Posts tagged Professionalism
A New Goal in Power Struggles

My 5 year old threw her backpack and demanded I carry it home from school. She stared right at me, defiant. Heat rose up to my face. 

In the past, I used power struggles to teach kids respect and responsibility.
I would have locked eyes with her, insisted she follow directions and laid out the consequences if she didn't. I would have wanted to teach her to be respectful of me and responsible for her belongings. 

But my underlying goal would have been to get her to comply for fear that she may take advantage of me in the future and grow up spoiled. 

She would have complied.

After really examining my own feelings during power struggles I set a new goal.  
During such a power struggle I feel mad and righteous with a hardened heart. Those feelings are red flags to me that something's amiss. I thought through my motivation for using power struggles to teach respect and responsibility. "I'm afraid that she may take advantage of me in the future and grow up spoiled." I heard my fear. 

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Secure Your Own Oxygen Mask Before Helping Others (Prize Inside)

We nannies don't have to teach kids how to read, write or multiply fractions. Instead, we teach them to: 

Make friends 
Use their manners
Take the right risks
Become independent
Fix problems with words
Bounce back from failures
Stay calm when they're mad
Be creative, courageous and kind 
Persevere in the face of a challenge
Follow directions but think for themselves, and 
Everything else they need to know to become awesome adults

No problem, we got this. On one condition.

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Let Kids Save Face

Some kids hear their names a lot. I recall a little guy in a childcare center who heard his name all day. "Sam, come down from there! Sam, walk please. Sam, stop it!" Sam had a hard time following the rules. His behavior and his attitude chipped away at the patience of us childcare providers. He needed lots of reminders. We started resenting that - resenting him. 

I think now about how he must have felt hearing his name shouted across the room.

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Be Sincere

Rosie, a young nanny friend and I were sitting in an adorable Mexican restaurant when she asked me how to approach the fights her nanny kids had been having. I modeled some empathetic phrases she could use when the older sister feels hurt as well as a few questions she could ask to hold each child accountable for her actions. After talking through several scenarios, Rosie said: "I get it, I need to be sincere!"

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