Training Our Children to Share

Please know that as we begin the process of training our children to share, it will involve both close monitoring and probable intervention on our part. Remember, our children are little learners and little learners require intentional and patient teachers. But be encouraged because in the end, training our children to share now will make things significantly easier later.

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We don’t only train our children to share because it’s a kind thing to do but because God has commanded us to have a heart of generosity with one another.

1 Timothy 6:17-19 says, “Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life.” 

Though our children are not yet in charge of their own financial decisions, it’s good for us to begin exemplifying and training them toward a heart of generosity. It’s truly better to give than to receive! As we move forward with this in mind, it’s also good for us to remember that they are children and the learning process with be just that- a process. I mean goodness gracious- we adults still have a tough time with this whole sharing thing!

There are some things we need to keep in mind when we’re training our little ones to share…

  • There is a time for sharing and a time for keeping

It’s easy to get caught up in the ‘constant share merry-go-round’, but there are certain times when children don’t need to share- and that’s completely okay! A few of these exceptional moments/situations may be:

-Birthday’s

-Favorite toys (not 20 of these, but one or two ‘specials’ are definitely okay to keep for themselves)

  • When we share, we are showing kindness toward one another. So, when our children choose to share their toys, time and affection with others, it’s so important that we recognize their kind decision and praise it!

There are a few mindful phrases that can be helpful when training little ones to share… 

  • When we are asked or told to share by our parents/adult in charge, we listen and obey. (In this instance, we’re assuming that, as mentioned above, a child is being less than generous with his/her toys. It’s in this moment that the adult in charge would step in to make sure that all the children are able to get some play time.)

Ephesians 6:1 reminds us that children are to obey their parents because they belong to the Lord and it is the right thing to do.

When our children are asked or told to do something  within the realm of safety and appropriateness, we as parents and nannies should expect 1) a listening ear and 2) an obedient body.

  • If sharing and listening is proving to be too difficult and a child refuses to listen to instruction, then the specific toy or activity that is in question is now to be made unavailable for play.

If we can’t play nice and share a toy with our friends, then we can’t play with that toy at all. 

After a 5 minute wait period, the toy that the child was unable to play with can be revisited by asking, “Do you think you can play with this toy and also share with your friends? You have a turn and then your friend will have a turn. Do you want to try?”

  • We never take from another person’s hand.

When I use the word “take” here, it is referring to the action of grabbing or acquiring without permission from the person who is using it at that time. Usually I require that the “taker” give the object back to the other child’s hand and either 1) ask nicely to have it and wait for a response or 2) listen to his/her friends words of “No, not right now” and move on to some other activity.

  • If there is a problem, ask for help. Don’t take matters into your own hands. (pushing/biting/hitting/pulling etc.)

You may notice that I often refer to things you,he,she as- ‘we’. I find that using ‘we’ is useful because it creates the expectation that we ALL are to be kind, generous and selfless. The statements with a “we'”come off less pointed and more encompassing. The standard and expectation is for all, not just the child. So, instead of saying, “Don’t hit” or “You don’t hit”, I would say, “We don’t hit people”.

Training a child to share can prove to be very trying and very trying- let’s be honest! It requires a lot of involvement as we have discussed, but in the end it does pays off. When you experience that proud moment of seeing your little one offer a toy to a child who may not have one to play with, then you’ll know it’s all been worth it! So, don’t give up and keep on reinforcing those standards of kindness and generosity, Mama and Nanny. We’re in this together!

Have a fun or encouraging story about sharing? Please SHARE by commenting below!

Xx

NannyBeth

My Story: Remembering How I Believed and Received

This is my story. Learn about why I’m passionate about what I do and what led me to where I am today.

My story begins and ends with my childhood babysitter who happened to also be a 5-Day Club leader. A 5-Day Club is a program designed to share the Good News of the Gospel with children within a 5-day span. This is done by playing games, enjoying some food and drink and learning stories about Jesus within a 2-hour time slot, each day for 5 days. This particular 5-day club was being held at my house, Monday through Friday, one particular warm, summer week when I was 6 years old. When Friday came, my babysitter ended our lesson that day with an invitation to believe in Jesus the Christ. I had come to love this Jesus that she taught about and because I knew her so well, I trusted her words. I rose my hand in an expression of wanting to know Jesus personally. She led me in a prayer where I acknowledged my sins before God and asked for forgiveness in Jesus’ name. I told Jesus that I believed He is the Son of God and that I wanted to know him more. When we were done, she hugged me tightly and handed me a Children’s Bible. As our 5-Day Club group dismissed, I bounced inside my house looking for anyone and everyone to share the good news with! I found my younger brother first. Within 20 minutes of telling him the condensed version of the good news Gospel and how great Jesus is, I led him into a salvation prayer there in our bedroom.

Looking back, I see how God used my relationship with my babysitter and her great faith she had in Jesus to be the catalyst to my acceptance of Christ! The heart that she had for my brother and I, the love and the compassion that she showed day in and day out with us, it all came together with her love and reverence for the Lord. She still has that heart for the Lord. I am glad to say that we still stay in contact to this day. She is married with two boys of her own and currently leads a campus ministry at the University of New Hampshire. Not only was it my babysitter who had this vital role to play in my salvation story, but it was my parents as well. My parents decided to place me in this 5-Day Club. They made the conscious decision to hire her on as our childcare provider. They took into account her strength of character, integrity and of course – skills with children. Thanks to my parents’ willingness and foresight to place such a great role model in my brother’s and my life; and thanks to my babysitter who had the love and faith that we needed, my brother and I both accepted Christ in one day!

This is my story.

This is my story of salvation.

My story became more complete when I myself, as a teacher, led one of my students in a prayer to accept Jesus.

I was teaching a reading class outside on our school yard lawn one spring day two years ago, when I asked my class if they had all come to a relationship with God, since we were reading a story about salvation through Christ. They all said yes accept one. I asked her if she believed that Jesus is the Son of God. She said she did. I asked her if she would like to accept Jesus into her heart and life right then, and she said yes! We bowed our heads as a class and I led this little girl to salvation through Jesus! My heart could not have been fuller. When the end of the day came, I shared with her mother what took place that day. She cried with joy. You see, this story is full circle. This mother intentionally chose to send her third grader to a place where she knew the teachers had a heart for God. She made the conscious decision to pick a place of education and growth for her little one that would not only shape her mind but also her heart and soul. And once her child was in my classroom, I was entrusted with the task of developing her character and her academics, but most importantly, leading her to eternity with Christ. Just as this mother chose, her child chose- so did I. And none of this would have been possible without my own parents making positive, impactful decisions that would shape not only my life, but others.   

This is why I do what I do. This is why I encourage others to take responsibility of this great position you have been placed in. Growing little minds, hearts and souls is not a small task, friends! This is a job that takes encouragement from all sides, a willingness to continue growth within our lives and a confidence that comes from knowing not only why we are doing all that we do but how God would have us do it.

I’ve felt it placed upon my heart to build a community where parents and nannies can come together to encourage each other in raising our children up in Christ. It is my dream that we will create an uplifting and positively challenging conversation that will lead to not only the growth of our characters but the growth of our children’s as well.

Xx

NannyBeth

Meet Nickey!

I had the amazing opportunity to sit down and talk with Nickey, a professional nanny and the founder of The Nannyhood. Read on to hear her story!

  1. I had the amazing opportunity to sit down and talk with Nickey, a professional nanny and the founder of The Nannyhood. Read on to hear her story!

Would you please tell me a little about yourself?

Hi! I’m Nickey. I have been a professional career nanny for the past 13+ years and have had the privilege of working with some pretty rad kiddos all over the world! Some of my jobs have included travel nanny adventures and working in high profile positions. I am also the founder of The Nannyhood! The Nannyhood creates community & fosters friendships for nannies in their cities through “Hoods” (meet up groups)! It places value on resources and advocates for Nannyhood.

And just so you can get to know my personality a little better, here are some INCREDIBLY important facts about me (you may want to write these down):

  • Disneyland is my happy place. When I lived in LA I used to spend my days off there journaling and munching on churros.
  • I had a moose who lived in my backyard growing up and sometimes I’d feed it pancakes.
  • I name random strangers and try to guess their back stories. A lot. It’s a real problem.
  • I have a major taco addiction. I could eat them for every meal.
  • I make my bed everyday-even it its before I go to sleep.
  • I pretend I’m in a movie on a daily basis.
  • I collect people’s stories and turn them into art. People are the coolest.

Let’s be friends! You can link up with my adventures and The Nannyhood here:

Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, website

How did you get into nannying?

Honestly, (like many others) I fell into it. I have always adored children and grew up sitting all the time. I was offered a full-time nanny gig by an acquaintance when I was 18 years old and I never looked back! #NannyLife

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Nannying definitely comes with its own stigma. How have you worked to fight this in your personal nannying experience? Do you have any advice for those facing the judgmental and ‘less than’ treatment from others?

Yes! This is most definitely a pet peeve of mine. . . and I try to handle it with as much grace and patience as I am able. I will admit, after being told, “you need to find a ‘real job’!” or asked, “you’re STILL just babysitting?” a thousand times. . .I occasionally feel like I may explode (I am human). I find that at the end of the day, battling this stigma is just as simple as educating people who simply don’t understand. I have to calmly explain the difference between hiring a babysitter for a day night vs. employing a nanny as a full-time employee. A nanny is a luxury item- they are private in home childcare. When I explain what it is that I actually do all day and that I’m like a surrogate parent. . . I find that 80% of the time a light switch goes off in their countenance.

What has blessed you most about working as a nanny?

Being welcomed in as part of an extended family. There is something so beautiful and humbling about parents entrusting you to care for their most precious treasures. When I find my unicorn family for that season and truly share in the milestones, the hard times, the sweet moments. . . I thrive. I love that I have extended family all over the globe now that I stay in contact with, travel with, and continue to love.

I also love the magic. I love that I have the opportunity to keep the magic of childhood alive everyday while I am at work. When I think about how much my childhood impacted me and how often I think back on it- I am always trying to be mindful of how I am treating and what I am teaching the littles in my care. I heard quote once that “they may forget what you said, but they will never forget how you made them feel”. I want them to remember that I made them feel safe and special. I love to get them using their imaginations and seeing all of the wonderful stories, worlds, and artwork that they create. It’s all magic.

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How did you come up with the idea to start The Nannyhood? Would you tell us a little about what you hope to do with your business?

After a few VERY difficult nanny jobs and a lot of burn out, I realized as a nanny that my life was WAY better when I wasn’t doing it alone. No one really understands a nanny life another nanny- and community/support is SO important. I left my sweet little Manhattan apartment and drug my tired self to Colorado Springs to be around family and refocus. I started a local nanny group in Colorado and made us a social media handle to use throughout the month in between our outings. Turns out people liked it! It’s been a super humbling experience to revive emails from nannies asking for my advice or requesting Nannyhoods in their city. I am definitely enjoying watching it all unfold.

What kind of leader do you strive to be for the nanny community both personally and through The Nannyhood?

I strive to be the ultimate cheerleader and connector in everything that I do. At the end of the day (when it comes to The Nannyhood) I am passionate about connecting nannies to lifelong friends, mentors, resources and anything else that will edify them in their nanny career. I hope that I would always come off approachable and kind- and that The Nannyhood would feel like an oasis for all who are lonely or burnt out.

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Where do you see The Nannyhood in the next 5 years?

Well, that is such a brilliant question! I want to keep some things up my sleeve (wink*) BUT I will say that I want to see thriving & flourishing “Hoods” popping up all over the place. We are looking to launch some Hoods internationally later this year, which is super exciting! I love watching our little group from Colorado grow not only locally-but all over the planet! It’s so much fun to watch!

 

A special thank you to Nickey who took the time out to share her story! I admire her drive, her passion and her conviction to help others in the same way that she needed help a while ago. She has a heart of gold and I am happy to say that she has become a great friend! I look forward to working with her more in the future and I know that The Nannyhood has a very bright future ahead. To learn more about The Nannyhood and what they are doing, please remember to skip over to her site: The Nannyhood.

 

Have a blessed day, ya’ll!

 

Xx

NannyBeth

Ultimate Guide: Traveling with Your Nanny Family

So, you’re about to travel with your family, huh? Well, here are some things to consider and hash out before you make that Jamaica dream a reality.

So, you’re about to travel with your family, huh? Well, here are some things to consider and hash out before you make that Jamaica dream a reality…

Get EVERYTHING down in writing.

I know that many of you may have working verbal contracts with your families and that’s fine, but when you’re traveling with your family, especially for more than a day or two, it’s so worth it to write your terms down. This protects you. This protects them. Plus, if you do your write up and they refuse to sign it, you’ll know something’s not right. Then you’ll want to nix the trip altogether. I’d also suggest typing your terms ahead of time and presenting your draft to them. Make sure all points sound fair and you agree on each one. Then whip out a pen and get those John Hancock’s down to bind the agreement. With this signed, you’ll have the peace of mind that you’re covered and comfortable with all the expectations. And should there be any disagreement on your terms later on, you’ll have the contract to refer to. Two copies should be made, one for you and one for them. 

Clarify what YOU are paying for and what THEY are paying for.

You don’t want to be half way around the world before you have that dreaded money or responsibility talk. Get it all out on the table now, trust me. Ultimately, everything revolving around this trip is all up to you. Worst case scenario, you could decide you just wont go and they can’t make you. So stick to your guns when you are discussing what your services and time is worth. I would suggest that you have them at least pay for the minimal: the round trip ticket, your time while you are on duty, your SEPARATE room, your food when you eat together and all travel while you are there. Beyond this, you may have individual agreements as to who pays for what. 🙂

Get your own room.

Did I say that already? 😉 Well, good. It’s important! There’s nothing more awkward than sharing a room with another couple and their kids. (well, maybe a couple things) You’re not family as much as you may feel like it. And even if you were family, you still wouldn’t wanna be stuck in a room with a couple and their kids while they’re on THEIR vacation. Its just awkward. Save yourself some very tense and awkward situations, and just have them book you a very separate living space, OK? And remember me when you are able to take an uninterrupted shower, nap on your bed or stroll on your oh so quiet patio. 🙂

Write down your hourly schedule. Be very clear about when you’ll be on and off duty.

Most likely while you’re away in Rome, Greece, Ireland or wherever you’re flying off to, you’ll want to explore. And you should! In order to make this happen, you’ll have to be forthright about the YOU time on this trip. Yes, you’re going with them to work, but just like them, you would like to have a break from responsibility at various times too! I’d suggest starting no earlier than 7 am, taking a midday break for at least an hour or two, enjoying one meal separate from the family responsibilities, and ending your work day by 7 pm. Again, this is all up to you, but be kind to yourself and don’t overwork girl!

Things will run smoother if when you are on duty, YOU are the only one.

This will be the time when the parents can get a spa session, take a walk on the riviera or go out to dinner a la solo. There is a very good reason for this. Things can get very complicated and confusing for the children (and us) when there are more than 2 adults “in charge”. The roles are blurred. This begins to create tension between everyone. Maybe you’re traveling with more than one child. Great! The parents take one child to a park or zoo and while you keep the other around the resort. Then switch. I’m just saying, if they’re looking for a tag a long who is going to corral their little ones, wipe their noses, sing distracting songs to them while waiting for dinner to be served and carry the diaper bag around, then make sure you know that. If you go into this trip thinking you are going to be assuming the same roles as when you’re a nanny during a normal work week and they think you are going to be a travel helper with all the messes and tantrums, then this will make for some tension. You’ll begin to build resentment over not being respected as the professional that you are. Open and pre-trip communication is key. Know what you’re getting yourself into before you commit to be in an inescapable situation hundreds of miles away. Doing this will make roles, duties and everything a little less awkward and messy.

Be clear about expectations.

Think about your expectations for transportation, the flight, meal times, different excursions, who’s responsible for packing and managing items, etc. It may seem like a little much but take it from me, you can’t be too clear about how this trip will go.

Take into account the family you’re traveling with.

There are many, many, many different personalities within a family. Now you’re adding to the mix. To nanny for a family Monday-Friday, 9-5, is completely different from being on a trip with them. Now you’re technically available 24/7. (Even if you say you’re not, technically you ARE. So think about whether or not you can stand being with this family for a week or two) Once you’ve decided, yep, I can do this. Think about the personalities you’ll have to navigate and expect throughout the duration of the trip. Does the father like to control situations and get tense when they’re out of control? You may want to prepare for some of that. Do the parents get along or will you be needing to referee some disagreements on the trip? (That could get awkward) Think about it. Weigh the pros and cons.

Power to you, Nanny, who is choosing to travel with your family! You’re serving them in a huge way. Remember: know what you’re worth and own it. Hey, why not enjoy some sunshine and beach too? Go for it!

Buen Suerte!

X

NannyBeth

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Let Your No be No and Your Yes be Yes

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been caught breaking a ‘promise’. Whether it was intentional or not.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been caught breaking a ‘promise’.

Whether it was intentional or not.

I promised to bring my oldest niece to her gymnastics practice, but I forgot. I promised to meet my mother at the gym so we could both whip our bums into shape, but I got busy at work and had to cancel. I promised that I wouldn’t get ‘mad’ when my husband brought up his opinion about my dinner dish last night, but I did (oops). So many times in my life I can recall not only my yes not meaning a thing, but even my PROMISES not holding significant weight.

I know what God has to say about this. He says that we need to be so trustworthy, so careful to speak and so filled with integrity that our only words on decisive matter should be ‘Yes’ and ‘No’. While doing devotions the other day in the book of James, I read in chapter 5 verse 12, “Above all my brothers and sisters, do not swear- not by heaven nor earth or by anything else. All you need to say is simply “Yes” or “No”. Otherwise you will be condemned.” Huh. Condemned? Really? Wow. God just basically whipped out a huge LISTEN TO ME sign and hit me with it.

I decided to reflect a bit…

How many times a day do I say “Yes” to something but not really take the time to think on whether I mean it or not…

I’m so bad at this! I’m a “Yes” queen! Anyone else out there like me?

I’m so afraid of hurting peoples feelings, that I am inclined to say yes before people even get their last word out. Its not the healthiest of habits. “Yes, of course, I will do the dishes.” “Yes, I will be able to pick you up tomorrow.” “Yes, I will come to your birthday party tomorrow night after working a 12 hour day and have to be up the next day at the crack of dawn to sing at church for 5 hours.”

I just. cant. stop.

I guess what this devotion did was, it made me pause and take note. I don’t think saying yes all the time, or even most the time, is a good thing. But likewise, if I am saying ‘No’ all the time, but don’t ever give anyone a reason to believe that I mean it, then I might as well not say it at all. In fact, I’d say not meaning what you say in either case is a bad thing. Turns out, God agrees. 😉 Funny how He knows whats best, even ahead of my own accordance.

So in order for anyone to take me seriously, I need to actually mean what I say. I shouldn’t have to swear, promise or repeat my yes’ 50 times for someone to believe me! Or, even worse still, make all my promises and STILL have no one believe me. When I’ve reached that level of ‘loose mouth’, there is a definite problem.

Loose Mouth: A symptom of the heart. A face muscle that’s not yet developed with self control and wisdom. It hasn’t been trained to keep shut when its needed, but instead blurts out any and all thoughts. This undisciplined muscle has been known to end relationships, damage careers and bring even the toughest people down to their knees.

Words.

Yes or No.

Such little words but they hold so much power.

Maybe it’s just me, but I really needed this reminder. My word (and words) should be worth something.

I know it’s not easy. We probably wont even reach the point where we do this all the time. But if we could reach the point of doing it…75% of the time? I know it’d be worth it.

I have worked with children for a very long time. Whether they are 14 years old or 4, I know for a fact that they need my ‘Yes’ and ‘No’ to mean something. It’s what they base their actions and decisions on. It’s what they look to for a green light or a red. It’s how I, as the adult and authority, keep my sanity within discipline!

If my word means something, suddenly so do I.

God is so good! He knows the best for me (and you) before I figure it out. Today, I pray for realization, for a sensitive nature and an awareness of where I lack wisdom and discernment, so that I may speak with certainty, “Yes” or “No”.

Let’s continue speaking with power and truth ladies! ❤

  Matthew 5:37

“All you need to say is simply, “Yes” or “No”. Anything beyond this comes from the evil one.”