Like many other college students, I have been spending the past few months searching for internships, tailoring my resume to perfection, and writing cover letters describing the ways in which I’m perfect for each position. However, one struggle I have been facing, like many, is that there are very few bullet points on my resume that don’t involve children. I’ve been working with children every summer since I was 13, and although this was great work and I loved doing it, those experiences are not necessarily applicable to a PR internship. However, working with children does teach you lots of skills and is very beneficial for several reasons. Here are five awesome benefits of working with children!
1. They keep you young.
Playdough. Fingerpaints. Barbies. Dinosaur chicken nuggets. Disney Channel. Need I continue? Children bring you back to childhood, and it’s freaking awesome. As college kids, we often try to act like grown-ups because we actually have to become them soon, but reliving childhood in little ways is nice, and working with children is a great way to do it.
2. They teach you patience.
The only downside to going back to childhood? You go back to the days when listening wasn’t really a thing. Except this time, you’re the one trying to instruct, and there is probably a childhood who isn’t really listening. Or maybe you’re giving directions they don’t understand, or you’re teaching them how to read and the just can’t get “of” and “off.” As frustrating as it is, you have to be patient, and working with little kids often causes people to develop awe-striking patience.
3. They make you great at explaining things.
Sometimes kids just don’t understand. That’s okay, there were lots of things I didn’t understand as a child. However, you can’t tell a child to check a dictionary or Google the answer — you have to sit down and explain it to them. This makes explaining things to your boss, your teachers, your parents, and your friends much easier later on, because you’ve developed the ability to explain things in a clear, concise way, without getting frustrated because they don’t understand. Patience, remember?
4. They can give you a new perspective on life.
As my friend Juvi mentioned in a recent article, sometimes younger children (in this case, her 7-year-old sister) see things as being very black and white. In Juvi’s case, it wasn’t this simple, but sometimes it is and we don’t even realize it. As we get older we often start to overthink things and complicate them, and children to less of this, reminding us that if you don’t like it, don’t eat it. If you’re tired, go to sleep. If they’re mean, don’t talk to them. While children are not always right or polite in this mindset, their simplicity has a way of bringing us older folk (20ish folk?) back down to earth.
5. They make working with adults much easier.
If you can work with children, you can work with anyone. Children are basically just small, high-maintenance adults with limited self-sufficiency, no filter whatsoever and relatively undeveloped argument skills. I am not saying this to insult children, I love children. But a child is undeniably an underdeveloped adult. The chances of you running into a co-worker or (mistakenly) hiring an employee who cannot accomplish things alone, is downright rude or tries to negotiate like, well, a child are pretty high. Luckily, you who worked with children will know how to deal with these types of people without losing your cool or making them feel bad — because you can’t do that with children.
Lots of love from everyone’s favorite volunteer/group leader/summer camp counselor/nanny!
Image credits: Telegraph, Jeff Kerr