Over the past fifteen
years as a Childminder, I’ve had the opportunity to observe different age
groups of children, all playing together. At the beginning of my career, I felt
the need to structure and plan activities and to keep them all busily occupied.
Now, experience has shown
me that children require as little adult intervention as possible, and more
free choice and opportunities for spontaneous play.
This is when they have
real fun and enjoy each other’s company, and when you hear real laughter and
When we interfere or try
to entertain them constantly, they don’t learn how to amuse themselves, and
inevitably get bored when left to their own devices. This can lead to negative
or positive attention seeking behaviours.
Our children crave our
time and attention and delight in any we offer. They look to us for acceptance
that they are doing it the right way. But when it comes to play, there is no right or wrong way, so we can
encourage them to do it their way.
Even if they are
technically wrong, we can allow them to think for themselves and show them that
we don’t mind. If they colour the grass
purple when drawing a picture, then that’s okay, it’s their picture, we can
approve of it exactly as they want it to be. The grass doesn’t have to be
There’s a time and a place for formal learning and fact finding and a time and a place for freedom, love, and acceptance. Our children won’t grow up believing the grass is purple, because we haven’t corrected them or criticised their picture when they were three years old. They’ll soon learn its green by themselves, if given the opportunity to play outside. But they will grow up to feel creative, confident and with a healthy level of self-esteem, when we give them the freedom to express themselves in way’s we don’t think are correct.
Going back to work after spending time at home, looking after the children, can be nerve wracking. But there comes a point for most of us, when we feel ready to get back into it, or feel we need to financially return to work.
There’s also those mums amongst us, who may never have had a job or career before and now feel ready to take on a new challenge, and that can be a scary prospect initially.
It’s also a very exciting time!
Nerves and excitement are much they same, those fluttering butterflies you feel in your stomach when you fall in love, feel the same as those you feel when going for a job interview. So, let’s not confuse our excitement for the journey ahead, as all bad.
IT’S AN INSIDE JOB!
Still feeling like a bag of nerves contemplating job interviews?
Well time to turn your anxiety and fear into courageous confidence instead!
Read on to discover how, when it comes to job interviews, getting hired is an ‘inside job’ that can work for you.
YOU’RE WORTH MORE
When clients who are looking to find a new vocation
come to me for coaching, they nearly all have one thing in common; they never
set their sights high enough.
When looking for employment people tend to stay within, financial income comfort zones, and cap the amount they think they are worth, overlooking those positions offering higher salaries. Don’t just limit your search to a job that is in your current earning bracket, when you realise how precious your time and skills are to others, your earning potential increases.
However, you must want the career not just the
money it brings, if your motivation is job satisfaction then you’re more likely
to get the job you want, and to do it well. Know what you want from an
occupation and what you have to offer. Think of things you enjoy doing, past,
present and future, and seek possibilities in those areas.
Interviewers can smell the difference between
candidates desperately needing a job, and enthusiastic people who passionately
want the job. So, take a deep breath and relax!
BE SELF- AWARE
That is why being self- aware of your own motives
can help in getting hired or not, it can also help in coming across as
Interviewers want to see how quick you can think on
your feet and how self- aware you are. It’s not what you say that counts, but
how you respond to a question, so be conscious of your strong and weak points
in advance, because they will ask you about them. Ideally think of a weakness
beforehand that you can turn into a positive, for e.g. you could say:
‘In the past I always had to work late, but now I’ve learnt how to prioritise my time more effectively.’
This will say a lot more about your strengths than your weaknesses, and will help you to stay present in the moment at all times. If you’ve planned well, then there will be no need for you to think of an answer, while the question is still being asked.
In the words of Benjamin Franklin:
‘If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail!’
So be prepared and research the company and role,
the more information you have the better. Also look at what similar posts and
other companies have to offer, this is useful to know, especially if you get
offered the position.
Beforehand visualize the interview in every detail as you would like it to be, and focus only on what you want to achieve. Arm yourself with an abundance of your strengths, so you will be ready whenever an opportunity arises to tailor your skills to the job role.
Buying a new suit or getting your hair cut will also prepare you and boost your confidence, and will be one less thing to worry about. Moreover, when you are looking good, your confidence will shine through, and building rapport will be easier.
Remember you are both there for the same reason- to
fill the vacancy, so relax and show the real you. If you are feeling anxious
and nervous take some deep belly breaths, and say to yourself ten times ‘I am
the right person for this job’
Subtly match the interviewer’s body posture, tone and speed of speech, this way you will build rapport a lot quicker. And once that connection has been made, you will feel more comfortable and able to concentrate on the conversation.
A LEARNING OPPORTUNITY
Don’t be disheartened if you don’t get the job
though, it’s not always the best candidate that gets the position; it’s who the
interviewer feels are the best interviewee on the day.
Afterwards ask for some feedback, and when you get home write a few notes on what did or didn’t go so well, so you can refer to them in preparation for next time. Remember to keep things in perspective, it’s not a life or death situation, no matter how important it may feel to you at the time. View it as practice and experience, leading up to the real thing- your dream job.
Push our children to succeed or push
them over the edge, it’s a fine line to tread?
Knowing how far to push them and when, is unique to each parent and child.
It’s something that intuitively and
instinctively we come to know, the more proactive and involved we become in
their learning and behaviour.
It’s natural we want our children to
do well at school but if we become too involved and take -over, we miss the point
of what the learning objective is.
When children are set homework
projects at school, the whole point of the exercise is for our children to
learn something by doing it themselves. Hopefully while enjoying the process as
much as they can.
As well-meaning parents, sometimes it
can be hard to let our children do this for themselves and easier for us to do
it for them.
Yes, maybe it does feel rewarding, watching our children parading our elaborate creations on the school yard?
And naturally, seeing how proud our children feel doing so, makes us feel good?
But do we want our children to feel
proud of our efforts or their own?
Teachers want to see what the children
can create and what they’ve learnt in the process, not what we are capable
Teachers also have a good understanding
of our children’s ability, more than we do. They’ll know that it’s our work not
our children’s, if we produce an artistic masterpiece or solve an almost
Of course, we can make a cardboard
dinosaur better than our five-year-old can, but where’s the fun in that, if
they have to watch us?
They don’t care how perfect it looks. It’s getting messy and having fun in the process that counts. We can still help if our children are finding something challenging, but stepping back at times maybe a good idea?
Sometimes, it can be possible to be a bit too present as parents!
But we also create our own luck in life and this is a valuable lesson to pass onto our children.
Last Friday, I won a once in a lifetime Writing Competition with Notebook Publishing https://www.notebookpublishing.co.uk/the-notebook-family/ in their #IndieApril competition. The prize was a premium, very exclusive publication solution, meaning my book would be professionally designed and published, and made available across the world!
It was you could
say; lucky I was chosen?
Only, I don’t believe
in luck. I was poised and prepared already. Now I never in my wildest dreams
imagined I would actually win, because, not believing in luck, I knew there was
an element of chance, that I would be picked. But I had been chosen from the
near hundred different entries because, I had practised what I call ‘The Four P’S
in a Pod’
To explain what I
mean by this, let me share with you a true story.
PATIENCE BRINGS GOOD
One day, when my daughter was younger, she was having a particularly successful day. Not only had she received a Certificate and a sticker for being ‘Star Pupil of the Week’ at School, (meaning she had the privilege of bringing the Class Teddy home for the weekend) but she also won some stationary in the School Prize Draw.
Later that afternoon, she then went on to
receive her next level, Gymnastics Badge and Certificate at the Leisure Centre.
All in all, she was having a really good,
Then on the way home from Gymnastics she said
‘Mum, I was losing at everything and not doing
so well for a couple of weeks, but now I’m doing good at everything, all in one
I explained to her, that it did indeed seem to
be happening all in one day, but really, when she felt as though she was not
doing so well, and ‘Losing at everything’ She was in fact, doing better than
Taking those necessary steps on all those days leading up to today, and not giving up, even when it looked like she was losing, had led her to successfully winning so much today, through her practise, patience and persistence.
If she had lost her patience and quit
Gymnastics, when she wasn’t doing so good, or gave up trying so hard at School,
when she felt like she was losing, then she would never have succeeded in
Understanding the concept of the four P’s and
how they had worked for her, helped her to realise that, even though it looks
as if she’s not doing well at times, or doing really well at other times, it’s
all in fact, a result of her succeeding.
It was clear for her to see that, it was her
patience, practise, persistence and positivity in the past, that had created
her successful day, not just a lucky day.
This realisation and knowing how important these
Four P’S are, in succeeding to learn, will help our children to persist in
their learning endeavours. Whatever they maybe?
THE 4 P’S IN A POD –
POSITIVITY, PRACTICE, PATIENCE & PERSISTENCE
It’s important our children know that, practise is key to acquiring new skills and learning, not just their ability, socioeconomic background or luck.
They need to understand that, it’s those who keep trying that are the most successful in their endeavours, not just the gifted or fortunate.
Whether it’s learning to tie their
shoe laces or becoming a world class chess champion, in any endeavour, no
matter how difficult a task may seem, following the four P’s creates results.
When it comes to learning anything,
these are like four magic peas in a pod. When these -four -combine, there’s no
such thing as failure, and success is just part and parcel of the process!