Art imitates life, but life these days imitates reality TV. Family editor Omeshnie Naidoo says BBC Earth's The Secret Lives of 4-year-olds, which began on Dstv this week, will offer valuable life lessons for us all.
My 3-year-old, (nearly 4), tells it like it is. To him, that is.
His often hilarious, but always uninhibited, take on the world is so refreshing.
He is practical, kind and carefree - "life skills" many an adult could benefit from. So when BCC Earth decided to share how their inquisitive and innocent cast approached life, I decided to share it with you.
This is what they had to say:
The series that lifts the lid on the drama of life on the playground is back, offering an intimate and fascinating window into the ups and downs, tears, tantrums and triumphs that unfold when a class of children meet each other for the first time. Watching all the antics unfold is a team of child development specialists, who are on hand to offer their expert insight when needed. While getting your cute-fix on BBC Earth, seeing the world through the eyes of a four-year-old offers adults a few life lessons:
· Gotta risk it, to get the biscuit - how many times can you admit to risking failing to get what you want? Watching the kids on The Secret Life of 4-Year-Olds go after what they want with confidence, even if it results in tantrums or crying, is a lesson in perseverance, actively pursuing what it is that you want regardless of the outcome.
· Sharing is caring – ask any parent, this cliché will remain the most repeated phrase of all time. In each episode you’ll see the kids challenge themselves on this one. We also meet Vinnie, one of our favourite characters from the show, who often displays his apprehension to share but as the series progresses he starts to learn the importance of this attribute. As we grow older this trait seems to grow rare once again, another important lesson from the four year olds, it really is okay to share and it’s also an important socialisation tool.
· Don’t be afraid to try new things – as we get older our adversity to risk also seems to rise. While the fear often appears bigger in our thoughts than it is in real life, the four-year olds prove that moving past fear opens a whole new world of wonder. From something as simple as starting a friendly conversation with a stranger, to going on a new adventure – The Secret Life of 4 Year Olds, gives new meaning to the word limitless.
· Speak up! – how many times have you held back on voicing your opinion on something you were certain of? Ask a toddler about anything - and whether you’re ready or not you will get a confident response. This is a fundamental childhood development skill, as children start to grow and understand their train of thought and form opinions around different ideas. Adults often miss out on the opportunity to engage in the lively debate due to an inability to express themselves or their fear of what others may think of them. So, next time you think about holding back in a conversation – ask yourself, what would a four-year-old do?
· Most importantly, be friendly - the world is full of people who aren’t – as adults we often become so consumed with our everyday lives and schedules, that we find ourselves overlooking small kindnesses such as offering a compliment or introducing yourself to the new person at work or letting the baby-sitter know she’s doing a good job. Kids are always the first to collect into random groups for play, and refer to everyone as their ‘best-friend’. So next time, don’t leave it to a few drinks to get your friendly on – keep it on always!
Watch The Secret Lives of 4-Year-Olds, on BBC Earth, DSTV channel 184, starting Monday, August 20 at 8.30pm.