Does your child dawdle when you’re in a rush, stopping to examine a crinkled brown leaf or a crack in the sidewalk? Does she stop to gawk at a hot dog cart or to pick up a handful of gravel?
It can be frustrating when you’re trying to make it somewhere on time and your little one is stopping to take in one of the daily mundane sights of your neighborhood. However, keep in mind that the world is new to your child; she is discovering something different every day.
Remember the first time you tried a new food or flavor that you didn’t grow up with and how fun that experience was? The first time you tried sushi? Curry? Poutine? Pomegranate? Green tea? Red velvet cake? What about the first time you picked up a touchscreen phone where you could zoom in and out of a photo with the touch of your finger? Imagine a world where everything is new, fascinating and exciting. That is the world that your child is taking delight in every day.
Keep your own childlike wonder alive by, 1) seeing the world through your child’s eyes. When you are on your way somewhere with your child, try to leave yourself a bit of extra time (even five or ten minutes) so that you can allow your child to examine and wonder, and do so with them. Rushing around is sometimes unavoidable, but doing it daily can hamper your ability to enjoy the little wonders and moments in life.
2) Find things that are new to you, explore places you’ve never been, try different foods, and if you can do them with your child, even better. You can both share in a moment of true discovery.
If you can swing it, visit a new country where the culture is unfamiliar to you. If like most of us you can’t quite pull that off, why not try some new tastes or smells together with your child. If you haven’t tried an umeboshi plum, truffles, or durian fruit, try one of those together with your child (be warned, they may taste/smell very unusual to some!).
I’m not suggesting that all of your new experiences be food related; however, trying new food is a universal example of a new experience. There are new experiences everywhere, every day. If you’re not sure where, just ask your child.