Her Campus Logo Her Campus Logo
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Wisconsin chapter.

Little humans can make a big impact

After a failed restaurant stint this summer, I was desperate to find a job. I applied to well over a dozen places and finally landed a daycare assistant position. I had never worked professionally with kids before, but I like children and thought the job would make me some easy money. Instead, I was challenged in ways I hadn’t been before. It was touching, humbling and rewarding to experience these four constant reminders from the little ones.


Embarrassment is not in little kids’ vocabulary. They could faceplant, spill water everywhere or scream at the top of their lungs in front of everyone and they’ll still just giggle it off. They don’t care if they’re loud or if they’re off-pitch when singing the Moana soundtrack for the 50th time that day. They don’t care if someone judges them for tripping in a tutu or coloring outside the lines. If they want to wear a superhero cape with their princess tiara, then they’re going to do just that. Kids show up for the day to be authentically themselves, to express and explore every little curiosity or impulse. They dance like no one’s watching, even though they’d love it if you were watching. I personally think this is the coolest thing about little kids and I strive to reach that same level of confidence. Why worry what others think when you could be your best superhero-princess self? 

have fun

Kids are smarter than most adults give them credit for, and if there’s one thing they know how to do best, it’s come up with new ways to have fun. I worked with a  group of boys who were into all things slimy, crawly and reptilian. It’s not really my thing, but I let them scurry around the playground looking for bugs to put in their portable plastic terrarium. Much to my surprise, they found and actually caught a live frog. It wasn’t my plan for the day, but seeing the sheer, unadulterated joy on their faces made me swallow my fear and say, “Let’s see if you can find another one!” I found their frog-catching antics somewhat thrilling and it ended up being one of my most fun days at work. If kids taught me anything, it’s to embrace the messy and silly side of life.


I knew kids had tantrums, but I was admittedly unprepared for the intensity of these fits of pure rage and passion. My heart broke seeing kids teary and sniffling after being shunned (or shoved) in a toddler’s social drama. My impatient side struggled with keeping it cool after dealing with an earful of screaming and a shin-full of kicks. With little success, I attempted to douse most of these fires before the whole daycare burned down. I learned quickly, though, that sometimes the best, most liberating way to feel something is to feel it big and to feel it unapologetically. Instead of trying to get them to stop crying or screaming, I stuck it out with them. I learned to validate and talk through their volatile, foreign feelings, and calmly offer solutions. While some boundaries had to be set, I found kids who cried it out with me were the quickest to return to their usual smiles and laughter. 

While not always the most pleasant to endure, it was endearing to me how children are so honest with how they feel. As an over-emotional and sensitive person, it was reassuring to me to know that sometimes feelings just demand to be felt, and that’s totally okay. 


This is not just a cliche. It may seem like incessant gentleness and softness is a waste of time for some of these kids, but just a little patience will go a long way.  There were occasionally kids that were polarizing and fussy, annoying their peers and often isolating themselves. It’s insane how the cutest of kids can make me feel the most red-hot frustration. I honestly wanted to cry when a five-year-old called me a “meanie” after I gave her the wrong water bottle. But I remember from when I was a kid that anger doesn’t get anyone very far. Difficult kids know that the other kids don’t like them. They can’t help it and it hurts them, too. So, the only thing you can do in these situations is exercise a little patience and a lot of grace. It pays off way more in the long run, and I was able to create more trust between the kids and me.

This doesn’t just apply to little ones, either. I’ve been finding myself using more and more of the same patience strategies on people my age and older. It’s hard to be alive, and everyone could benefit from practicing patience, just as everyone deserves to receive it.

Working in a daycare was a learning experience for me in ways I hadn’t anticipated. I thought I would be the one having an impact on the children. I was surprised to find out that these kids had just as much if not more to teach me. I loved working with children and getting to witness their unique intelligence and their growing worlds. In the end, I feel confident in saying these kids equipped me with some empathetic skills needed for my own adult life.

Priya Kanuru

Wisconsin '26

Priya is a sophomore at UW-Madison studying Political Science and English-Creative Writing.