Caring for Children is Like having Popping Candy
Have you ever had popping candy? When the sugar crystals first hit your tongue, a surprise awaits; sour bits pop and fizz in your mouth as though they have a life of their own. And just when you think that all fizzing and popping had stopped, a few remaining pieces go off at random, leaving a sweet aftertaste.
Taking care of children is something like experiencing popping candy. Children can surprise you with what they say and can also leave a sour feeling when they act up suddenly.
Sour at times
I remember a time a child was moodier than usual. She was throwing a tantrum all the way from school until 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. Then I learnt that her uncle had passed away. She had been very close to him. I shared her sadness, and also told her that her behaviour was not acceptable in spite of the situation. She realised that she had not considered the feelings of others around her, and apologised to 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 is about kindness, resilience, and gratitude.
With a sweet aftertaste
My fondest memory of the children is at annual parent-child bonding event, Walking In Your Shoes, when they worked together with their parents to design a pair of shoes.
Parents had attended a workshop on spending Special Time with their children before the event. When one of the children and her father were done with their shoes, 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 lit up as she heard her father’s words. And my heart melted. The father was putting into practice what he had learnt from the parenting workshop and the result; his daughter was beaming with joy.
More than popping candy
For me, being a Facilitator is like being a big sister and a role model for the children, and this also makes me feel connected to the children— and that’s why I like my job so much. It is the sweet things in life that make the sour moments worthwhile, just like popping candy.
Kerrell, After-School Care Facilitator, Morning Star Primavera Centre