Anyone who has constant contact with kids knows they're full of sage wisdom. And often, the most important lessons kids can teach us are evident within the microcosm of a kindergarten classroom.
In fact, when you really think about it, the vast majority of the most important lessons we learn about social interactions, making friends, respecting others (and ourselves) and, of course, coloring occur by the age of six.
Yet somehow as we progress through the teen years into young adulthood and beyond, these seemingly innate bits of knowledge begin to fade from memory.
It's time to re-visit the basics. We surveyed kindergarten teachers and classes to uncover some of the most common "rules" of the classroom. Below are five of these life lessons that are worth remembering as adults.
1. Make new friends, but keep the old
You may remember "seat swap" day in kindergarten, when you'd walk into class to find your entire routine uprooted: Your desk had been moved clear across the room, and all of a sudden you're sitting next to Billy instead of Joanne. And while the first few moments of the new seating arrangement might have been a bit awkward, by the end of that first day, you had a new BFF.
While changing up a routine isn't always the most comfortable thing, it's also an essential part of personal growth. As adults, there are no teachers around to give us the gentle push into unfamiliar social circumstances, so it's up to us to shake it up, expose ourselves to new social circles and make the initial, awkward introduction to that coworker we've never exchanged words with before.
2. Share the crayons
We live in a selfish world, one in which most of us are so wrapped up in our own thoughts and lives that it's a struggle even to remember to hold the elevator door for someone.
If we take a peek into a kindergarten classroom, however, we find a much more pleasant world, where sharing crayons is not only encouraged, it actually makes coloring more enjoyable.
This translates to adulthood, too. Sharing everything from tangible items to kind words and compliments—with friends, family and the less fortunate—is rewarding in manifold ways. In other words, if you know that Susie is drawing a rose but she's missing the red crayon, here's your prime opportunity to be a champion.
3. Abide by the playground rules
Work-life balance is a tough one for many adults to master. Without designated times for recess, it's easy to forget the benefits of play.
Along with simply remembering to close our laptops and smartphones every once in a while to enjoy some good, old-fashioned outdoor fun, it's also worth reminiscing on some of the most prolific playground rules such as: be patient, wait your turn, don't hog the swings, no hitting, etc.
4. Savor naptime
Sometimes, we all need a re-set. Much like six year olds, many of us adults often don't realize when we're simply cranky. It's easy to let stress take over our lives—and we're not exactly our best selves when we're sleep deprived, stressed out and overworked.
Taking a moment every day to relax, kick back and enjoy quiet self-reflection in a cozy setting may be what's missing from your routine.
5. Put things back where you found them
This one should be common sense, but unfortunately it's not always at the top of adults' minds. Respecting our surroundings and cleaning up after ourselves is a kindergarten lesson that should definitely follow us all the way to adulthood.
When in doubt, it's always a good idea to live by the rule: Leave a place in better condition than you found it. Whether it's a home environment or an outdoor space, this is one life rule that can truly make the world a more livable place.
Source: 5 kindergarten lessons every adult needs a reminder of