This is a throwback to the days when we were just crazy little kids with huge imaginations and even bigger hearts, running around without a care in the world.
When you were in preschool, your biggest concern was having to share your favorite toy during playtime or deciding whether to give yout artwork to mom or dad.
While it may seem like the tiny tots at your local preschool are just there to play, they are actually learning fundamental skills that will help them survive the real world.
Granted, they are not learning how to do their taxes or how to write a résumé, but they are learning important skills that will help them make a difference wherever they may end up in the future.
Here are nine survival skills preschoolers learn:
1. Back then, everything was teamwork.
This skill is taught at such an early age, we might not even realize it is a skill.
In preschool, there is always a task or activity that requires the little ones to work together in order to finish it quickly and efficiently.
I mean, if I had to clean the entire toy room by myself, we probably never would have had snack time.
2. You would always think outside of the box.
If you were to present a preschooler and your average businessman a problem, and ask them both to come up with a solution, I can guarantee the preschooler’s imagination will come up with a solution that is far-fetched and probably impractical.
But that’s what we need in this world: We need creativity.
Thinking in black and white or within the box will never result in new ideas.
The craziest, most imaginative people are the ones seen making a change in society.
Preschool teachers spark and facilitate this creativity, and encourage the minds of our future innovators.
3. Treat others the way you want to be treated.
How many times have you heard this one?
Everyone wants to be treated well. But if you can’t treat people with the same respect and kindness you would like to receive, that will make for some unhappy coworkers, significant others, friends and family members.
Team playing is the key to a successful business (ask any restaurant manager), or even a successful relationship.
Team playing comes down to mutual respect and communication.
4. Communication is the secret to thriving relationships.
Once, when I was in preschool, I got into trouble for allegedly telling some girl her face was ugly.
Now, you might not have known me when I was 5, but I barely said anything back then, let alone something mean.
Our teacher made us sit in the corner and each explain our side of the story.
After about five minutes of refusing to talk, we learned the other’s side of the story and resolved things.
This was an important lesson for me because I learned how important it is to communicate my thoughts, ideas and feelings, rather than holding them all in.
This applies to all relationships, including those with significant others, family members, coworkers and even your boss.
If you don’t tell them how you’re feeling, how are they supposed to know?
5. Your mother knows best.
This lesson took me a little bit longer to learn, but in preschool, it seems like mommy knows everything.
She knows how to make your scraped knee feel better, how to make your stuffy nose go away, how to do those difficult math problems preschoolers shouldn’t have to do, what to do when your best friend moves on to her new best friend and just about everything in between.
Back then, I thought my mom was some kind of magical fairy godmother who could fix anything.
It turns out, she might not be able to fix everything.
But she does have just enough experience to help me through practically any situation, either because she’s been there or because she knows how my mind works and can guide me through making tough decisions.
If you don’t already, call your mom when you’re lost (both figuratively and literally). She can probably help with both.
6. Your dad is a real-life superhero.
Back in preschool, we sang a song about our dads being superheroes, always coming to the rescue.
(I wish I remembered the words, but that was 15 years ago.)
It’s true. For me, my dad was the one who tucked me in at night, fended off the scary monsters who kept me up at night, helped me with my homework and was always there to wipe away my tears.
My dad taught me how to treat others, how to treat myself and, most importantly, how I should be treated, simply through the way he treated the people around him, himself and my mother.
He gives me advice when I need it, but is there for me when I do the exact opposite of what he says.
It always goes exactly the way he said it would.
No “I told you so” here.
7. You had playtime.
Go for a run, read your favorite book or take a bath.
Do whatever you have to do to decompress.
Go sit in the sun for 30 minutes.
Make sure you have "you" time, and have a little bit of fun each day.
I know playtime doesn’t seem as practical in your 20s as it did when you were five, but it’s just as important now as it was back then.
8. You had snacks packed.
Snack time is vital to your existence in preschool.
Okay, maybe that's a bit of an exaggeration. But you never know how long your meeting will run or how hungry you will be on your commute home.
You should always have something on you: an apple, a granola bar or even my favorite preschool snack, Pop-Tarts.
When you’re hungry, you’re grumpy. You will be a lot less efficient when you’re grumpy.
9. You could nap whenever and wherever you could.
Just trust me on this one. You’re never too old to take a nap.
You have an hour to catch up on your favorite show? Nap.
You have 30 minutes before your doctor’s appointment? Nap.
In the real world, you might have to do some crazy things to get by, but setting an alarm for 12 minutes so you can take a power nap is not one of them.
There are so many things preschoolers still have yet to learn (like how to read), but these lessons will influence every decision they make in the future in some way.
Never forget what you learned in preschool. These lessons will make a difference, both in your life and in your career.