Good morning, good evening and good afternoon!
It’s Nanny Georgia here and I am super excited to type up this blog and share with you the amazing things I learnt at the International Nanny Training day in Sydney last weekend!
As you may have seen through our GSN social media threads, I attended a Nanny training day in Sydney. Being able to go to something like this and not only take in information and learn new things but starting to network with so many different nannies from all over Australia. I am so privileged to have attended such an amazing event and connected with so many new people.
The training day was provided thanks to “Nannypalooza“; a National Nanny Conference over in the United States of America designed by nannies, for nannies, focused on learning, connecting and growing as a professional. During our training day here in Sydney, NSW Australia, we had three speakers; Rebecca Thompson from “Stone & Sprocket“, Angela Agius from “Circle of Security” and Shannon from “Oh Creative Day“.
The below reflections are based on my own personal experience as an attendee and have not been endorsed by any of the mentioned speakers or organisations.
Stone & Sprocket offers high quality professional development, nature programs and support in children’s behaviour.Stone & Sprocket Website
Rebecca focused on children’s behaviour and digging deeper to understand why children behave in certain ways and strategies in combating that behaviour. She discussed the different types of words we use when talking to children and that certain tones and reactions can influence a child’s behaviour. For example, if there is a child who is visibly upset because they didn’t get an ice-cream and is now kicking you and screaming; us as parents, educators and nannies need to allow time for that child to calm back down whilst also acknowledging their emotions.
“Billie* I can see you are really upset right now, but it’s not safe to kick people, I am telling you to stop kicking now and we can talk when you are ready”
By doing this, you acknowledge their emotions but also let them know that what they’re doing isn’t okay. Rebecca also pointed out that children will often continue to react in a negative way if they know it will bring attention to them. By acknowledging their distress and asserting the kicking issue, it is then time to take a step back and wait for them to calm down into a more settle state. Some may see this as a ‘time out’, where as we refer to this as ‘calm space’. Rebecca’s description of this being a snow globe affect was a great example; the child has just been shaken up, there is snow everywhere and we need to allow time for the child to settle before attempting to talk with them, like the snow in the snow globe and being able to see clearly again.
It was then discussed that children will continue to respond negatively when our reactions are “over the top” thus giving them the reaction and the attention they want. Coming back to the previous situation with Billie*, if we respond with words like
“stop it, you’re being dramatic!”
“no! don’t do that!”
We aren’t allowing ourselves or the child the chance to acknowledge their emotions, this will then often lead the child to become more distressed, thus continuing to react due to the words and tone we use, then that creates one exhausted carer! It will become draining for you both.
Circle of Security International presents trainings around the globe focusing on the early intervention models to increase attachment and security developed by Glen Cooper, Kent Hoffman, and Bert Powell.Circle of Security Website
Angela was our second speaker, focusing on the ways in which children ask for our attention. Often when children want our attention, they are seeking a connection with us.
You know how your three year old asks 100 questions in thirty seconds? That’s your child asking “I would like you to talk to me, I want a connection with you”
Often they may only need five minutes of your time, but time is such a valuable thing, isn’t it?
There are so many ways we can establish that connection with our children even when we are a little bit strapped for time but the most important thing us as adults need to remember is that the children want a connection not just a response. Engaging with them about what you’re doing, tell them, show them, even get them to assist you when it is okay. Sometimes they will only need those five minutes but in those five minutes you have established that connection, they feel connected and listened to.
This connection links to the circle of security. When a child is ready and eager to explore, they will only be capable if they feel safe and secure, and guess who their safety and security is? Yup! You!
You are the person they will go to when they need just that little bit of reassurance, they are safe and you’re right there learning with them. You don’t need to be constantly talking to them, or engaging with them, if they are happy to explore their world alone, let them, but be there for when they return and begin interacting with you, showing you what they have found or what they can do.
This links back to our discussion on children’s behaviour, if they are interacting with you it means they want connection, reassurance, they want to feel supported and secure in their world and they will get this through the people they feel most safe with. After a child gets that connection and reassurance, they will venture back out and do it all over again!
OH CREATIVE DAY IS A PLACE WHERE WHIMSY AND WISDOM LIVE AND THRIVE!
Oh Creative Day Website
Our third and final speaker today was Shannon, who runs her own social media blog called “ohcreativeday” and we were lucky enough to even participate in some cool activities she shared with us!
We discussed today the importance of craft play, what do you think is so important about craft? You may be sitting reading this and thinking “oh my, all that mess!” – you’re not alone! However, as much as we all don’t like huge messes, a mess means children got creative and that’s awesome!
What is it that they learn when they cut up 3 pieces of paper, stuck it on cardboard, drew on it with some textas and made a monster out of it?
Well, first and for most, they used their imagination, they created something from nothing and they did it all by themselves, it was their idea, their design and their work. Cutting and pasting the paper on to the cardboard gives them the opportunity to strengthen their fine motor skills and hand eye coordination!
“But cutting and pasting is so simple?”
Fine motor activities (activities that require a lot of hand work) actually help the muscles in the child’s hand to develop and strengthen, so when they start learning to write or doing up a button they are able to manipulate those smaller materials into doing what they need.
Who knew that such a simple craft activity could help children achieve so much developmentally?!
For further information on organisations mentioned in this blog, please refer directly to their websites below:
- Nannypalooza: http://www.nannypalooza.com/
- International Nanny Training Day 2019: http://www.nannypalooza.com/nntd.html
- Stone & Sprocket: https://www.stoneandsprocketec.com/
- Circle of Security: https://www.circleofsecurityinternational.com/
- Oh Creative Day: https://ohcreativeday.com/
All in all it was an amazing day, I got to connect with so many amazing people and professionals, I am eager to continue my involvement in training days and self-development.
See you soon,
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Coming up next:
- What is a Nanny?
- The importance of investing in Professional Development: a reflection from Director Elle
- GSN Goes to America!!!