Kids will teach you to live life the right way

By Leanne Pantone
March 27, 2003

Matthew Cavailer

Everyone should work with kids at some point in their lifetime. Whether you are tutoring kids as part of volunteer work or if you are working at a daycare, kids at any age, teach you so much about life that it is an experience that everyone should have.

I worked at the summer camp and school age childcare programs for my local YMCA for five years. Every day that I went to work, I was able to learn a little more about myself and about the preciousness of life. I was able to reminisce about being a kid and realize just how fragile and important our influence is on them.

You have to go into your job or volunteer work with an open mind. You cannot approach your time with kids with the attitude that they are a pain in the rear end, or else you will not be able to really see kids the way that they need to be seen. You will never see the innocence and naivety of kids and truly appreciate them for what they are.

You have to look at all of the little “kid” things that they do, trip over their untied shoes and wipe their nose on their sleeve, as part of who they are. It is just like we adults who have too many rules and are impatient. If we weren’t in a rush all of the time and weighed down with stress, then we would be able to really cherish kids like we should.

Working with kids on a regular basis forces us to learn how to be patient. If you handle kids with impatience then you will only end up with more stress than you started with, and you will see how quickly kids will refuse to be around or even listen to you.

Working with kids forces us to learn about the things that really matter, like whether our security blanket is next to us in bed or if our favorite person is going to watch us kick a ball or throw a pitch.

Children teach us the importance of being slow to anger and quick to praise, as any time when you deal with someone through anger the results are never pleasing. When you praise someone on a good work that he or she did, you will see his or her face light up with excitement and flattery and you will find yourself in good favor.

When working with children, we also learn the significance of the impact of our words on one another. Think about it, how much easier is it to believe the bad things that people tell you about yourself? It is much more evident when you say a hurtful word to a child to see the impact of the crush on their face.

It is for these reasons that I think everyone should work with kids at least once in their lifetime. There is nothing else that you can do that will teach you the valuable things you learn when working with a child.

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Leanne Pantone

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