20 Things I Have Learned from 2 year-olds


I’ve raised four of them (that picture is of my third daughter Carissa at age 2).

And I see over a hundred of them a week at JAG Gym.

This I will say about 2 year olds: they can teach us an awful lot about what it means to live a good life.

Here are 20 things I have learned from 2 year olds:

  1. “I did it!” Be proud of your accomplishments.
  2. “Why?” Ask questions.
  3. “I do it.” Be independent.
  4. “Help!” But not so much so that you fail to ask for help when you really need it.
  5. Take a nap.
  6. “No!” It’s good to set boundaries.
  7. Hug the people you love. Unabashedly and frequently. And if you are scared or sad, it’s okay to hug them even harder and longer.
  8. The box is the best part of the toy.  Don’t over look the things that others throw away.  (That includes ideas, people and animals).
  9. Make a mess.  You find creativity when you are less concerned with order.
  10. Stop eating when you aren’t hungry. Yes, it is possible to only eat half a cookie.
  11. It’s all right to cry. And shriek. And scream. It’s perfectly normal to feel.
  12. Keep language simple.
  13. Goldfish crackers are worthy of having a tantrum. Also oreos. While literal interpretation could lead to obesity, two year olds fight for the things they really want. The things that matter to them.
  14. “Mine!” Don’t be embarrassed to claim what is yours.
  15. Refer to yourself in the third person. Sounds strange but Annie finds that Annie is kinder to Annie when thinking this way.
  16. Go to bed early and get up at dawn. Really, two year olds have figured out what productivity experts now preach—the morning is our best, most creative time.
  17. Wear comfortable clothes.
  18. Baths are nicer with bubbles.
  19. Laugh. A lot. And about things that no one understands.
  20. Be yourself. Two year olds don’t put on airs, try to impress or need to convince anyone that they are anything other than who they are.