Caring for Children is Like having Popping Candy
Have you ever had popping candy?
When the sugar crystals first hit your tongue, it gives you a surprise. Sour bits pop and fizz in your mouth as though they have a life of their own. Then when it simmers down, a few remaining pieces still go off at random, leaving you with a sweet aftertaste.
Taking care of children is kind of like experiencing popping candy. Children can surprise you with the most delightful things they say and can give a sour taste in your mouth when they act up without apparent reason.
Sour at times
I remember one time a child was moodier than usual. She was throwing a tantrum all the way from school till we stepped into the centre. She spoke rudely to me and my fellow Facilitators, rolling her eyes and ignoring our words of warning. Concerned, I spoke with her in private. It was only then that she shared that her uncle had passed away. She had been very close to him. I was saddened, but had to tell her that her behaviour was not acceptable despite feeling upset about her uncle’s passing on. She admitted that she had not considered the feelings of others around her and apologised to me and the Facilitators.
When a child acts up at the centre, I can only do so much to help them. It is a challenge yet a privilege to be able to be involved with their lives and show them that growing up is much more than just grades and popularity— it’s about kindness and resilience and gratitude.
With a sweet aftertaste
My fondest memory of the children is when they were working together with their parents to design a pair of shoes during the annual parent-child bonding event, Walking In Your Shoes. The parents had attended a workshop on spending Special Time with their children before they coloured the shoes together. After a child and her father were done with their pair, the father looked at his daughter and said, “This is very beautiful. You put in a lot of hard work and now we have a beautiful pair of shoes you can wear.” The girl’s eyes shone as she heard her father’s words. My heart melted at the sight. The father was putting into practice what he had just learned from the parenting workshop and his daughter was beaming with an indescribable joy.
More than popping candy
Being a Facilitator is like being a big sister and role model to the children, which makes me feel important to the children— and that’s why I like my job so much. It’s the sweet things in life that make the sour moments worthwhile, just like popping candy.
Bonus: For those working from home with kids, you can try this home experiment to find out why popping candy pops.
Kerrell, After-School Care Facilitator
Morning Star Primavera Centre