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Asking for Help: Lessons Learned from Playtime with a Child 

Asking for Help: Lessons Learned from Playtime with a Child 

Have you ever watched a small child learn to do something for the first time?

I was watching a little boy put a brand new puzzle together, and this was the largest puzzle he had ever built. As he was arranging the pieces, I noticed some of them were backwards or upside down, and he was trying to put pieces together that wouldn’t fit. I just sat there silently, internally laughing at the dialogue my ego was having that instantly saw this scenario was just another playfully packaged, yet somehow intrinsically deep life lesson.

I wanted so badly to help, but knew better, and so I observed him fumble, force, and get frustrated; and then eventually he asked for help. I smiled, and told him I would love to.

I proceeded to ask if we could flip all of the pieces so they were right side up, and then slowly started fitting some of them together. After a few pieces were in a row, I would ask, “would you like to try and put this piece on?” He smiled, placed the piece on slowly, and in a slightly fumbled manner, and got it to fit perfectly. We proceeded to do this for the next couple of rows until the puzzle was finished. Naturally, I left the last piece for him to proudly place down.

After the puzzle was complete, I sat there and it dawned on me that within the next year and a half that puzzle will be a far more simple task for that young boy to complete entirely on his own. In a matter of five years, that boy will be able to look back at this puzzle, and find it silly to think it was something he found as a great challenge.

Thinking about this perspective, where was I once challenged that I am now able to look back and feel accomplished?

Where do I feel most challenged and grappling to understand or apply wisdom of experience, and new ways of thinking and doing to present time life? How effortlessly can I ask for or receive help?

I also know, that as the years change, so do the "puzzles," and if I can hold space and have patience for this small child learning something entirely new, then I can do that for myself and others too. I can be compassionate for the way I find myself fumbling, forcing, being scattered or unorganized at times. I can also choose to see this child as a guru, by watching him have the ability to take a step back when it becomes overwhelming, ask for help, and lovingly receive assistance.

By Angela Droughton

Angela Droughton is a Spiritual Counselor, Mindfulness Educator, Psychic, Minister, and the creator of Mother Sparkle. Find out more by visiting her page at

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