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When we transition into adulthood we tend to become plain ‘ol boring. You might be muttering to yourself, “Well maybe SHE may boring, but not me!” Well, hear me out.

What I am saying is that, as we age we neglect to see how wonderful the little things are. We are on such a constant roller coaster of bigger, better and more we tend to leave behind all the simply joyful things. You know—the awe and wonder.

Little kids, on the other hand, are so wonderfully open minded. They marvel at the smallest things and become excited with just about everything. I’m sure you’ve noticed as parents that you can spend oodles of money on the latest have-to-have items but your kid will happily sit in the floor and play with a paper bag or plastic containers.

If I had every dollar back that I spent on things that my kid lost interest in, I could go on a nice vacation (around the world). The funny part is that I probably bought the majority of it without my kids even asking for it.

Here’s a perfect example:

When my seventeen-year-old was little she loved horses. She loved everything about them and ultimately wound up with not one, not two, but literally 50 or more horse toys. Do you know that today, she doesn’t even remember liking horses? Yup. Can you say “sucker?”

My grandparents had the right idea. They lived through The Great Depression, a time when families barely got by and took nothing for granted. I mean nothing.

Each summer, instead of buying toys, my grandfather had a huge pile of dirt delivered, so all the grandchildren could play in it. Yes, you read that correctly—dirt! It kept us occupied for hours on end and as crazy as it may seem, I still have fond memories about that large pile of dirt.

Okay. So you may not be sold on buying your kids dirt for Christmas but what I am trying to say is that kids make everything an adventure. Their job is simple—laugh, smile, create and do it all over again.

As we age, with the years come responsibility and then some false sense of reality sets in. We lose most of our childlike luster. It’s sad really. Why can’t we be adults AND keep our awe about the world?

If you feel you are too far gone, you are not, but if nothing else, what you can do is teach your kids that it is 100% okay to be kids. They may like to PLAY grown-up but BEING grown up ain’t all it’s cracked up to be.

Here are 3 Steps to raise kids to enjoy it all for as long as they can:

  1. Be kids with them. You may not realize it, but they do really watch every move you make. You set the stage for what they envision adulthood to be. So be silly, be happy, have fun. If they see you enjoying life, they will know when they grow up, it’s alright not to take life so seriously.
  2. Take things in stride. They are little for such a short while. Allow them to be kids. Don’t rush what they wear, what they play with or how they act. They have plenty of time to be an adult. Let them be.
  3. Teach them to grateful. I’m sure you do this to a degree, but I am talking about gratitude for everything! The clouds in the sky, the sheets on their bed, the meal that they may not love, the fresh air they breathe, their health, the bumble bee they run from—everything. They will take this with them when they’re older and hopefully see the world with just a little more amazement.

So, know that while we are so busy being all prim, proper and responsible, there is a whole sector of our population under the age of 10 that has it all under control. We can not only teach them to keep up their wonderful little way of life, but we can also learn a heck of a lot from them too.

So get out there—giggle, dance and play in a big ol’ pile of dirt. Your kids are watching and you may just love it!


Joelene Wolfe

My name is Joelene Wolfe. In addition to being a mom, wife and marketer, I am the creator of Happiness Depends. After years of working unhappily in the corporate world and following someone else's dream, I took the big leap to finally follow my own dream of acting. Happiness depends on so many things but it always starts with a feeling, an idea and a first step. I am now enjoying helping others take their 1st step toward their dream career. Now let's get your happy on

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