Write a legacy letter. Think of everything you’d want to tell your spouse and children if you knew you had two weeks to live, and put it all in a letter to them. Tell your daughter, or granddaughter what you felt when she was born. The kind of man you want her to marry and why. You express to your spouse how happy they’ve made you and your desire for them to be free to be happy when you’re gone.
Share the meaning of your life, beliefs and the lessons life has taught you. This can be done in a letter, an audio recording, or a video. You can make a scrapbook with photos and written stories. You can say at your son’s graduation, “Scott, my heart overflowed with joy at the realization of how all your hard work is now paying off. I am so proud of you!” This part of the letter is a way of telling your unique story, including your accomplishments, how you’ve tried to live your life and what your family will take from you. You can encourage your children to make wise choices.
Include your family history. “My Grandpa was born in Oklahoma territory and we know very little about his family history,” lamented Marjorie. “We see 69% of people die without any estate planning at all. The most important part of a legacy is the values, words of wisdom and life lessons you carry with you. You don’t want your family to learn the hard way.”
Marjorie has a passion to help other families because of her own legacy. Her Grandpa, a Slovenian immigrant, served in the Army Air Corps during WWII as a medical doctor. In early 1945, his plane crashed and he died. At the age of seven, Marjorie’s Dad was told, “You’re the man of the house now,”and he helped raise his younger brother. Because an uncle received the death benefits, Marjorie’s grandmother had to live frugally. She went back to school and become a teacher. Marjorie’s dad was also a medical doctor who was drafted to serve in Vietnam. Thankfully, he returned safely, but life is often uncertain. Don’t miss an opportunity to share your values with your family. This is why Marjorie is passionate about helping other families plan their legacy. From the age of eight, she knew she wanted to be a lawyer. She has a passion for making sure we pass on what we want to, to whom we want, when we want, and these things we pass on start with our values.
“No one is getting out alive,” Marjorie reminded me. “Don’t you want to leave your child a love letter?”
If parents take the time to write these legacy letters, they’ll be much more likely to express gratitude and joy on a daily basis to their loved ones.
Most families will tell you that their first priority is the family, but their actions don’t always reflect their goals. Why not use everyday moments to full advantage? When you’re driving together, for example, you have a captive audience. These are prime times for bonding as well as transmitting family values.
1. Do household chores as a team. Work together to clean up their messes when needed and invite them at an early age to learn how to fold laundry, or put away silverware and plastic dishes from the dishwasher.
2. When driving with children, ask questions about how they are thinking or feeling. My favorite questions are: “What’s the best and the worst thing that happened to you today?” Teach them your childhood songs. Remember “Zippa-De-Do-Dah” from the Lion King?
3. Reading bedtime stories together. Use a dramatic voice, make animal noises and use gestures to heighten interest
4. Enjoy washup and bathtub time together.
5. Standing in line at the store? Use these moments to ask questions to draw out their intellect and understanding, like, what’s this made out of? Metal or plastic?
6. Take a walk together. Point out the beauty and amazing details of nature.
7. Play a game together.
We’re in a society where family members may be too busy for their own good. It’s crucial that we utilize these overlooked moments that fly by so quickly. Right now you may feel that the drudgery, sleeplessness, dirty diapers or soccer practices are overwhelming. But blink your eyes and they’ll be packing for college. You have just a few years to teach your values, to produce mature, respectful, responsible, service-minded adults. So reclaim those daily opportunities for your well-thought through long-term goals, because these down times are largely the stuff of life.
APNA BOARD MEMBERS SAN DIEGO 2011 CONVENTION
It is difficult for me to narrow in on only a couple core points that I retained from this 4 day APNA conference, since there were so many amazing speakers and topics shared. The itinerary was jam- packed with so much valuable information such as: how to survive in an online world; how to build your brand with social media; how to meet and exceed expectations of employers; how to retain your top talent in a competitive market; and how to survive and flourish in the nanny industry. Plus there were several opportunities for me to network with other agencies to share ideas, ask questions, and exchange business information, which was invaluable time spent.
Overall, the most important thing I learned is for us at Caring Nannies to lead with relationships and not tools. Relationship-building is everything to our families and our nannies. Those who deliver service and relationships will win. Listening to our families’ and nannies’ needs, responding promptly, and communicating openly creates loyalty and builds lasting and trustworthy relationships. That is our goal at Caring Nannies.
So why choose an APNA agency instead of the others? They are the best of the best! It is highly beneficial to both nannies and parents to choose an APNA agency to represent them. For nannies who consider themselves the best of the best in the childcare industry, they know that when parents want the highest caliber of nannies, they will look for an APNA agency nanny. For parents, they can trust that a reputable APNA agency will be an honest, thorough, ethical business partner throughout this sensitive nanny placement process. Both nannies and parents know that an APNA agency is going to be a constant source of comfort and support.
My 1st APNA conference was a huge success and I look forward to next year’s and many more to come. Jenny Riojas, Placement Consultant
The difference between now and before the economic downturn is that instead of receiving 5-10 resumes for each position, today, we need to sort through dozens of resumes. How do we go about matching the people who are best suited for your family?
How can personality testing help you in choosing the right nanny as well as securing an ongoing strong relationship with her?
Interestingly, many of our top tier nannies have their greatest strength in the “Supporter” or “Always there when you need them” Type “D” personality. The typical “D” personality doesn’t like change, and prefers to be given a set of guidelines to follow and they enjoy routine. They are very supportive of others and are the kind of person we turn to when we need advice. They are high in compassion and are happy and content with themselves and life in general. They are dependable, on time, adding balance and support in the home.
We suspect that many of our clients are Type A personalities, described as leaders, entrepreneurial, risk takers, independent, direct and to the point. They prefer to delegate routine tasks to others. Type “A” is often a business owner, manager, or in a position requiring a take charge, decisive, persistent person.
The “C” personality thrives on details, accuracy and takes life seriously. They dress impeccably, want to get the ‘facts’, are consistent, and predictable. They take a long time to make a decision, are deep, thoughtful and sensitive. They can get caught up in the details and not see the big picture.
“B” is the socializer, high energy one, who loves to be in a big group, and is the center of attention, and wants to have fun while working. They want to be liked, and can be sensitive. They are outgoing, persuasive, and talkative.
PERSONALITY OPPOSITES ATTRACT
Although opposites attract, they can clash. Opposites can complement each other if they try to understand each other’s perspective. Opposite personalities often marry and it works since they make up for the other’s weaknesses. However, if a parent is expecting the nanny to do things in a way that is opposite her personality, there can be conflict.
If a neat, precise “C” personality is micro-managing a nanny who is creative, gets out the play-doh, or finger-paints, makes tents in the living room, and shoots paper airplanes, this may not work out for long. Nothing is “wrong” with either person, they just need to have more insight into each other’s personalities and find middle ground. If the Mom is inflexible and demands perfection, it won’t surprise us to see turnover, especially if the nanny is a strong “B” personality.
Every family and company probably has all 4 personalities, and each one’s gift is needed to balance out the dynamics. The key is having the right understanding to identify these traits so you have the best chance of successfully working with each other.
Each December, our staff likes to take a look back at our past year. We look at all the aspects of our nanny service from practical results as well as more important personal goals.
We invite our families and nannies to stop and consider the progress they’ve made in the past year in these infinitely more important dimensions.
We label our progress:
1. Doing Tremendous!
2. Making strides, but still a ways to go
3. A challenge area
4. Oops! Do I really have to do this?
You’ve had a good year if:
You spent more time evaluating your past year and planning for the direction of your life. We all have room to grow. How was your year?
Your family relationships strengthened.
Did you spend more time of richer quality with your spouse and children?
Did you make more time available to your spouse and less to your hobbies or business?
Did you spend focused time teaching your children values?
Did you eat dinner together as a family more and watch less TV?
Is your love and service to them greater than it was last year?
We can only bring to our career what we already have in our lives and in our homes.
Our outward achievements are only a reflection of our inward success.
If you saw yourself more as servant to your employees, clients, peers, and suppliers, with a goal to make them more successful, if you’ve made the effort to encourage and edify others, then you’ve had a good year.
You are even slightly less acquisitive.
The urge to acquire things is very human, and there’s nothing wrong with having it, but stuff doesn’t truly satisfy. We know that there’s no joy or peace in material things. In fact, the more we get, the more were distracted, and the more work we have to clean it, organize it, insure it and store it. If youve extricated yourself, even a little, from its grasp, if you’ve reduced your debt, even a little, you’ve had a good year.
You are more grateful and content.
What do we have that we deserve? We live better than kings and queens in the past, so how can we not be grateful? Can you say I have more than I deserve or need and really mean it?
You have more peace in your heart.
Its been a rough year economically for many. If our peace depends on the Dow average, it comes and goes.
If you see blessings in all your circumstances, both good and bad, more clearly this year, you’ve had a good year.
You became more proficient in your job.
If you consider that your business or occupation is a gift that you’re to lead with passion and youve been learning and using better ways, you’ve had a good year!
You took better care of your body.
Did your exercise and diet prove you’re developing more self-discipline? Mastering yourself is a key to maturity. If youre in better shape than a year ago, you’ve had a good year.
I hope you have a wonderful 2010,