8 - Teach and Learn from Children
The author begins by suggesting that a parent teaches a child the lessons of their life, but learns from their children in the process. Children tend to see things very simply, and with a clearer eye than do many adults.
Moreover, children and adults want the same things: a sense of security and interesting ways to fill their time. These are more complex for adults, for whom "security" means many things and they think of time in a boarder sense. But in the space of a moment, the desires of children and adults are the same.
(EN: This goes on a while and gets a bit wistful about the standard topics: how time seems to go faster, how children are unaware of the world's problems, etc. Not much value in these hackneyed observations.)
Germane to some of the points he's made in previous chapters:
- Children are very much "in the moment" and tend not to think of the future
- Children don't want to do anything that isn't fun right away
- Children don't see the point of practicing and want instant gratification. Hwoever if the practice itself is fun they will become deeply engrossed in it.
- Children have to be taught the importance of "playing well" rather than winning
- Children have few prejudices and preconceptions
- Children don't think anything is impossible without trying, and they quite often do things that no-one would expect they were capable of
- Children let their emotions get the best of them, but can be calmed if made to slow down and think
Some of these childlike behaviors are valuable to adults, others represent childish behaviors we would do well to outgrow.
(EN: There follows some random advice for parenting, largely stemming from the way in which children are being treated like little adults, what with their days being jammed by schooling and scheduled leisure activities. This too becomes wistful and hackneyed.)