“Childhood means simplicity. Look at the world with the child’s eye – it is very beautiful.”
– Kailash Satyarthi, Children’s Rights Activist, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate
Around this time last year, the article was on the new world awaiting Seven Year Olds as their minds comprehend and hearts embrace more of the fullness of life. It was about helping them to see their strengths as powers to achieve what they desire from life, not life as suddenly bigger than them.
I must say, year seven rocked. There were challenges, but the fun, independence and accomplishments were our every-day life. We set a course at age seven to successfully navigate Erickson’s second “Independence vs. Inferiority” year of six to eleven, and we’ve had a great trip. Much of that is the parents learning when and how to give up the rudder and let the kid be the captain.
With that in mind, today is a guest post about facing the fears but embracing the fun since “Street Level Wellness” in kid-terms is just “being happy.” Illyana Karabin, age 7 and 362 days, will now tell us, in her own words, what to focus on to be happy at seven, eight and beyond.
How to Be Happy as a Kid (or Maybe a Grown-up, too)
Hello, my name Illyana Karabin and this is my guest post. I am Keith’s daughter.
Food – Kids like food because it is yummy. Why? Because if kids didn’t have they would be angry and they would say “Give me food! I want food!” Like my friend, she’s always into food. I like food because it keeps me going and it helps me run and it gives off energy.
Love – Kids like love because they know that they’re parents love them and anyone else who they know will love them in a friendly way. With me I like my parents because they give me food and my house. And my Dad is a therapist so he helps me with my feelings. And my mom gives babies blood tests. Love makes me happy because I know anybody who loves me likes me for who I am not what I look like.
Toys and Stuffed Animals – Toys make kids happy because they know they can play with them when they want (except when they’re at school). At the carnival one Friday I was playing a pop the balloon game thingy with darts and I got to pick out a stuffed animal because I won. I picked out a blue penguin and I named it Icy (because it was blue and ice is kinda blue).
Chase Butterflies – Kids like to chase butterflies because when they catch them they get to look at them and let them go in the wilds. When I catch a butterfly it makes me feel like I should look at it or maybe keep it as a pet, but then I remember butterflies aren’t pets and I should let it go because if you keep a butterfly you’re going to have to feed it all the food and keep it in a cage and make sure it doesn’t die.
That’s the end of my guest post see you next time! ~Illyana
It’s Not Rocket Science…or is it?
“The secret of genius is to carry the spirit of the child into old age, which means never losing your enthusiasm.”
– Aldous Huxley, Writer
Living happy as a kid is not so different from living happy as an adult: Food, Love, Fun and Chasing Aspirations.
I really could put on my counselor’s hat and geek-out about how close this list resembles Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, but for now I’ll keep my Dad hat on and say that m’girl is quite the hunt-and-pecker!
Year Seven was a learning experience in providing, loving, remembering to have fun, and proudly watching her chase her butterflies farther afield from us. Year eight will no doubt be more of the same. We can’t wait.
Happy 8th Birthday, Illyana!
I’m one proud father right now as I sit a bit and think on to the sage advice of my daughter. I encourage you to do the same. Live like a seven year old today. Maybe even chase a butterfly.
But remember, butterflies aren’t pets.
Karabin, K. (2015) Adulthood’s Glory. Retrieved from: KeithKarabin.com http://keithkarabin.com/2015/06/05/adulthoods-glory/
McLeod, S. (2014) Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. Simply Psychology. Retrieved from: http://www.simplypsychology.org/maslow.html