You can’t take “Your Children” out of Family Child Care.

When you first start family child care, you quickly realize, how intertwined your children and your business becomes. This can be joyful or frustrating and sometimes at the same time.  So, I want to talk a bit about how my three children have felt and fared through the years, on issues concerning my business.  I enjoy having the best of both worlds, being able to spend the early years with my children, being there before and after school, and spending summers with my children, while making an income that supports my family.  But, my children have not always had this joyful response which has brought frustration upon me on how to handle some attitudes and behaviors that have popped up on occasion.

The Teen:May 2011 022  He has dealt with the most and learned the most, in my honest opinion.  When he was young, he loved to interact and play with the kids.  As he got older, he became more helpful and I trained him to be an assistant and be able to work one and one with the children.  This he “hated”.  He did not mind taking a group outside and playing for thirty or forty minutes or spending an hour before everyone left, doing clean-ups.  All day long, with everything else that come with working with kids, was not his deal.  He is my go to short-term guy only, more than that, he gets cranky. This year my teen has found his true calling.  I am very proud to say, that some of the skills and lesson that he has learned through my business, transitioned quite nicely into his new passion, as a dog handler and trainer. His boss has been very impressed on how he can anticipate potential problems or issues with the dogs, and how he interacts with the “doggy parents.” I like to believe that these are skills he learned through my business, he might say otherwise.

May 2011 024The Tween: I will say this picture pretty much sums up the tween’s attitude about my business.  He use to love it, enjoy playing with his friends and hanging out and doing activities through the summer.  This ended this last year, it was replaced with eye rolling and irritation.  I would say, it is not so much about my business itself, he enjoys having me home when he gets home, doing fun creative things and spending time with The Teen and Sister.  I believe it is that certain children drive him crazy.  I told him welcome to the real world, where people will drive you crazy from here on out. Sorry, no days off.  My struggle has been teaching tolerance, understanding and tact and I will honestly say some days are better than others.  I will start giving him some paid jobs this summer, that will maybe give him some understanding that with a job, you just have to deal.  Every job comes with its own set of irritations and irritating people. But, jobs also come with lots of rewards and success.

Sister: She loves, loves, and loves her friends and she loves, loves, loves all the things that come with my business.  Sister is two, and she also loves to give me an extremely hard time.May 2011 018 I have struggled with this a bit because with The Teen and Tween, I did not have this problem. There was a class that I could have taken for continuing education awhile back that was titled “If this child wasn’t my kid, they would be outta here!” That pretty much sums it up and I wish I had taken the class.  I have had to dig deep into my box of training, tips and techniques.  This is what I have come up with, Sister seems to need some down time.  At nap time, she goes up to her room, and chills for a while.  She usually will watch a movie and then fall asleep, sometimes no nap.  Her disruptive behavior, is often a power play, so I now give her the options and move on; no arguing or more options. Parent versus Teacher, can be such a fuzzy line, because at times they are so similar.  I just hang in there and know that the next phase will probably be equally frustrating.

I love that my business includes my children at many ages and levels.  I have the unique ability to teach and learn with them as they grow. Many get into family child care because of their children, and learn that it is not all sweetness and happiness when it comes to their own children, it can be challenging and frustrating.  I have been through many challenging and joyful situations that include my business and my children and many can’t say that. but I would not change my career choice or the time I get to spend with my children for anything.

More Recommended Reading:

Monday’s Review: Kid Approved Meals

Twenty-five things I have learned from Family Child Care

Beating Burnout with Social Networking

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One Comment Add yours

  1. I honestly do not know how you find the time to do all of this, but I am so glad you do! I enjoy reading all of your blogs, and esp. this particular one. I love how you just lay it all out there and talk about what your kids are learning through it all. You’re awesome Misti!

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