5 Life Lessons I Learned from Five-Year-Olds

As an early childhood education major, I recently began interning in a kindergarten classroom, and so far, it's been one of the greatest experiences of my life. These kids are only five years old, and they surprise me every day with their innocent (and incredibly wise) takes on life. Here are some of the little pieces of advice they've given me, or things that I've witnessed in my first week with them:

1. “I always give flowers to people I like”

Josh*, age 5. On the playground, these kindergartners always manage to find beautiful flowers. One child found a lovely array of purple flowers and handed one to his best friend, his teacher, and me. 

2. Check up on your friends!  

One child was stung by a wasp at recess. After the teacher brought him to the nurse’s office and back to the playground, a little girl in his class walked up to him. She held his hand and asked if he was okay. The boy immediately stopped crying and nodded his head. The little girl sat with him for the remainder of recess. 

3. Learning is an amazing thing

When told to begin packing up for the end of the school day, one of my kindergartners began to cry softly. I quickly noticed this and went over to comfort her. I asked her what was the matter, to which she replied, “I don’t wanna go home, I wanna stay at school all day and keep learning stuff.”

4. “We have to protect our little friends because they can’t talk”

Emma*, age 5. Emma was found guarding a baby turtle who had wandered onto the playground from a nearby pond. She assisted her teacher in returning the turtle to the pond. 

5. We should love even the people we do not necessarily like

In every classroom, there's the child with lots of energy who may be seen by some as the “problem child.” My kindergarten classroom is no different. This “problem child” is also viewed by some of his classmates as “bad." One day, he'd forgotten his lunch money at home. Four different children in his class offered him food from their own lunches so that he wouldn’t go hungry. 

After only three days in a kindergarten classroom, I've come to realize that these little people are truly so selfless and wise. They've not yet been corrupted by the demands and expectations of society. They still have a passion and desire to learn everything they possibly can about this world that they call home. They still are willing to protect nature, to help out their friends, and even to aid those they may not consider their friends. They know that all relationships must be cherished, even if it means the simple gesture of a flower from the playground. We can all learn so much about life from the littlest members of our society, for they truly are the future. Based on my experiences thus far, I would predict that our future is in good hands. 

*All names have been changed for the kids' privacy. 

Images: 1, 2 , 3