GUEST BLOG: Lessons from Peppa Pig
Written by Rebecca Wells
“Peppa Pig, duh-duh-duh-duh-duh-dududududu-duh”
‘Today Peppa is going to teach us some very valuable lessons.’
Whether your child(ren) loves her, hates her or remains completely nonchalant, we all know her. Some parents have bonded over their mutual hatred of the pink character, whilst others have welcomed her endless entertainment with open arms. She may not be everyone’s slice of bacon but she does serve some brilliant purposes and truths that we could all do with remembering.
No. 1. Life is simple. Remember the episode where the roadworks were just as, if not more, exciting than the planned day out the Pig family were embarking on? Next time you compare yourself to a family on their sixth trip of the year and you make yourself feel awful for not yet leaving the county, remind yourself that the location and destination does not equal the memory. Often our best memories are those of us in our back gardens, at the local shops, visiting family or simply on a walk. As adults we often strive to be more, provide more and do more, forgetting that the child(ren) only lives in the moment. We could learn so much from being present in that simple, enjoyable moment rather than making ourselves believe that grand gestures equal a happier life.
No. 2. Celebrate the differences. We all parent differently because we are all different and so are our children. Families with multiple children will tell you that despite raising them the same, their children can be polar opposites in every which way. It is the same for us as adults and our views on parenting. I know Peppa Pig’s examples are purely to educate children in what animals eat, but so what if one family eats vegetables for breakfast but yours eat cereal? So what if someone else’s child asks for smoked salmon and poached eggs (that’s my three year old), but yours wouldn’t dare touch it. They’re funny, unapologetic creatures that are not meant to be logical. What matters is how much judgement there currently is, and the fact that this needs to lessen. I have no doubt that the majority of us do the best we can on an hour by hour, day by day basis. Some days that includes having to wing it and others it means a perfectly nurturing organised day. If you are doing your best then the last thing to do is judge yourself or others on the differences.
Celebrate you and your child, it is part of their development and their personality and isn’t that what makes life beautiful?
No. 3. Spread kindness. How often do we engage with strangers now? With our friends, family and the wider world all available so easily on our mobiles we can go days or even weeks without simple conversation with strangers. Luckily children and our pink pig example are wonderful at doing this. They do not have the same hesitations or filters that we do as adults and it is such a beautiful thing to witness. By allowing our children (in our presence for safety concerns) to converse with strangers we open them up to whole other worlds. They learn to hear what others think and that is such a crucial lesson. Peppa talking to a man on the bus about getting his musical instrument fixed opened up a world of musical instruments that she had not yet come across. We often forget that education doesn’t have to be regimented or lesson planned – sometimes the best way to learn is to listen and communicate.
No. 4. Remember to laugh at yourself. We all have days where everything seems to malfunction from the moment you open your eyes to the minute you greet the pillow again. We all lead really busy lives with an array of lists and chores that demand our attention and our brain power. It is so easy on these days to become frustrated, feel victimised by the powers that be and yearn for a break. However, these are the days that we need to remember to laugh. When George made the very clean car dirty again I am pretty certain I would have been close to crying, but in that instant they all laughed. It didn’t matter if the car was clean or not, what mattered is that in that moment where something could’ve been another addition to the never-ending to do list and a waste of an hour that you simply cannot afford, it became a wonderful memory full of laughter.
No. 5. Jump in the muddy puddle. Ever look at your child playing and the adult in your head says “why on earth does a bucket of water and a sponge keep them so amused when I have spent a small mortgage on plastic toys that make sure my living room will never have a matching colour scheme ever again?” At times you need to banish that adult voice and join in. Muddy puddles are quite simply one of the biggest joys on the planet. Your child(ren) knows it, you used to know it and you need to know it again. Get in there, do like Peppa Pig and jump up and down in muddy puddles. You can even oink if you really want to.