I have made two new friends. They’re half my height and don’t pause for breath between their rush of questions.
‘Were you born in New Zealand?’
‘Do you have a Mum?’
(3 seconds later …)
‘How about a Dad?’
‘What’s your favourite colour?’
‘I like your hat – where did you buy it?’
When my conversation with 4 year old Paula and 7 year old Mia ends, I’ve learnt something. (besides the vital information that they like their teachers, don’t like their brothers, and both love pink)
Children are very good at being interested.
They love to ask questions, hand out compliments like candy and give you massive smiles in exchange for your attention. Everything about their body language says, ‘I like you, I’m interested in you, I want to be your friend.’
I’m not sure what age we start forgetting this amazing skill, but I think it’s worth the effort to try and recapture it. We need to replace our texting with eye contact, our glazed-over eyes with smiles, and stop thinking about ourselves long enough to ask thoughtful questions of the people in front of us.
If a 4 year old can do it, I bet we can too.