Serving at the YMCA in Clay County and spending most of my time with the youth has been a great experience for me. Sometimes, being with kids is a blast. At other times, it can be stressful trying to get some of the kids to focus and pay attention to what you are saying. When you’re giving directions about a certain activity and you have kids talking or goofing around in the background, it’s tough to handle. You have to remember that you’re dealing with kids, so you have to remain patient and not get angry. With that being said, I was forced to work on being patient with the kids because you’re going to repeat yourself a lot, explain a lot, and deal with a lot of distractions. While patience is key, I also learned that you do need to let a child know that you are not happy with the way they are misbehaving. It is important that the kids know that you are the adult and in charge or else they will potentially try and have their way with everything.
I found out that if you actually enjoy spending time with kids, things will work out much better for you. I learned that being enthusiastic and showing that I wanted to be there helped me get the task accomplished. Even then, some kids may not want to participate in what you have for them, and all you can do is remain patient and hope that once they see other kids having fun and you being enthusiastic, they might join in. Kids can tell when someone is uncomfortable, and some kids may get a kick out of exploiting that discomfort, so being prepared can help you be confident with what you’re doing. Like I said, my experience has been great and has had a positive effect on my personal growth. Being with kids can change your perspective on life in some ways.
This blog post was written by NHC FL AmeriCorps member, Brandon BeBow.
Brandon serves as a Health Eductor at YMCA in Clay County.