7 Things I Learned From My 4 Year Old Girl

Today is Bianca’s 4th birthday. All my love is with her and it will always be. Following a tradition started 4 years ago, on her first anniversary, I’ll post the 7 lessons I learned from her in the last year.

1. Show Off Your Personality

Every time we go out she surprises us by starting conversations out of the blue with people around. Sometimes it’s the waiter who gets the first line, sometimes it’s just a person walking by who instantly receive a “Hi, I’m Bianca” greeting. Every time we’re in a public place she is relaxed and treats people like they are her own pairs. And I admit that’s such a great lesson, at least for me. People are our own pairs. But our expectations are so narrow and low that we forget that and treat people like assets. Or like enemies. Such a waste of time!

2. If You Don’t Get It For The First Time, Keep Trying

Since she started to talk and to express her needs, things have changed dramatically for us. And for her. She’s asking things for herself and she does that with persistence. Sometimes it’s a toy, sometimes it’s something to eat and most of the time it’s just our presence and time. But if, for whatever reason, we can’t deliver,  she keeps trying. And keeps trying. And keeps trying again. If there’s one word which dramatically changed its meaning since we have Bianca in our lives, that word would be “persistence”.

3. Watch Until You Learn

I noticed that she wants to watch the same movie again and again. At first, I didn’t agree, for the sake of diversity. But if you’ve read number 2 above, you already know that at some point I had to give in. And I was right to do so. She watches movies until she learns them by heart. She never stops, never loses focus, never get bored. Sometimes I wish I have the same focus power, just to be able to immerse myself in whatever thing I’m doing, the same way she’s doing it. I think she learned tremendously just by watching around, fully focused.

4. Habits Are The Easiest Thing

With socializing at the kindergarten came also the effort of waking up early in the morning each day. But I was amazed by how fast she was able to adapt to the new schedule. She started to wake up at 6:30 AM and to go to bed at 7:30 PM in about a week. A huge role in this habit creation played Diana, of course, who actually shaped this habit for her, but once she learned it, she’s using it on autopilot. Every time I want to start a new habit, I’m thinking how easy it is for a child to ignite one. Somehow, we seem to lose that flexibility over the years.

5. Stay With The Problem Until You Find The Solution

Last year, she started kindergarten at an English school (she is born Romanian and still live in Romania). She had a short experience before at another English kindergarten but not at such a higher level: more kids, bigger space, extremely diverse schedule. She had a slow start, but now she’s really ok. In fact, her half-year reports from the teacher surprised both of us in term of progress and evolution. Seeing her everyday didn’t help us to understand how much she grew up. That’s one of the biggest lessons I learned from her: stay there and do you job.

6. Don’t Fake It

Every once in a while she tries to fake it until she gets it. She fakes crying for a toy, or something like this. Well, she doesn’t get it. Every now and then she still tries though, just to check in, I suppose. Faking until you get it it’s a stupid thing. Many so called Law Of Attraction gurus are giving this advice: pretend like you’re already rich. Well, it’s big difference between “pretend” and “act”. Every time Bianca is authentic she gets everything she asks for. The moment she starts to fake it, the Universe (meaning us, at this age) closes his gates and nothing gets out anymore.

7. You Cannot Have Enough Laughter In Your Life

Every situation can be – and most of the time is – a reason for laughing. We laugh at the weather, we laugh at chairs or at tables, we laugh at dogs and cats, we laugh at each other. I don’t think I laughed so much in my entire life. During last year I rediscovered the value of laughing as a normal reaction to stuff. Grown ups are taking things way too seriously. And the saddest part is that not all of them have a kid around to show them how stupid is to worry, or to take things for much more than they really are: just things. That you can laugh at, if you choose to.

33 thoughts on “7 Things I Learned From My 4 Year Old Girl”

  1. I love this phrase – this was my biggest realization in limiting my TV watching time… I would rather have the amazing experience myself than watch a two-dimensional moving picture of someone else having an amazing experience!


  2. There’s so much that we can learn from kids. Like Paulo Coelho said: look into a child’s eyes and see the world without bitterness.

  3. You are in for many more lessons as the years go by my friend. My daughter is now 35 and I am still learning from her. Daughters are a beautiful thing. I know that yours will be one of the greatest blessing of your entire life.
    .-= Jonathan – Advanced Life Skills´s last blog ..Aging, Can You Control It? =-.

  4. Wow! Your 4 year old sounds a lot more mature than my 7 and 4 1/2 year olds! But perhaps I am not as open to learning from them as you seem to be (or maybe they are just not as persistent as Bianca). A very insightful piece, we all have so much to learn from children about being creative, authentic, focused and laughing.
    .-= Sanda´s last blog ..British heritage and stereotypes =-.

  5. Happy birthday for Bianca!

    I loved especially the last point: “You Cannot Have Enough Laughter In Your Life”: you are right: as adults we tend to worry too much…



  6. I love hearing what a big part your daughter plays in your life. Keep telling us these stories. It’s endears you both to us readers.

    My 4 girls are 33 (twins), 35, and 37 yrs. old. My grandchildren are 16, 13 and 1 yr. The joy, bliss, laughter and love they’ve brought into our lives are in measurable. The blessing unlimited. I’ve never regretted anything and can honestly say I’ve done my best with them.

    Hearing what you learn brings joy and memories to my own heart…again!
    .-= Tess The Bold Life´s last blog ..The Rewards of Honoring Commitments =-.

  7. Hello Dragos,

    Kids are fantastic. They have their own way to learn, adapt, be friendly, grasp…. They do not give up until they find a way out or the best way is to start a fake cry and some one will come to rescue.
    Belated Happy Birthday to Bianca.

    Beautiful Post! 🙂

    Bye for now,
    .-= Cheryl Paris´s last blog ..Saturday 9: Gimme Three Steps Girl =-.

  8. Hello Dragos,

    Happy Birthday to your precious daughter ‘Bianca”~ such a nice name and sounds great! Your daughter is a brilliant little girl. I truly loved your entire post, but Number 7 is the best for me. The laughter that kids share is contagious; it is true that we never have enough laughter in a day. This is the one i love the best! ~”7. You Cannot Have Enough Laughter In Your Life”

    Thank you,
    .-= ZuzannaM´s last blog ..TALL MOUNTAIN =-.

  9. Hi Dragos,

    I think that it’s a wonderful habit that you have of writing what you have learned from your daughter on her birthday. It’s something that she will appreciate when she is older. You should include all the articles in a book for her and present it to her on a special birthday.

    When reading the 7 lessons, they all seemed very familiar, especially #2, #3, and #4.

    Kids are so funny and being around them can be such a joy. It sounds as if you are a very lucky person to have Bianca in your life.

    .-= Karen´s last blog ..Friday’s Links =-.

    • Thanks for the nice words, Karen and glad to know we have common experiences (kids, I mean). And yes, I am a very lucky person 🙂

  10. Dragos,

    A great post with an insightful look at how a 4 year old can bring so much love and enjoyment into your life. I particularly like no. 6 “Don’t Fake it”. This is so relevant to adults aswell.

    Thank you for sharing this post.


    .-= Paul´s last blog ..Special People =-.

  11. I’ve always thought that we can learn from kids. The day an adult starts to think otherwise, is the day he/she becomes uninspired. You sound like you have a brilliant relationship with your daughter.
    Just to echo what Jo said, you do have some errors in this post. I found this one particularly unedited. I think that generally, they’re better than this. It’s very prominent that you’re a non-English speaker, when this was something that wasn’t an issue before.
    Sorry about the negative side of this comment.
    .-= Anne Lyken-Garner´s last blog ..Enjoyable Things To Do For Your Sister =-.

    • There’s no negative side of this comment 🙂 At least, I don’t see it. This one wen out the wrong way so everybody was right about spelling errors and typos, now I fixed (or at least I hope so 🙂 ).

      And yes, the word “uninspired”, for a grown up who doesn’t want to learn from kids anymore is really appropriate.

  12. Hey Dragos,
    And Happy Happy birthday Bianca!
    Youve got to know, I love this post! I just celebrated my little 3 year old daughters birthday last month..and had written a little post about it too.
    Amazing how these little can be such Lovely Teachers of Life without even knowing it… I think being “a happy explorer who never gives up” is actually our innate wiring…we just mess up that wiring as we grow up…with all those upgrades…:) Back to basics …and who better to learn from right..!
    Much Love,

    • Happy birthday to your daughter, Zeenat, may she be happy and joyful 🙂 And I totally love the idea of being “a happy explorer who never gives up”. I really do 🙂

  13. You don’t have to publish this, I just thought I’d give you a quick tip: your articles are good, sometimes even great, but you have a lot of spelling errors and not just typos. You might want to run a spell check on your articles before publishing them. After all, if you’re inviting people to buy books you’ve written in English, you don’t want them to think they’ll find the same errors in the books.

    Again, I like your articles and I don’t mind if you don’t publish this comment, it’s just constructive criticism

    • No problem with publishing this comment, I appreciate it 🙂 I got the wrong version published for this, went back and published the good one now. I know I still have problems with English, but I’m happy my message passes through. Here’s my take on this matter: how to be ridiculous.

      Thanks for being around 🙂

  14. Dragos, as a mother of a 3 y.o. I really enjoyed reading this post. Everything you’ve written is so true! You are right I never laughed so much. Today my son cut half of his hair while I was upstairs checking my email. Looks awful. I heard those stories from other parents, didn’t think it would happen with us. It did. All I could do was laugh. You are right, those are just things, details, no need to be too serious about. Hair will grow. Mistakes happen. Life is meant to be enjoyed.

    • Lol, that’s such a funny story, I’m sure he’s going to get back his looks in no time 🙂 Kudoz to your last sentence: life is made to be enjoyed 🙂

  15. Hi Dragos.

    This point about showing personality is duly noted. I always delight in the times I have shown my personality and released my actual thoughts, and don’t look with a good view at the times when I didn’t show my personality or filtered my thoughts. Not showing self-personality is sort of like an insult to ourselves, saying “your quality is not good enough for others to see”, or something of that nature.

    That makes sense on the one about continuing to try after the first time. One example that comes to mind is that I was denied a couple of times for a writing opportunity, and then the next time it worked out. I was close to giving up on that specific one, but not doing so, it worked out and I was glad I gave it a new try. Each try is a new try.
    .-= Armen Shirvanian´s last blog ..Don’t Take Someone For Granted =-.

    • Showing off your real you is one of the most enjoyable thing you can do while you’re out, socializing. Not being afraid of rejection is a wonderful feeling. And, as you noted, keep staying on the track until you get what you want is an added bonus 🙂

  16. Great article.

    I really like number 2. Sometimes as a “grown up” it can be easy to just stop pursuing something because it doesn’t fall right in our laps. Number 7 is also a good reminder to be a more happy, jovial person!

    Personally I have no children, but I really love trying to view things in the way a child would. I like to get excited over going to new places, even if they are not considered exciting destinations. I like to savor the learning of new skills, and exploring new possessions. I think sometimes people try to be too “cool”, or to “grown up” and they really miss out.

    .-= Michelle´s last blog ..Mar 12, Time Management Log: Time Journal to Learn How To Manage Time =-.


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