Ask The Nanny Blog
Angela Johnson Sutherland is proud to announce the launch of her new website Ask The Nanny. Ask The Nanny is a global community for nannies, childcare workers, birth care workers, and parents. The website was created to share Angela’s 40+ years of wisdom and experience gained through working in the childcare industry. There is a
Let your yay be yay and your nay be nay. When you tell a child no, mean it. If they have a tantrum, that doesn’t mean give in and let them have their way. Once you give in, the next time they want something and you say no, they are going to double their efforts. Their thought process is, ‘if I cry long enough and loud enough they will give in and I will get what I want.’ When you give in, you reinforce the behavior which gives permission for them to do it again and again. Be consistent.
I’d like to rephrase the “be careful what you ask for” to “be ready for what you ask for.”
I wrote a Vision Board for Ask The Nanny back in February 2020. To me, most of the things I wrote seemed impossible because I had no clue how they would happen …….BUT GOD. Every little, big, in between thing that has happened since I wrote my vision has been a direct result of obedience. I don’t know who told whomever about me, who’s eye was caught by something I posted, what conversation that was overheard by the powers that be. What I do know is that God continues to open doors along this journey and all those doors are leading me towards my my vision. I said all that to say this……👇🏽👇🏽👇🏽👇🏽this just happened and I am excited and grateful for the opportunity.
Stop fixing everything for your child.
It starts when they are an infant, self soothing. Popping a pacifier into an infants mouth every time they make a noise hinders them from self regulating, especially during naps and during the night. Give your child a several seconds to squirm and figure it out before you go in and help them.
A toddler can’t get the square peg in the round hole of a toy and they get frustrated. LET THEM. Don’t be so quick to show them how to fix it. Let them explore other options. Let their frustrations fuel the fire within them to figure it out on their own. Critical thinking is going on whether you realize it or not.
The 3 year old is dressing herself but she chooses a shirt and shorts that don’t match. Then chooses her favorite pair of boots to wear with them. It’s over 80° outside. LET HER WEAR IT (unless of course you’re dressing for something special) Letting her choose her clothes now gives her a sense of power that she can make good choices even if they are not YOUR choices. If she gets hot in the boots, she’ll make the choice to take them off or change shoes. Either way she’s making good choices.
The almost 5 year old can’t figure out where the puzzle piece in his hand fits into the floor puzzle. Instead of pointing to the spot where it belongs, try using open ended questions or giving clues to help him think for himself and figure it out.
At whatever stage your child is in, give them a chance to do things on their own, make mistakes and learn from them, use their critical thinking skills and to just be who they are. There will be plenty of opportunities for you to help your child along the way but recognize the times when you need to just leave them be and let them figure it out on their own.
Active Daily Routines
Music calms the heart and soothes the soul, changes the atmosphere in the room and is great with helping children to transition from one activity to another.
During play or tummy time I play upbeat music to invoke happy feelings. At nap time I play somber music with sounds of the ocean to induce calmness and serenity for peaceful sleep. When children are upset I play familiar tunes they love to sing. Perks them right up. Even during lunch or snack time I try new music to see if it will help them eat better.
If you’re not using music with your little ones, try it. I’m sure you’ll quickly start to enjoy its benefits.
Cryptophasia aka Twin Talk
Cryptophasia aka Twin Talk
Does it really exist?
Babbling, a look and then laughter, a sign and then they run in opposite direction, repetitive noises or in unison they start doing the same thing. The connection so strong that they can feel when the other is upset and cry too even when they aren’t in the same room or even the same city.
I have had the unique opportunity of working with 38 sets of twins. They have all had a special way of communicating with each other. Whether through babbling, click noises, hand signals, a knowing or even just a certain look, it is so fascinating to watch their connection.
Each child is their own individual. It is so hard not to compare one twin to the other. One will crawl first, the other may roll over first. They each have their own individual strengths and weaknesses. Love and enjoy them as the individuals they are.
I encourage finger plays and action songs for my littles because it assists with fine & gross motor skills, hand-eye coordination, following directions, language acquisition, rhythm, but most of all, fun.
There is always at least one twin who is the risk taker, the one who pushes the boundaries, keeps you on your toes, but it’s all a part of growth and development. I let them take the risk unless they are in imminent danger.
When children take risk it helps them overcome their “fear factor.” They are apt to be more independent, utilize critical thinking skills, have more determination to conquer hard problems, become leaders and think for themselves. So the next time your little one wants to take a simple risk, let them. Let them learn from their mistakes. They will either not try it again or keep trying until they perfect it.
”Clean up, Clean up, Everybody, Everywhere. Cleanup, Clean up, Everybody do your share”
We sing this song as we clean. It’s a trigger to let the toddlers know that our activity has come to an end but we must clean up before we can move on to our next activity. Most toddlers ages 15-18 months, some a little younger if you teach them, are able to do small task with supervision. Teaching your littles to clean up after themselves is an important part of their growth and development. Here are a few tips to help you get started with your toddler.
1. Make the task doable, age appropriate.
2. Make sure all cleaning supplies (water spray bottle, broom, dust pan) are within their reach. Picture labels help too.
3. Give them fair warning that it’s almost time to clean up. Helps with the transition.
4. Toddlers have a short attention span so remember this when choosing a clean up chore for them.
5. Choose a catchy tune to sing or play as you clean. It triggers the mind that it’s clean up time when it’s sung or played. (Again helps with transition)
6.Take the time to let your little help clean up. Teaches them to be self reliant and you to not be their maid.
7. Usually when there are two they are competitive so use that to your advantage. Who can put the most legos in the bucket? Count as you go along and it becomes a unconventional teachable moment.
They may be little but they can handle a few responsibilities. What are ways you make your child independent and self reliant? What simple chores do you your littles do?
All The Feels
Children sometimes have a hard time saying how they feel but they will show it through their actions. They “act out” but it doesn’t mean that they are “bad” kids. The underlying truth is they are hurting, they miss their friends, they want to get out and be free again.That’s how they feel on the inside but they can’t formulate the words to tell you that on the outside.
I found my Mr. Potato heads and started playing with a 4 year old. As we played we talked about feelings, his friends and “the virus”. When he showed me his creation he said, “I got a upside face because I don’t feel happy. This one is daddy because he yells a lot. “ This statement was so evident on his potatoes. We kept playing and kept talking in hopes that he would tell me more about what was going on inside of his little head.
Take the time to find ways to talk to your littles about how they are feeling. You might be surprised at what you find out. Stop labeling behavioral issues as bad. Your littles could be hurting and just expressing it the only way they know how. Have age appropriate conversations through play and really listen to them. Ask open ended questions and let them say what they want to say. Let them feel all the feels.
When you talk to them without judgement, you are giving the dialogue to express themselves in other ways than acting out. You are creating a safe place for them to be themselves and tell you what’s going on in their own words. You are empowering them to work through their emotions in a nonviolent way.