THROUGH INSTILLING KINDNESS
Through instilling kindness, we create change.
Everyday that I walk through the door of my nanny families home, I ask myself how I can be of most service to them that day and how to help foster the values that will allow them to lead the best lives possible. Over the years as showing up for families and children as a nanny, or as I view it, an extension of their parents, I’ve found that those values can shift given what it is that each family needs the most at the time. Although there are many values that I foster and that are organically integrated into the work that I do, one that has been woven through every relationship that I have built is my deep desire to show up in this world with kindness and to help others foster the same.
In both my personal and professional life, I’ve learned that showing up with kindness not only makes the world a better place, but it makes my life so much more beautiful. No matter what I may be feeling, if I can continue to be kind to others, then I find it’s much easier to be kind to myself. With the work that I do with children, it has become clear that even those who are not bullied by others, almost always bully themselves. Children learn from a very young age that words can be used as weapons and the person we tend to assault with them the most are ourselves. This shows up everyday with the children I work with. When my six-year-old nanny kid finishes a soccer game, it’s all too common that they focus on what they didn’t do, rather than what they did do. I hear things such as, “I missed that one goal and kept kicking it out of bounds,” rather than, “I made almost every goal I shot and I could kick it all the way across the field!” Or when my ten-year-old nanny kid gets a 95% on something rather than 100% and tells herself that she didn’t do well enough. It’s my job to step in and remind her that when we simply do our best, we are doing better than any grade or number could represent. As a nanny, I help my children learn that it is just as important to treat themselves with kindness, as it is to treat others the same. I do so by showing them how to focus on the positives, rather than the negatives. I show them this through looking at the things that they can do, rather than always focusing on the things they’re still learning to do. Or by showing them that if they believe they can, then they will.
When I see children treating themselves with kindness, that kindness then overflows into the lives of others. A common thread that I’ve seen is that as children gain practice in using their words as weapons against themselves, then it becomes much easer for them to use them against others. When I see or hear about a child bullying others, I ask myself about how that child has been treated both by others and how they have been treating themselves. Individuals that hurt others are hurting themselves, and in order to penetrate that deep pain, we have to instill kindness from within that will fuel self-love rather than self-hatred. Children who bully are not bad children. Children who bully are children who are carrying around pain and don’t know how to deal with that pain. As adults, if we can help children learn to be kind to themselves, then we are teaching them how to be kind to others.
Kindness is the light that this dark world needs and not only changes lives, but can also save them. When we show up with kindness, we are teaching others to do the same and when we exhibit self-love, we are showing children how to drop their weapons and how to use their words to instill hope, rather than hate.
Danny Wakefield, also known as Danny the Manny, has been working in the field of childcare for twelve years. As a career nanny, Danny also has a degree in Early Elementary Education and Child Development with a focus on Autism. As a child, it was Danny’s dream to travel the world helping to shape the lens of which children view themselves and the world through. As a travel/adventure nanny, those dreams have come true and have made his life more beautiful than he could have ever imagined. Through working as a nanny, he’s had the ability to change the lives of many little beings, and in return, they have changed his. You can follow along with his manny adventures on Instagram or his Facebook page.