The Four Agreements for Nannies
Have your read Miguel Ruiz's The Four Agreements? It applies nicely to our work with children.
Agreement 1: Be Impeccable With Your Word
The kids are watching and listening closely. Speak clearly and kindly.
Agreement 2: Don't Take Anything Personally
This one's big. Don't take a single thing a kid or parent says or does personally. Doing so leads to power struggles. (More on power struggles soon, they're an important topic huh?)
A kid uses a snarky tone - let it bounce off. You feel under appreciated - speak up or let it go. You're called "poo-poo head" when setting limits - join the club.
When we don't take things personally we can stay confident, patient and out of the drama.
Agreement 3: Don't Make Assumptions
"He knows better, I told him three times already." Instead, believe that he needs another kind, firm reminder. (Maybe a million more, people learn slowly.)
Agreement 4: Always Do Your Best
Here's how I think of this. The way I treat kids isn't really between me and them - it's between me and my integrity. Do I feel proud of what I'm saying and doing? I step outside the situation and look in, or imagine the scene broadcast to my peers. These can be humbling, helpful checks.
There is however an important piece missing from this pretty picture. It's the secret to patience...more on that tomorrow...