BABYSITTING LESSONS: THINGS I LEARNED FROM TAKING CARE OF BABIES
I want babies. Duh. But I am also a long-time babysitter, nanny, and preschool teacher, which is code for “I spend a lot of time thinking about mistakes other people have made and vowing that I will not make those same mistakes.” Don’t judge me.
I can’t wait to have children, which I know is not what a lot of women are saying these days. And I know I am also going to make A LOT of mistakes as a parent, there’s literally no way around that. HOWEVER I believe that the reason I like working in child-care so much is because I am getting free tips constantly on WHAT NOT to do. So I thank all those parents who have entrusted me with their children and given me the opportunity to learn things from their mistakes. Here is what I have so far:
1. We entertain children FAR too much. Kids are never bored anymore. They are constantly stimulated, which means they get no time to sit with their own thoughts and come up with their own ideas of what they would like to do. We are taking away their ability to be imaginative, come up with games, then take action. We need to get out of the way more.
2. We coddle kids WAY too much. Whenever they cry, even for a second, we rush in and try to fix everything immediately. Kids need a chance to catch themselves and deal with problems on their own. Adults should be nearby, ready to help if need be, but kids should learn to shake it off and get back on their feet by themselves. Otherwise they will never be sure they can survive without us.
3. When babysitting we never let kids sit in silence. There is music on, or the television, or we are filling the air with chatter. We never give their brains a chance to formulate thoughts, desires, questions. Being comfortable in silence is a quality that not many people have these days, and it only adds to the general anxiety of society as a whole.
We all need to shut up, listen and take a step back. Kids will be the better for it. Which is what I learned from the parents I currently work for. I will be better than them! Maybe!