By Katie & Gay Hendricks
On our Facebook page, we sometimes post inspiring and heartwarming quotes about love and relationship from… kids.
This one from Terri, age 4, is one of our favorites:
Why do we appreciate quotes like this so much?
We think it’s because children remind us of what we are in our purest form and what we can be if we embrace their mindset.
What’s equally powerful is that the way kids think can actually help us solve a lot of the heartache we experience as adults.
Let’s take a closer look.
Ah. “Why.” Every toddler’s favorite word. If you’re a parent, you’ll be very familiar with the incessant “but why?” that is part of almost every interaction with a child. You might even remember your own “why” phase – that time when everything seemed so interesting, and you just needed to get down to the bottom of it, now.
Whether it’s why mom can use a plastic card to pay for groceries, or why dad has to wear that thing around his neck, or why the dish soap is blue and not green this time, or why they’re going to this restaurant and not that one – kids aren’t content with just surface answers.
And it’s precisely this innate, nearly insatiable curiosity that makes them learn, grow, and become who they are.
Yet something strange happens as we get older. We lose this powerful tool when we enter into romantic relationships and experience conflict. During an argument, we’re convinced we know the answers and retreat into our own experience, rather than taking a moment to genuinely ask “why?”
The reason we repeat certain behaviors and patterns in relationships is because we’re thinking like grownups, when really we need to have the boundless curiosity of a child.
Whenever we are faced with a problem in a relationship, we need to stop and ask ourselves:
“Why is this happening again?”
“What am I doing to create this?”
“What can we do to solve this problem?”
This is especially critical when we’re having the same argument for the umpteenth time. Repeating issues – whether from partner to partner or within the same relationship – is your guarantee that there are underlying causes you haven’t yet identified. You need to ask why, otherwise you will get stuck in the misery of repeating the pattern and never fully experience the joy of love.
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Once you get into the habit of being curious about your relationship issues, you’ll open the door to experiencing love in its limitless form – with the spontaneity of a child and the richness of all that you’re about to become.