Throughout my life I have held an array of jobs, from school tour guide to a producer of fashion shows. I feel like it has diversified my perspective on people and life. No matter what my role was I was always learning. Not only about the job but how to deal with myself and people. How to use those skills elsewhere. If we only see a job for a paycheck, we may lose some valuable lessons.
Throughout my life, I've worked over 6+ years with children. It was in different facets. I worked at a marriage counseling program, and watched their children. I've worked at schools, church programs, and nannying. Let me tell you. It takes an incredible amount of patience. Throughout the years of working with children I have changed a lot. How I handle situations now verses back when I was 17.
Here Are some lessons I have learned/ been reminded of while working with kids.
How we deal with our emotions when we are angry
We are humans, even the little ones (this is common sense, but a lot of people don't consider/treat children like humans). We have a sense of what we like and dislike and how we will respond when things do not go that way. I feel like growing up I for a majority of my life I was either too emotional or really closed off. Two extremes. Getting older, I know I am allowed to have emotions but how I express them can greatly affect the situation. Not always shoving it down because it'll cause explosions later, and being mindful of where/to whom I express it is just as important. I may not always like what is going on, but me yelling, cursing and disrespecting the little one (or anyone for that matter) won't do any good. Knowing how to be gentle when we are angry will help us in SO many arenas, not just with kids. If you're having trouble with this, seek help. Trust me, it took years of therapy and working with God to overcome so much anger and not be disrespectful purposely). You can do it! The people around us can be so much of a mirror!
We are not focusing on what we can't do, we are focusing what we can
This is something my mom always has to remind me :/ I get WAY too ahead of myself and all of the pieces. I was trying to calm the kid down and validate their feelings that I understand that they want to play a certain thing but they couldn't at that moment for whatever reason. I said that and I felt convicted immediately. It's so important that we check ourselves or have people around us that lovingly, remind us to come back to reality. How can refocus? Its really hard when your missing out on the thing you want or need most. How are you appropriately filling that void? How are you planning for it?
You're asking for more and there is already "more" (or enough) on your plate
"Estas comiendo con los ojos" was a common thing my family would say. "you're eating with your eyes." You are desiring more than you can consume. You imagine having so many things but youre barely consuming or handling what you have on your plate. We beg people and God sometimes for more, meanwhile, you have'nt even touched the plantains or greens on your plate! Gurllllllll /BBBBoooyyyyy if you don't remind yourself the whole world wasn't built in a day and settle down a bit. (yes this is for me too...lol) Sometimes our plate is full and it is ok. Don't let people convince you otherwise. Hustle culture will get us a fast track ticket to dirt watching.
Appreciating the small things
Think about it. How many times a day do babies get applauded/praise for doing the small things? well if you don't know it's a lot lol. Yay you pooped, yay you said xyz, awesome! you finished! you get the point. There was a time that I went up the stairs with the kid and she started clapping when we got to the top. Granted a lot of times I'm out of breath because of my asthma and carrying both of our weights lol. I was confused but then grateful. I told her "thank you! I appreciate you noticing the effort that I am putting in. <3"
I want you to do the same. It doesn't have to be a party for everything, but acknowledge even the small things you're doing that you couldn't before. Celebrate the successes of even the new things that you are trying. Even if you failed. Wow, I'm proud of you for putting your best effort. You made it to the gym. You spoke up when you were uncomfortable.
"You begged me for this, repeatedly and now you aren't even giving it the attention it needs"
I said that to the kid after she kept begging me for a certain food, then turned around after I prepped it for her and served her it. A loud NO, accompanied by her shaking her head and pushing the plate away. Clearly stating that she didn't want it. *INSERT DEEP BREATHS*
Now we can apply this to anywhere in our life. You may have asked for an opportunity, a thing, a relationship, whatever. Now its on the back burner or you don't care. You have potentially become complacent. Tapping in to find out why you feel that way and what can reignite the love for that thing again*. (*if it's truly something that God wants you to do*).
Yes, we can change our minds on things. I, talking about just doing a deeper dive in our minds.
With a variety of kids that I have worked with there have been times that I needed to work a little harder on reminding the kids to be GENTLE. This is not only physically but emotionally. Give yourself some grace. Stop being a bully to others and yourself. You're hear worries what other might do to you, but what are you doing and saying to yourself??? HUH?! lol
You talk to someone else the way you talk to yourself sometimes and the results will not always favor you. Taking baby steps on learning that and surrounds yourself with people or content that exhibit gentleness and grace. If you're around people that constantly do the opposite of what you want to be, it'll be harder to adapt to new traits.
I have so many other lessons, but these are just a few. That I am constantly being reminded of.
I hope you give yourself a chance to keep working on it. Its not a method of arrival, but a journey. There will be days that you will need to work a little harder on something that you thought you mastered. Life is a roller coaster. Be gentle with yourself.
Now, back to me working on these too <3
Just in case no one told you this today: You matter, I see your progress, & You are WAY stronger
than you think!