Life Lessons from an infant: Ask for Help.

Photo by nikko macaspac on Unsplash

I have an 11 month old son and it amazes me how many life lessons he teaches us every day.

My son is growing and learning faster than I could have imagined. He started walking a few days before he turned 10 months old. Now he’s walking and climbing on everything. I find it so interesting to watch him experimenting and working out how things work.

He does this thing where he drops stuff through the his baby gate so he can watch where it goes. Most of the time, things bounce within reach. He reaches through the gate, grabs it, and repeats.

Sometimes, the toys bounce away and he can’t them. That’s when he yells.

The past week, he’s trying to climb up on to the furniture. He loves it when we give him a little boost and he gets up. When we don’t help, and he can’t get up he starts to yell.

His yell is his way of telling us he wants help.

Most adults I know won’t scream when they want help. Heck, we barely ask for help even when we know we can’t do it on our own. Unless we’re moving furniture that we can’t carry by ourselves, we can do it ourselves.

For me, asking for help was a source of shame and embarrassment. Why? I felt it was a sign of weakness to ask. I’m an adult, I should know how to do this, is what I would tell myself. I should know the answer, if I ask, they are going to know I’m a fraud or think I’m stupid.

Those are real things that went through my brain when I needed help.

Now I look at my son, he doesn’t know what he supposed to know. He doesn’t know what he should be able to do or not do (The kid was walking across rooms at 10 months old). He doesn’t feel the shame of asking (yelling) for help. When he needs help he asks, and his mom and I jump in and help him and try to teach him.

I don’t know why as adults, we have so much trouble asking for help. Every one needs help at one point or another. There is always someone who knows more than you or is stronger than you, so why not ask them to share their expertise?

You’re going to find yourself in a position too, where you are more capable than someone else. Are you going to sit back and watch them fail? Or are you going to offer help?

The global pandemic right now has highlighted that so many of us need help. Help buying groceries or paying bills because you were laid off. Help with childcare because schools aren’t opening. We need help keeping our mental health on track. We can’t do some of these things on our own because of circumstances beyond our control.

Watching my son ask for help has reminded me, I should be asking for help more often. My life could be better if I ask for the help I need. I’m willing to bet yours could be better too.

Following the example of the children, ask for help when you need it. It’s OK. Most people are going to react like a parent and jump right in and give you a hand.

The most important band in music history, The Beatles, thought asking for help was so important, they sang a song about it.

Help me if you can, I’m feeling down
And I do appreciate you being ’round
Help me get my feet back on the ground
Won’t you please, please help me?

Help, The Beatles

So call on me brother when you need a hand. We all need somebody to lean on. (Bill Withers)

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A simple man trying his best to live a happy, simple life as a husband and father. www.lowtwopiar.com

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Ken Kaus

Ken Kaus

A simple man trying his best to live a happy, simple life as a husband and father. www.lowtwopiar.com

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