legs of the person between you and that cookie, even if you don’t know them. If you need to learn how to walk, the universe is full of opportunities to help you learn how.

    I think if you’re lucky you keep this ability to learn the next lesson from the people and situations around you, no matter what that lesson might be.

    Cheers, and keep up the great work, both in your parenting and in what you’re sharing with the world!

  35. Kimberly

    I was interested to read your blog. When we just stop to listen, children can be fountains of knowledge.

    As a parent, you may be eligible to be part of a university study about how kids think about other people’s thinking. We will ask you to watch with your child three brief, online videos of puppet actors and then to record your child’s answers to questions about what the puppets are thinking. We will also ask you some general questions about yourself, your child, and your household. Participation would take less than 15 minutes, and it’s a great way for you and your child to contribute to our knowledge of how children think. For more details go to the following address: http://www.milestoneshome.org/current/thinking/

    Best wishes,

    Kimberly
    .-= Kimberly´s last blog ..No to baby walkers =-.

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  37. anna

    Very interesting post, I think it is always amazing how open to learning young children are.

  38. Lenny

    Very nice post, Dragos.
    I am literally living through it. I have a 3 year old daughter, and watching her closely has been a very educative and inspiring experience. The world they dwell in is far saner, much simpler.

  39. amy

    How sweet, so much we can learn from children. They don’t have hurts or hang ups, trust others easily and generally very happy about the world around them.

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  41. Spanish Lessons Chichester

    I have learned so much about language and learning from my two kids. I would never have started working as a Spanish Tutor if it had not been for them.

    Rebeca Salgado

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