Dallas is an Australian-born, New York based Kid Coach, Youth Facilitator and Nanny. Dallas is one of those naturally radiant people who genuinely find the joy in everyday. She has started Skilled With Kids to assist everyone in having a better and closer relationship with the young people in their lives, be it with their children, nieces and nephews, in a professional capacity or even help you to better relate with your friend’s children.
What first lead you to working with youth and children?
I always loved kids. I grew up as an only child and I relished the opportunity to meet and play with other people. As a teenager I got the chance to work at Reach and at the time I wasn’t working with ‘young people’ they were my peers.
You are a Kid Coach, Youth Facilitator and Nanny, how do these three roles differ or intersect?
For me, they all share a foundation: see the person, believe in the person and use everything you can to help them navigate what they are facing.
They are each very creative roles where the success depends on your relationship, which is always evolving. I know that what I do today will affect the relationship I walk into tomorrow and that is hard when I have to discipline, break bad news or share sensitive information. Over the years I have learnt and developed tricks to protect our relationship in these conditions so that it can continue to flourish. That is actually why I started Skilled With Kids, to share these tricks and strategies to help people short cut to a wonderful relationship with kids. The roles differ in the impact and responsibility they allow, I’m still carving the niche where I can let my skills and passion best blossom.
You have just started your businesses, Skilled With Kids, can you tell us a little about the work you do and how it differs to other methods you have seen used.
Skilled With Kids is all about supporting people to have a wonderful relationship with the young people they love. There is no agenda, fear mongering, judgement or exclusion. It is for anyone who has young people in their lives. There are so many parent blogs and teacher blogs but I wanted an inclusive space, where everyone who is apart of the child’s life is valued and can get inspiration. I share skills, tricks and concepts that have helped me and people that I know have a great relationship with kids, support them in all different kinds of ways and make the general functioning of life easier. I aim to answer questions that we all have, simply, while sharing my personal story behind the lesson.
Kid Coaching (a title I made up) is unique because I look like a nanny and while I do all those duties I also work with the kids and help them navigate daily life and its challenges. Because I am with them in the moments of struggle we can work in real time to develop and implement strategies to tackle the challenges they are facing. I also set up routines and boundaries which help the whole family flow.
I’m sure I’m not alone in thinking that working with kids must be tiring, what do you do to recharge your batteries and stay motivated?
You’re right, it can get very exhausting. It helps that, unlike a parent, I get to clock out. There are a few key things that happen throughout the day that keep me charged and motivated.
Firstly, the kids are super energizing. You know that feeling when you are in love for the first time. That is the same elation as sharing a great moment with a kid. So I engage on a daily basis.
I place a high value on peace and boundaries. I tell the kids where my boundaries are and expect them the be respected as I respect theirs. I make sure we each find some time to be peaceful everyday- it helps keep things in balance. I have a knack for diffusing energy and keeping kids on track which really helps me get all the way through to bedtime.
Last winter during the NYC polar vortex when is was super cold and my days started super early it was hard to get out of bed. In those times I zoom out and remind myself that my contribution has a huge impact on each family member and ultimately allows them to have better relationships and overall family life.
I am not just shuttling kids to school and activities. I am setting up what will be healthy life long routines and belief systems, allowing them space to explore and express themselves and be loved for that.
What is the best part of your work and/or lifestyle?
The people! The kids. It is real life and I love the organic flow to my day. The beauty is work for me means making the most of the weather and location. I love the fresh challenge everyday, be it an out of the blue question from a 4 year old, a day of tight scheduling or one of them facing a big emotional struggle. I am always stoked to go back to work after the holidays and that feels really good.
Dallas created Skilled With Kids to support you in making your life with kids as rewarding and enjoyable as in your wildest dreams.