New Direction

To all my friends and family- I hope this letter finds you well!

As some of you may have noticed, recently I have taken a step back from posting and writing content. I have used this time to reflect on the direction of my professional path. I also used this time to dedicate more intentional efforts toward my husband and our marriage. All is well, and I am happy to be writing you once more.

 I would like to let you in on what new direction I have decided to move toward and what that means for the NannyBeth blog and more.

As many do, I found myself at a crossroads this past spring. I absolutely love what I do (and don’t plan on giving it up any time soon) however, there is a big reason why I had to begin thinking about changes.

My husband and I would like to start a family. I understand that many women choose to continue nannying even after they have had their children, but for me, I would like to stay home with them at least for the first year. The same amount of intentional time and efforts that I give to each of my little charges, I intend on giving that and more to my own. We are not there yet, but within the next couple of years we would like to grow our family. Exciting! This reality pushes me to think about stability and future professional plans.

Because of this, and the desire to further my credentials within Early Childhood Education, I have decided to go back to school. I have begun classes already and find myself enjoying the change! I am taking master level courses within Early Childhood Education and Early Childhood Special Education. At the end of this accelerated program, I will be equipped to enter into the New Hampshire public school system as a lead teacher. As I expect of my little ones, I intend to keep learning, growing and pushing myself.

I am not done reaching and teaching as ‘NannyBeth’ by any means. I still have a strong passion for encouraging and equipping nannies and parents to train up their children in the way they should go! The capacity at which I will be writing and posting though, may change. I am now committed to clinicals within the school system, course work from multiple classes per term, as well as working the day job. This means that I will just have less time to dedicate right now.

I still intend on sharing and connecting with you, ladies! So, please, stick around! Thank you for your support and patience as I make these life changes.

Now, your turn…

Are there some changes that you are going through as well? Perhaps, you just started working for another family. Perhaps you are thinking of taking your nannying skills in another direction. Do you have a degree and have decided to pursue a different career path? Are you a mama and just found out your family will be growing very shortly here?

I would love to hear from you! Let me know what is going on in your world by commenting with your ‘New Direction’ down below and let’s connect!  

 

Hugs,

 

NannyBeth

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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

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!