Top 5 Reasons

So I have bored you with my silly stories of interaction with these kids for quite some time. I thought I’d give you a break and list off the mains reasons why I absolutely love working with kids. After all, we know that childcare isn’t always the easiest thing in the world. Here’s what keeps me going:

1. Kids love like no one else

Have you ever had a child tell you they love you? Those cute puppy dog eyes that stare straight through to your heart and just melt? If you haven’t experience this, let me tell you: it’s something fierce. Mercy. Best part is, you know they fully mean it.

2. Kids learn fast

Trying to explain something to someone can be frustrating if they don’t seem to understand you. But when they finally get it, there’s a sense of accomplishment. For me, watching a child learn and fully understand something after I have taught it to them is SO rewarding. It’s almost like you can hear the click in their heads once they get it. Awesome!

3. Kids are great teachers

In addition to watching kids and learning metaphoric lessons through the things they do, they also teach us literal lessons (even if sometimes we have to pretend like we didn’t know it or that they are completely wrong). For instance, did you know that spiders have 8 leg and ladybugs only have 6 and that’s because spiders are boys and boys are better so they get to have more legs than the ladybugs because they are just girls? This was a lecture I got from three year old Nathan.

4. Kids move on

Timeouts, silent treatment, confiscations, and spanks (if you’re a believer in) , can sometimes leave you feeling like the bad guy. Especially when it just does NOT go over well and all hell breaks loose. However, you can be assured that soon, the toy that you confiscated will be forgotten and replaced by another. And they will come talk to you eventually. Kids are the only creatures I know that take the saying ‘forgive and forget’ literally.

And last, but not least, 5. Kids make me feel like a kid again

Now, I know what you’re thinking! This girl is still a kid too! I couldn’t agree more. But, I am old enough to know that independent life is really not all it’s cracked up to be. When I’m with these kids, I can let loose and not have a care in the world other than making sure the colour of the turtles shell is correct (I mean c’mon, you have to make sure it’s the right colour, or colours for that matter). What child do you know that’s worried more about how much their colouring books costs instead of making sure the blue marker works?

So there you have it. This is why I have chosen this job and absolutely love it. As an aspiring elementary teacher, these are just a few of the reasons why I will choose to put with the little rascals every day.

Why do you love working with kids?

Go Find Your Happy Face!

I am just going to put this out there: I am a big face of timeouts. I do also believe that there is a time and place for physical reinforcement (although I would never spank a kid that was not my own, so parents, calm yourselves). When I say there’s a time and place I mean, if my kid ran out into them middle of the street I probably would grab his or her arm and give them a little swat. Reason being, the consequence of running out on the road would have been a physical one: getting smooched by a car. The same thing were to happen if I saw them reach for the hot stove. If they talked back, their consequence would not be physical, therefore, a time out would be given. The saying, ‘For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction,’ is what I have incorporated into my disciplinary actions. The only thing I have to add is consistency.

Nathan was very particular about everything. The food on his plate couldn’t touch each other, the pillow had to be just right when we sat down to read a book, and it has to be that Spiderman episode. He was one of the sweetest little boys you would have ever met, but if something didn’t go his way, well shoot. You better brace yourself for a temper tantrum.

At first, it was hard to find a way to deal with these tantrums. At one point, he had even resorted to hitting me to try and get what he wanted. I am in no way a pushover, though. So tantrums didn’t sway me from the get go. I would just get angry and ignore Nathan until he stopped whining. Some parents might use this tactic and hey, if it works for you, all the power to ya. However, I don’t like leaving children in the dark with ‘because i said so!’ as the explanation. I am also not a fan of yelling at kids so that is why I resorted to ignoring him so that I, in response to his tantrum, wouldn’t have my own. I had to find a way to keep my cool, but still be able to discipline and properly explain things in a calm, collective, grown up way.

Then one day it hit me!

“Can we read a book?” Of course I wouldn’t pass up an opportunity to do such a thing. We had been play cars ALL afternoon and I was at the end of my rope crawling on my knees back and forth around the dining room table.

“Sure we can!” I replied, “Right after we put away all the cars!”

“No, you clean it yourself.”

“Nathan, you were playing with the cars too. Come help me put them away and then you can choose a book to read.”

He crossed his arms and pouted.”NO!” I walked over to him and got down on his level.

“Nathan, we have to clean up the mess of cars before we can read a book, okay?” He pushed his lip out a little bit further. I gasped! “Nathan!!” He perked up. “Uh oh! You lost your happy face. What happened?”

“I don’t want to clean up,” he stomped.

“i don’t like playing with grumpy little boys. You’re going to have to go find your happy face before we do anything else.”

He waltz upstairs and i heard his door slam. Within seconds, the door creaked open and he shouted down the stairs, “I found it, Sir. Can i come clean up the cars and then we’ll read a book?

It worked. To be sure it wasn’t just a fluke, it used it for the next couple days. Soon enough, he was giving himself time outs telling me that he needed to find his happy face or else he would turn into the Hulk. Lol. Worked for my kids, maybe it’ll work for yours!

Rant Alert!

CAUTION! This post may or may not offend certain people, but the fact that it does, probably means it’s on point. Let me know what you think after you’ve read this. I do realize this is a touchy subject, so I apologize in advance if this is by any means offensive. I also apologize because this will be a very long winded post. Brace yourself.

Want to know what really gets me going? Seeing lazy parents. You know the type I’m talking about. The ones that go to McDonald’s six out of seven days of the week for two out of three meals of the day because their kid screams and they don’t want to deal with. Or the ones that shove a screen in front of their child’s face every waking moment so they can do other things since, y’know, they couldn’t be bothered to play with them instead. Now before I go any further, let me clarify two major things. One, no I am not a parent and do not claim to know all the answers. After all I am only two decades old. However, I have, in my young age, dealt with all ages from literally right out of the womb to 15 and 16 year olds. I have seen and observed the progress from which children have based on their up bringing and early childhood education. Two, I am in no way saying McDonald’s is 100% bad or that technology should not be introduced to children. I just want to convey the message that everything needs to be given in moderation from the get go. As the saying goes before any anticipated disaster, ‘nip it in the bud!’

If you are already a parent (or a makeshift one like me), or have been in some way exposed to infants, you’ll know what I mean when I say that babies are smart. At just the ripe age of a year, they already know that getting a finger caught in the door causes an owie. They also know that jumping off the couch will put mommy on edge, but they do it anyways with that sly grin of defiance each time. Babies are also creatures of habit. Even before they hit solids, they know the routine: they cry and mommy comes to the rescue by breast feeding (or giving a bottle). They eat and back to sleep they go.

Now that we’ve established that babies are smart, we need to realize that we, as adults, should be even smarter. It takes a hard working, persevering parent to tach your kids good and bad at an early age. The earlier they learn, the deeper it is engrained into their minds and the more likely it is to stick with them as they get older. Let me explain what I mean. For instance, Johnny (this is a fictional child that I just created) is a picky child. He refuses to eat the rice and broccoli you just lovingly slaved over (I’m really reaching far into my skills of exaggeration here. Bear with me.) and meal time has now turned into a frustration. Now there are two ways you can approach this. You can choose to hop into the car and abuse the powers of the poisonous fast foods OR you can choose to not be lazy and teach your child that what you have cooked for the family is what everyone will be eating. You may have to enforce this by working through teary-eyed, forced bites or your child may opt to not eat anything. And that is okay! Trust me when I say, one or two skipped meals with NOT cause your child to starve to death. A little starvation will not hurt them, but will indeed teach them that they eat what is in front of them or they go hungry. Again, your child is smart and knows what hunger is and feels like. If that’s what they choose to deal with until the next meal, then so be it. They will be fine. (This also may have to happen more than once depending on your child. So be prepared.)

Here’s another example. The other day I was walking through Target and saw a woman pushing her, what looked to be a, six or seven year old child in the convenient carts provided at the wonderful store. This was all normal until I saw that the mother was turning on her cellular hotspot so that her child could watch Netflix on the iPad he was holding. Uhm, wut?! *insert unimpressed face here* Has this child not learned that it is okay to go shopping with mommy for 3 hours and not have a device glued to their eye lids? Better yet, has this mother failed to recognize that herself? Now, I see nothing wrong with allowing your kids to play a game on the iPad for a half hour during the day; and I don’t think there is anything wrong with a movie or TV show here or there. But when it comes to the point where you, as a parent, fail to teach your child the importance or reading, or colouring, or heck, even just simple quiet time, you have become lazy and in essence, begin to fail as a parent in my eyes. I won’t go into the details of the effects the over use of electronics have on your child because I can almost guarantee you have heard about them all. But the fact that you know about them, yet still use your every day personal problems and business as a justification to do this to your child anyways is where this becomes a problem.

So parents and fellow nannies,
Get off your butts and entertain your children! Teach them. Love them. Learn from them. You can’t do that with French fries popping out of their cheeks and their eyes glued to a screen.

Comment if you agree or disagree.

Cribbed In

So far in my posts, things are positive; the kids say ridiculous things, they teach me lessons, etc. But this post, even though it bars on the edge of scary for a split second, I assure you, it has a happy ending!

Ah, nap time. The time of the day where two out of three children sleep soundly and I get one on one time with Nathan. He had decided that we would read books this afternoon. Half way through Where’s My Mother?, I hear Luke wake up. He’s notorious for waking up and falling back asleep five minutes later so I ignore him and continue reading to Nathan. The crying stopped for a couple minutes, but then came the blood curtailing scream. I jumped off the couch and rushed upstairs to his room. Everything looked normal and I relaxed a bit, until I noticed a limp leg stuck in between the crib bars. You’ve got to be kidding me. How did he manage that? The screaming continued until I knelt down to him and talked to him. Making light of the situation so he would calm down I ask him how on earth he got his leg stuck. With a little giggle and a sniff of his nose he replied, “Yuuuuuh.” Hmm. What to do. I examined the leg to see if I could easily pull it out, but it was stuck three quarters of the way up his thigh. My guess was he had been standing or jumping and his foot slipped between the bars and BAM! Stuck. Sigh.

I tried to gently turn the leg to push it back through the bars, but at every touch, Luke cried out in pain. Nathan, being the not-so-sympathetic older brother rebuked Luke saying, “See, Luke! This is what happens when you wake up early from your nap and don’t sleep all day! I think you’re going to have to stay there forever!” (You older siblings. Pfft)

I made the executive decision to just push the leg out, despite the pain Luke would be in. One, two, THREE! A window shattering scream was heard and in the same second Luke was in my arms as I cuddled him to get him to stop crying. I took him to the bathroom and ran some cold water over his leg; a bruise was already appearing. After some comforting, I had a clingy toddler on my hands for the rest of the afternoon. But after a bruised leg and a lesson to not go near the crib bars, I don’t think Luke will ever be ‘cribbed in’ again.