26 Comments

  1. Christie – what a great post — how true it is! I’ve never been afraid to learn. I certainly used this same logic when I arrived in Taiwan not knowing the language (Mandarin) and then a year later, in Hong Kong, to learn an entirely different language (Cantonese). That said, I’ve recently been thinking about teaching myself piano and re-engaging more with Chinese. I won’t need to completely relearn Chinese because I was fluent until the mid-90s – but there will be a learning curve to remember. I have rare opportunities to practice so I need to put myself into it intentionally. Your post is encouraging me to stop thinking and start acting. Thank you!

    • Good for you Janet. I’m sure your love of learning–and lack of fear–have opened many doors for you. I’m impressed that you have learned two languages besides your native tongue. I studied French, but don’t have much opportunity to use it, and find that much of it has left me. Good luck with the piano as well!

  2. Hi, Christie – Thank you for linking to my recent post. I am so glad that you enjoyed it.
    Your words above are spot-on. Children are ‘professional learners’ and have much to teach us in this regard. When we moved to Beijing, I spent hours on language lessons and my Mandarin became so-so. My 12 year old son approached language learning with each of the points that you have outlined above. He quickly became fluent. The “unselfconscious” approach was a big difference between our learning.
    Great post with very important takeaways!

  3. Cindy

    I really liked this post-so true! We should all be a little more childlike. And that picture! Love those cheeks and legs!!!

  4. Hi Christie, I couldn’t agree more with you and Donna. I have learned so much about life through the eyes of my grandson. From the first time he felt the breeze on his cheek and the look of wonder in his eyes, because he felt something but couldn’t see it, to learning to use my imagination again as we became pirates or were living in the world of Dinosaurs. We can learn so much from children if we just listen and watch. Thank you for a beautiful post to share at #MLSTL. Have a lovely week, Christie. xx

    • That’s so true, Sue. Sometimes I stop and try to see something, or experience something, like it was my first time. It inspires new wonder. If only we could hang on to more of that. Grandchildren have a way of triggering that feeling. Thanks again for hosting #MLSTL. ❤️

  5. Great reminders, Christie! I take this childlike approach when I speak French or Spanish in my travels. It feels liberating and gives me the confidence to keep learning and using the languages.

    • I love that Natalie. I was hesitant to speak my broken French while in France, but when I did, I found the people to be very kind and some even gently helped me learn the correct way to say something.

  6. Christie you’re so right – I often won’t try something because I’m afraid of failure or looking silly. I write about it but when it comes to actually putting my self-talk into practice I often balk at the first hurdle. I have a thing in my head about learning to play the ukele (don’t ask my why!) but it’s there and I found classes nearby and still I balk. I think I may do it someday – but if I was a child I know I’d be sitting on my bottom and putting off walking for a bit longer because it all looks too hard! #MLSTL 🙂

    • Take the lessons Leanne! I know that’s easy for me to say. I’m not the one fumbling around on a ukulele, but I have a feeling you’ll love it. And if you don’t, at least you can get that out of your head and move on to the next great experience.

  7. This is spot on Christie! I often look at children as they start school who are happy to paint artworks but over time lose their confidence and somehow decide they can’t do it anymore. We can all learn new things and we should be open to doing so. Sharing for #mlstl

    • Yes, Debbie, that’s another key piece of the puzzle. Children have an enthusiasm for learning that is often missing in our adult lives. Instead of thinking I “have” to go to work, I’m going to try I “get” to go to work, accomplish projects, learn new things, see my friends. Some days it will be easier said than done, but it’s worth the effort. How sad if we are living for the weekend, or vacation, or retirement. Another lesson from children, be present in this moment. Have a lovely day!

  8. YES! As a teacher, I think I was interested in seeing how differently some kids learn. I was not as ‘patient’ if you like sometimes. Once I became a grandmother as well, I was much more likely to allow time for learning and to observe rather than control.

    Great post! All teachers need to remember what you wrote.

    Denyse #MLSTL

    • Great point Denyse: allow time for learning and observe rather than control. That’s a helpful reminder for our own learning as well as teaching others. Thanks for joining the conversation.

  9. I’m learning these same priceless lessons from my grandson. He is just learning to walk and constantly falls. However, he never berates himself or calls himself stupid (thoughts I have when I can’t perfectly accomplish a new task for the first time). He just smiles, stands back up, and tries again.

  10. Your thoughts on a child learning to walk and not giving up are inspiringly simple. They don’t give up. This lesson can be applied to so much that we attempt to achieve. As adults, maybe there is a lesson here for us not to react as the child grows to make them feel foolish, stupid or guilty as they learn.
    We will feature this post on the next Blogger’s Pit Stop
    Kathleen

    • You bring up a good point, Kathleen. If we continue to acknowledge a child’s efforts with enthusiasm and encouragement, perhaps they will hold on to that growth mentality longer. Sometimes we tend to praise appearance, accomplishments, and talent over effort, persistence, curiosity, and courage to try something new. Thank you for the feature on Blogger’s Pit Stop. Have a lovely day.

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