I’ve always wanted to work with kids. It’s something I’ve known I wanted to do since I was a young girl. I have always been pretty good with kids. I would help my mom take care of the children who lived with us or we babysat. When you babysit it’s usually however many kids that the person you are babysitting for has. For a short time I had my own in home daycare. I kept the children of friends that I knew. The kids were pretty well behaved and they knew me so they were easy to manage. I thought I was ready for a career in childcare. But I really wasn’t.
I still love working with children but I wasn’t prepared for the many challenges that I would encounter. There are a number of things that the classroom and life experience just can’t prepare you for. You don’t learn how to handle these things until you are actually in the classroom. You may think you are prepared but you really aren’t. So I thought I would share for a few things that classes just can’t teach you.
- Patience- You have got to have patience when dealing with kids. I mean they can definitely test your patience at times but you have to build that up. You’ll probably do a lot of 10 counts.
- Parents can be crazy or just in la la land- When you talk to certain parents about their kids they are going to do one of four things accept what you are telling them and discipline their child, be in complete denial, blame you, or not care at all. Just be prepared for one of these reactions.
- Don’t underestimate kids- Kids are smarter than you think. If you aren’t ready for it they can outsmart you.
- Discipline problems don’t make a child bad- I used to think that every child who had a discipline problem was just bad. Now that I am actually talking to some of the kids with discipline issues I am finding that sometimes there are some underlying issues. But even if a child is having trouble it is best to remain calm.
- Creativity is needed- Sometimes your classroom will be going crazy. Most times when this is happening it is from boredom. So you will need be able to think on the spot.
- You will be tested- Kids learn what buttons to push quickly. They are really talented at finding them. So just be prepared for it.
- It’s okay to cry some days- You are going to have emotional days. Some days you are going to want to cry. But you will get through them.
- Thick skin- You will definitely need thick skin. Kids can definitely say things that will hurt your feelings. I was just called a name that I refuse to repeat last week. It was so hurtful. The child was angry and he came back the next day and apologized but man it hurt. I understand he was angry and he is learning to manage his anger.
- People may not understand your career- Since going back to working with children I have shared stories and been asked if the kids do all that why do you work there. All I can say is I love what I do. The good days outweigh the bad days a majority of the time.
Again working with children is an amazing and rewarding career. I really enjoy it. I love the hugs that I get from the kids when they see me and knowing that I am helping them makes me smile.