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5-year-old gave his mom advice for handling nerves. It was both adorable and spot-on.

5-year-old gave his mom advice for handling nerves. It was both adorable and spot-on.

Kids really do say the darnedest things.

This article originally appeared on 01.31.22


Any parent knows that kids can be surprisingly astute little philosophers at the most unexpected times. One minute your child is throwing a tantrum because you sliced their sandwich wrong, and the next they are blowing you away with their deep preschool thoughts. It's enough to give you whiplash, but it's also one of the most fun things about being around kids. You never know what they're going to say and sometimes what they say is just awesome.

Case in point: This 5-year-old who gave his mom some sage advice about handling her nerves.

Twitter user @Eprecipice (StressieBessie) shared the story in a tweet thread. She wrote:


"When talking about our agendas for the day, I told my 5yo I was a little nervous about a meeting I have today. He said, 'Mama, I am nervous all the time. I know what to do.' So friends, here is all the advice he could fit into the drive to school:"


1. “You gotta say your affirmations in your mouth and your heart. You say, ‘I am brave of this meeting!’ , ‘I am loved!’, ‘I smell good!’ And you can say five or three or ten until you know it.”

Okay, first of all, the fact that this kiddo knows what affirmations are is awesome. Some people have questioned whether this advice really came from a 5-year-old because of the vocabulary, but kids are sponges and affirmations aren't rocket science. It's become quite common for preschools and kindergartens to teach kids things like this, so it's not actually surprising to hear him talk about affirmations. It's just adorable to hear the ones he suggests.

2. “You gotta walk big. You gotta mean it. Like Dolly on a dinosaur. Because you got it.”

Okay, so this actually is sound advice. Researcher Amy Cuddy gave a whole TED Talk about how our minds respond to our own body language, and how using confident body language can actually release chemicals in our brains that make us feel more powerful and self-assured. So "walk big" like you mean it is legit.

3. "Never put a skunk on a bus."

No idea what this means, but it's definitely solid wisdom.

4. "Think about the donuts of your day! Even if you cry a little, you can think about potato chips!"

I'm genuinely not sure if this is referencing real donuts or not, which is part of what makes it delightful advice. Metaphorically, "the donuts of your day" could be the positive things that happened, and focusing on those instead of the negative is basic positive thinking. Then again, if you cry and think about potato chips, perhaps he's just referencing comfort with food. Either way, totally feeling it.

5. "You gotta take a deep breath and you gotta do it again."

Pretty much every therapist from every psychological school of thought will tell you that breathing exercises are one of the quickest ways to calm your body and mind. Simple, but seriously sound advice.

6. "Even if it's a yucky day, you can get a hug."

Even though that sounds like a pretty typical thought for a kid, it's also good well-being advice. According to The Conversation, the chemicals released when we hug can help us manage stress, reduce anxiety and manage our emotions.

Smart kid.

He added one more piece of advice for good measure as well for those of us who tend toward distraction.

Like a little Confucius, this one.

Seriously, if you ever want to hear some of the most oddly profound things you'll ever hear in your life, spend some time interviewing a 4- or 5-year-old. They really do say the darnedest things. And if you're nervous about something, just keep telling yourself you're "brave of" it. If nothing else, it'll bring a smile to your face remembering this delightful thread.

This story first appeared on the author's Medium and is reprinted here with permission.

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