20 Things I Learned from My Toddler

While we try to teach our children all about life, Our children teach us what life is all about.
-Angela Schwindt

Tristen reading in his carseat.Tristen enjoying some scholarly research.

Toddlers are great teachers. They are rarely distracted by worry and are always in the moment. Here are some lessons my son, Tristen, has taught me:

  1. Just because you bumped your head a few minutes ago and still have a big red mark, there is no reason to dwell on it. Keep on playing and having fun. See Bumps, Bruises and Happiness.
  2. Always clean your plate, but don’t overeat. When you are full, dump the rest of the food on the table and spread it around.
  3. Be frugal. Empty containers and boxes are much more fun than expensive toys.
  4. Always dance. Music is optional.
  5. A yard full of leaves is a playground, not a work site.
  6. When food tastes really good, laugh.
  7. When you love someone, run up to them while calling out there name repeatedly, then throw your arms around them.
  8. Tristen reading in his carseat.Tristen walking around a campsite at Carney Lake State Park in Michigan.

  9. Smiles are contagious.
  10. Boredom is the enemy.
  11. Vampires are adorable (See Be Silly Every Day and you will understand).
  12. Always take time to watch birds fly overhead.
  13. Just sitting still in a chair for two minutes can turn a whole day around. See Time Out.
  14. You can fit a lot more commitments in your life than you think. See Struggling with Expectations.
  15. You have a lot more energy than you think.
  16. To make a new friend, just smile at a stranger.
  17. Creativity is not learned, it is unlearned.
  18. Creativity is not exclusive. We all start out with it.
  19. You don’t have to be a professional to sing.
  20. The best way to start the day is to stare out the window for a few minutes and marvel at the world, then run around aimlessly, laughing and flailing.
  21. The best way to end the day is to run around aimlessly, laughing and flailing, then stare at someone you love for a few minutes and marvel at their wonder, then go to sleep.

Continue reading 20 More Life Lessons Learned From My Toddler.

About the author


I am Danny Kohn, writer and designer for this site and owner, software engineer and consultant for Inspirations Software Design. My three greatest passions in life are sharing time with my family, software design and sharing inspiration with others. I have the incredible privilege of being able to spend a significant amount of time every day doing each of those three things. I am a single father of Tristen, our 6 year old son. It has been such an incredible joy to watch him grow up and learn so much. Everything he does and says overwhelms me with adoration. We have a wonderful evening ritual of reading books together in a beanbag chair. Nearly every night, we have a laughing attack together. I smile and giggle constantly in his presence and feel truly inspired.

Permanent link to this article: http://beinspiredeveryday.com/2007/11/14/20-things-i-learned-from-my-toddler/


  1. Adebola says:

    Great post Danny.

    Kids are awesome and those are GREAT lessons to learn from them. I always marvel at their energy and how they forget their adversities quickly.

    Little wonder Jesus said one needs to be like them to enter into heaven ;)

  2. Bob says:

    #7 is my favorite. I’m really going to miss it when my kids stop greeting me that way. Maybe it’s time to start thinking of a 3rd child… :)

  3. Will says:

    Thanks for that article, very inspirational. Great site and great writing. I’ve linked to your site here at this quotes for parents page. Hope that’s ok. Wishing you the very best for life. – Will

    1. Danny says:

      Thanks for the kind words and the link Will! I enjoyed visiting your site. You’ve got some great great inspiration there.

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