What It’s All About

I was once told that a romantic gesture to one, may be a creepy gesture to another. For instance, imagine that you are in a romantic relationship. You know, the new relationship, can’t get enough of your kisses, want to follow you around all day, I’ll share your drink with you, kind of love.

“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, and not for human masters.” – Colossians 3:23

“It’s not what you do but for Whom you do it, that gives it its significance.” – Erwin Lutzer

I was once told that a romantic gesture to one, may be a creepy gesture to another. For instance, imagine that you are in a romantic relationship. You know, the new relationship, can’t get enough of your kisses, want to follow you around all day, I’ll share your drink with you, kind of love.

One particular day you decide that you want to surprise your love with a very extraordinary act. Once he leaves the house for work, you go through the back window that you know he leaves unlocked. As you start to tidy up the place, you notice that he doesn’t have his favorite kind of cereal. You make a mental note to pick that up later and sneak it into his cupboard. The house is now completely tidy, so you open up your bag of goodies. You know he likes cake so you have brought all the fixings. He won’t mind if you use his things so you proceed to preheat the oven, take all of his mixing bowls out and prep the counter. The cake is baking in the oven and you wonder what to do. Not for long though because it occurs to you that in order to be completely ready for the night you have planned, you need to freshen up. The cake has about another half hour and that is just enough time to get in and out of the shower. Your man won’t mind if you use his cleaning products, because, well, he is just the best! The damp towel is hung, the soap and shampoo are placed back in its place and you hear the oven timer go off. Yes! Just in time. Cake is prepped and dressed with vanilla frosting, his favorite. Good thing too, because now it’s a half hour till he’s expected home. House is clean, you’re feeling fresh, cake is looking good and…shoot! The cereal. You sneak out the window, run down to the local convenient store (quickly you don’t have much time) and sneak it into his cupboard. And 3,2,1…. *doorbell rings*.

Everything is perfect. Your ‘pudding pie’ is going to be SO excited to find his lady in his house with all of these surprises awaiting him!


 

Now this is all super romantic if you are in a mutually trusting and loving relationship.

Unfortunately, though, if you were the only one to feel a romantic feeling toward a man and execute these same ‘surprises’, you would most likely be arrested for trespassing and more.

You see, there is more of a significance for Who you do an action for, than what the action is in and of itself.

God calls us to work at whatever we do as if we were working unto Him. The daily grind is not just about punching your card day in and day out for the next 30 years. Every single day is an opportunity. An opportunity to show love and care for your coworkers and customers. Is it easy? Nope. But when we think about what God has done for us, how he sent his Son to die, be raised to life on the third day, and prepare a place for all those who trust in Him, then it is more of a natural reaction that we would strive to work for the Who and not the what. On a daily basis, I strive to give my day away to God and ask him to use me in it. If my days were up to me: my reactions, my plans, my attitude, my thoughts, my mouth and my desires, well it would be a roller coaster of a ride! When I find the meaning and the anchor of do’s and don’ts in Christ, suddenly what I do throughout the day takes on more of selfless and loving light. He is the one who puts all significance to the work that we do.

As we enter this next week, let’s take the time to invite God into it. See how your attitude, interactions with your littles and outlook on the profession you are in.

Giving the WHY

Teaching moments happen almost daily when you are on child duty, but some can be a little more necessary than others.

Teaching moments happen almost daily when you are on child duty, but some can be a little more necessary than others…

I was boarding the bus heading for our midweek outing to the children’s museum. The ride had begun with a few sips of milk, a lovely rendition of the wheels on the bus and a few ‘what’s that’s’?!’ directed at people close by. All of a sudden I felt a swat on my hand. Now I knew what my little one was TRYING to get across to me. “Please move because I want to put my hands there,” is what she meant to say (and I would have gladly done it). Because I knew this, and I know that we all need reminders sometimes, I reminded her that we do not hit and if we would like to put our hand where another’s are we say ‘Excuse me’. She nodded understandingly and said excuse me. I moved my hands and life was good. Not but a few minutes later, I felt another swat on my hand followed by another. I softly, but firmly took her little hands, came down to eye level to make sure my voice was heard and repeated, “we do not hit, if you want someone to move we use our words” (Remembering that the less words we all use in correction and redirection with our little ones the better, I left it at that).

I knew that at this point, she was testing out the waters of ‘well, what are you going to do about it’ pool. Every child does. For some it may be more around 1 or 2 years of age and for others you may see a huge display of this when they hit their teen years, but either way it does need to be addressed. You see, our children (as we did) need a reason WHY not to do something that you kindly request or require they not do, not just a no or please don’t. Can I get an amen from anyone who has ever tried to just talk a kid out of not grabbing that cookie off the counter? This was one of those times. The next time she attempted to swat at my hand I was ready, caught her little hand before it could reach mine and held it safely for one whole minute. I reassured her that she would have her hand back but if she was going to use it to hit then it needed to take a break. There is absolutely no hurting involved with this ‘why giving’ and there should be none. Providing the why should be affective and immediate not dragged out and painful. There are many some other forms of ‘why giving’ that could be given as well:

  • Because if you don’t, you will need to serve 2 minutes in break
  • Because if you don’t, we will not be enjoying any more chocolate milk
  • Because if you don’t, you will need to sit on my lap for the rest of the ride

Remember that the ‘why’ that you are giving must match the crime and their age. I will talk more on this later, but here is a good place to start.

When the time was up and her little hand could go free to either make the kind decision or unkind one. The choice was hers, but now she had the ‘why’.

We soon exited the bus, dug out a yummy snack from under the stroller and continued to the museum. There was not another incident of hitting.

Have you ever experienced a teaching moment with your little? I’d love to know how you handled it! Comment below!

How to Deal with Your Child’s Hurt Feelings

At one point or another we have all had our feelings hurt. he truth is, dismissive actions and words from others (especially close to us) can cut deep. For children, learning all about this thing called hurt and forgiveness is a tough road. It is our job as the nanny to help guide the learning and teach correct responses when it does happen.

At one point or another we have all had our feelings hurt. Sometimes it is easy to get over and other times we stew over the pain for weeks or more. The truth is, dismissive actions and words from others (especially close to us) can cut deep. For children, learning all about this thing called hurt and forgiveness is a tough road. It is our job as the nanny to help guide the learning and teach correct responses when it does happen.

Madison and Olivia are the best of friends and the worst of friends. When it comes to playing together on the playground, they seem to make it work until one wants to play a game that the other does not. This seems to create a part in the close-knit relationship that they have created over the years of knowing each other. Suddenly it is as though they cannot stand another second with the other person. Not only can Madison now not stand to look at Olivia, she must make their close mutual friends feel the same way. Kids can be mean. Can I get an amen?

Suddenly this fun play date turns into a war for popularity and attention. Madison rallies her closest friends (apart from Olivia) and moves forward with convincing them that playing with HER is the best option for their playground experience. If they only follow her to the other end of the playground they will have the swings to themselves and be able to sing all the latest Taylor Swift songs. Olivia, begins to sell her friends on the idea of creating a fort with sticks and rocks on the opposite end of the playground. Madison won. Now the quarrel has turned from a divided view on play activities, to who has more friends, to name calling. You can see where this is going.

Feelings have been hurt. The lines have been drawn in the sand and someone needs to intervene with some wise counsel before this play group turns into a fight club. This is where we come in.

I make my way over to sobbing Olivia on the stump to the left of the tree house. As I kneel down, before I can get a word in that would provoke her to spill her side of the story, she begins, “Madison is so mean! She says that nobody likes me and all our friends are her friends now. She doesn’t want to play with me anymore and I want to go home.” Realizing that for an 8-year- old this fight is as real as if it were my husband and I fighting (but we don’t do that 🙂 ). With careful words, I reassure her gently, “Olivia, I am sure that Madison did not mean all of the words that she said. I think that her feelings we hurt as well when you said that you didn’t want to participate in her activity because it was dumb.” “Sometimes when we get hurt, we say really mean things that we don’t mean.” I continue on about how Madison and her have been friends for a very long time, that her Madison work great together and then present the question, “Would you like to ask her if there is something that you both can agree on to play?” Faced with a choice of sitting on the sidelines of her friends playing, having one of her best friends upset with her, or moving forward to resolve the matter with a compromise, she chooses the latter.

Madison is eager to reunite! Once Olivia apologizes for her part in the disagreement and hurt feelings fiasco, they both share in a long giggle filled hug.

It is so important to reiterate to children that we are not perfect. There are going to be times when our friends lose their cool and grab the toy from our hands. When our mom comes home stressed from work and blows us off for her latest work text. Our dad cancels for the 2nd time because he just can’t miss this meeting. And yes, when we just plain do not agree with other people’s opinions or agendas. But this is the perfect time to teach: forgiveness, patience and self-control.

If the situation can be resolved? Try to resolve it. If it can’t? Try to teach and grow through it.

This is what we do as nannies. We teach our children how to forgive those who have wronged us, own their own part in the matter and move through and past the offense.