Many people say never work with children. The rest couldn’t imagine themselves working with anyone else. And I’m talking about all kinds of jobs that have to do with children; teachers, teacher assistants, playroom and amusement park attendants, farm and children’s entertainment staff, nannies; and full time mothers as well!
No one can deny it; it takes a lot of patience –and nerves of steel– in order to work with children because it is not something as simple as games and laughs the whole day long. Children have their own rules, and they sometimes don’t behave the way we would hope they would.
They always love to do what they’re not allowed to do, often getting clingy, and they never get bored of playing the same games; even if it’s for 4 or 5 five hours straight. Even if they do happen to get bored, they can easily create a new game and a new mess in the whole room in just a few seconds.
And the whining and crying; oh, the whining and crying!
-George hit me, Helen laughed at me, Benjamin poked me, Leo stuck his tongue out at me, Emma took my pencils, I lost my lego toy or my rubber fell down.-
Yeah, we know it; and we now want to cry too because of all this noise. By the end of your shift, they have achieved to drive you totally insane and all you want to do afterwards is to take a nap –or a really long heafty drink- alone, in an empty room!
But, you know, what really pulls the strings for people working with kids is something deeper than their love for them.
The driving force behind these people’s strength are those wide, sparkling eyes, that look at them adoringly and straight away like they are the authority for everything.
It is children’s deep honesty when they say to you that you are special –even when you have a visible mole on your face so big that even you hate it, or your nose tilts a bit more to the right side of your face and is not straight like everybody else’s but, at the same time, you remain the most beautiful or handsome of all- and also the piles of finger-paintings they give you, or the flower they pick for you, simply because they felt they wanted to do so.
It is their real hugs, their sweet kisses and their honest expressions of love; it is the enjoyable moments they offer you through either an achievement or a blunder of theirs. It is all those smiles that come to your face at random times and the life lessons they teach us all every day.
Because those who get to deal with children through their work, automatically get a seat on the ride as learners as well.
“While we try to teach children all about life, our children teach us what life is all about.” Angela Schwindt once pointed out and I couldn’t agree more.
Children do not live by the limiting laws we do. They still have dreams and thoughts that haven’t been crushed by the “reality” that we have learned to live by. They are truly wise beyond their years.
They easily teach us how energetic and fresh we should start out our day, every single day. They show to us how fearless and confident we should be in anything new we want to try; especially when we notice them jumping off beds or desks or rocks with the confidence super heroes. Or when they ride their bikes or passionately run like the wind despite the chances of falling and scraping their knees.
They prove to us, in practice, that if you are not passionate about something it would be better to not waste your time on it and that it is okay to fight with all strength, mental and physical, for what you passionately want.
Moreover, they remind us to freely forgive and to continue on the rest of our day with a heart free of grudges and hatred. They make it feel as easy and natural as it should be by simply not letting a bad moment turn into a bad day. It is not so difficult in their view, is it?
They also teach us the ways imagination can create miracles; it is the one thing that drives our dreams and our desire to chase them. It is not accidental that children can have hours of fun with nothing more than a room and some everyday objects with which they can create castles, houses, shops and boats that are in danger of knights, wolfs, dragons and sharks, risking their lives in battles lives, is it?
They remind to us that a day without a little bit of fun or enjoyable moments for ourselves is a wasted one! No matter how busy our days are, there is always some time for making ourselves happy.
And though I could spend hours more writing about all the other lessons children teach us on a day to day basis, I will simply say that people who work with children are really blessed and lucky as well. Despite their few years in this world, they are always able to remind us what we as adults have forgotten; to enjoy our lives to the fullest, to love the ones who are there for us unconditionally and to believe in ourselves -and in magic as well-!
So, don’t be late! Take a seatt next to them and enjoy your lesson!