Learning From Little Kids

By: Topher Scott

I hope everybody had a great Thanksgiving!

I certainly did and got to spend some quality time with family that I haven’t seen in a while.  My stomach sure as hell took a hit with all of the food…but the feast was 100% worth it.

Since having kids, Thanksgiving has taken on a whole new meaning for me.  Gone are the days of a huge meal with great conversation, legs up on the couch watching football afterwards, and the occasional knee hockey tournament to top off the night.

This time around…with two kids under three…it was absolute mayhem.  Especially with a two-and-a-half year old that had more energy than the all of the other Thanksgiving guests combined.  And let me tell you, she wasn’t afraid to use every single ounce of that energy until she finally crashed from complete exhaustion.

But with all the craziness, I found it fascinating watching her interact with everyone because I realized that little kids embody human nature at its purest.  Pre social media, peer pressure, caring what other people think, etc…

They’re just…so pure.

And there were two amazing qualities in watching my two year old that I would actually like to be better at…and I’m sure there’s plenty of others that think this way as well:

1. She couldn’t care less about what people think. She’s going to speak her mind.

2. She is wayyyyyy better off with a routine.

Let’s dive a little deeper:

Speaking her mind

How many of you out there reading this like to hold things in like I do? Not really loving certain kinds of confrontation, afraid to speak your mind for fear of judgement, bottling things up because you think something you say might piss somebody off…that kind of thing.

My daughter couldn’t give less of a crap.  She’s going to tell it like it is.  When she’s hungry, you know it.  When she’s tired, you know it.  When she’s happy, you know it.  When she wants something, you know it.  If you’re a parent, you know exactly what I mean.

And I think it’s one of her most valuable traits!

I hope she keeps it as she grows into a young woman…as the older we get the harder it is (for some of us anyway) to speak our mind about what we want and how to get it.  That fear of judgement, social media presence, sometimes bullying nature of young adulthood can grab a hold of you and scare you stiff about saying what you think or feel.

It’s something that I’ve worked on for a long time and have gotten better at, but it was surreal to see how much confidence my daughter had in just telling people what she wanted and how she felt.  No filter needed!


With a ton of family around and staying at our in-laws…both of my daughters’ routines went to absolute hell.  My wife and I were lenient on nap and bed times, we ate all over the place, went to a million different places…let’s just say it wasn’t a typical week by any means.

And wow did it show.  For my two year old AND my two month old.

When the typical hunger/meal time or tiredness/nap time came around and they didn’t get food or sleep…for the parents out there reading this you know how that goes.

And that actually made me think back to my playing days where I was a slave to my routine.  Almost couldn’t function without it and I was so much more productive when I had a structure to my day.

If we want to be great at something, routine is everything.  It makes sure we don’t cut corners and gives us clarity on what we need to do and how we go about doing it.  The best players I ever played with and the best ones that I’ve coached were predictable with their preparation and routine.  They never wavered.

Now working on my own, I’ve come to understand how important that structure is to my day as well.  I have to give myself schedules and deadlines or else nothing would get done! There are so many distractions out there that can pry my attention away at an instant, but my routine and a discipline to that routine is what ends up saving the day.

Watching both my daughters melt without their routines…it was another great learning lesson to make sure I am on point with my own.

Kids can teach us a lot.  It’s very cool to observe how they operate, and it hit me this weekend how pure their intentions and actions really are.  I think in a lot of ways, and specifically in the two ways I mentioned above, these observations can help us to accomplish things in our own lives.

So thank you to Paige and Lucy for a great weekend! I’m already learning from you!