hands in paint

They’re noisy. They’re demanding. They’re sticky, messy and destructive. And I can’t help but be in love with them.

Preschoolers get a bad rap a lot of the time. People often ask me how I love on them with so much patience. But the truth is they make me want to be like them. They have so many qualities I wish I had. Or maybe I should say they have so many qualities I wish I hadn’t allowed myself to grow out of.

1. They get away with tutu’s and bow ties.

Seriously. Who hasn’t had a hard time deciding what to wear? Can’t decide which pair of sparkly shoes to put on? Why not one from each pair? Loving the pants and the skirt? Wear them both! You can never be too prepared. And there is absolutely nothing cuter than a sweet little princess in a tutu! Except maybe a handsome little prince in a bow tie.

2. They are uninhibited about just about everything.

Surely you’ve had the urge to belt out your  favorite song in the middle of the grocery store. No? Just me? Ever felt like dancing for no reason? But you didn’t. Probably because some mean adult discouraged the behavior when you were a preschooler. And if they didn’t then they surely would now that you are over 30. Such an injustice! Just imagine what a happy place this world would be if we could all dance when we felt like it.

3. They aren’t jaded.

They (hopefully) have not been exposed to this big-bad-awful-terror-filled world.  They haven’t been around long enough to be scarred, beaten up by the fight of life and they trust without boundaries. Wouldn’t that feel great? To be able to trust again? I mean like without any doubts. Period.

4. They have so much energy!

Go ahead. Admit it. You’d pay a pretty penny to be able to have one ounce of the energy that exudes from a three-year-old.

5. They speak the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

Sometimes it hurts or it is embarrassing, but the truth is we all need to hear the truth. Who better to tell it to you than a preschooler who means you no harm? Sure, sometimes they can be a little blunt, but I for one wish I had the guts to say some of the things that come out of their mouths.

6. They absorb the Truth like a sponge.

The Gospel of Jesus is ludicrous. It’s so far fetched and seems so ridiculous to us jaded, un-trusting adults. But if you’ve got the attention of a 3-year-old they not only believe every last truth, they want more! The story of Jesus’ unconditional and unbridled love for us is something we all hunger for. But as an adult we try to reason it away. Oh, to have faith like a child!children reading bible

 7. Their emotions are BIG!

Let’s face it, adults hide their emotions a lot of the time. And it probably wouldn’t go over very well if we all threw a fit when we don’t get our way. But when preschoolers are happy and they know it their faces surely show it. Same goes for when they are sad, scared or Lord help us, mad! If we could all be open with how we were truly feeling we’d be healthier.

8. They appreciate the little things in life.

If you’ve ever been lucky enough to receive a bouquet of weeds you are lucky enough! Preschoolers appreciate the little things that us big, easily distracted adults take for granted. The beauty of a weed or how mud feels between your toes. Even soap is cool to a preschooler. I wish I had maintained my sense of wonder. Or at least took the time to use it.

9. Play is work.

I’d give just about anything to be able to ‘play’ house every day rather than have to actually ‘clean’ house every day. But that play is work for the preschooler. Every bit of it. Building with blocks is developing math and motor skills. Running and jumping works on coordination and muscle control. Playing with dolls teaches children how to interact with each other. I wish I hadn’t been in such a hurry to grow up!

10. They tell the best stories. 

Hand a child a small object and tell them that as long as they are holding it they can tell a you story. They won’t want to let go of it! They come up with the best stories. A lot of it doesn’t make any sense to us ragged adults, but to a preschooler it doesn’t matter. Their imaginations are amazing and limitless! I wish I had kept mine dusted off a little better.

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Bethany Donham

Bethany E. Donham is married to her high school sweetheart and the mother of two beautiful teenage girls. She is a full time Minister to Preschoolers and Families, but has a passion for guiding others to see the world with a Biblical perspective through her writing.

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