I still remember the call from my wife one weekday afternoon. “Honey” she says, I’d like to invite over a lady who specializes in working with families who have small out of control monsters. She is coming by tonight so don’t be late!” And that’s how the biggest change in our parenting methods, and the vast improvements in our home began. Of course, I did not believe her when she said she went by the handle of “Annie the Nanny”. When she insisted, I now wanted to meet her purely out of curiosity. It did not take me or my wife long to fully appreciate the depth of her experience, passion for children, and complete understanding of the challenges we face as working parents. It was also comforting to know, whether true or not, that we did not have nearly as big a problem on our hands with the twins as we thought we did.
From the first questions she asked, to her well defined systematic approach to giving us the tools we needed, Annie delivered every bit of what she committed to and more. I will always be grateful for the empowerment we felt as a result of her coaching when dealing with our three year olds. We lacked the consistency, structure, and recognition of the warning signs that all seemed so obvious to her. With her guidance, our new mannerisms have brought the much needed structure and peace into our home which we had missed for quite some time. We are also more attuned to and have clarity on what is happening and why when it comes to their reactions – both the good and not so good.
In fact, as a result of her “intervention”, we were able to forgo our desire for a full-time nanny simply because we found more time, and feel in more control of our kid’s routine. This in large part due to the reduction of their antics/tantrums that would draw out the simplest of tasks – like getting them ready for bed. Don’t get me wrong, they still run the show now and then, but the impact and duration of their efforts is very different today.
Most of all, we are grateful for her continued follow-ups and support. It was very reassuring to us to have Annie as a resource and to count on when needing a bit of advice. It occurred to me the other day, that even though my wife and I have our parents who are active and well, it seems that the discipline strategies and skills practiced on us as children have long been forgotten or discarded. The reality is, grandparents have a very different and lenient mindset when it comes to their grandchildren, so we were pretty much left to our own devices. All the new-age books on parenting strategies had great concepts to sell the books, but in practice, failed in their efforts. Annie’s tried, tested, and timeless steps have helped us immensely to bring the fun and enthusiasm back into parenting through these early years.
Thank you, thank you, thank you Annie. We just wish we would have come across you a year earlier.
PS. As with so many things in life, what Annie opened our eyes to where so simple in retrospect. She gave us the tools and helped us practice the skills under her watchful eyes. All towards defining a new set of rules and boundaries that allow for a loving and nurturing environment while allowing us to “get things done” as parents. Not easy, but simple.