I want to be a travel journalist and I have to say you were my main inspiration and encouraged me with that. When I was a tiny kid and made cr*ppy poems, you always encouraged me – Text my little cousin sent me

At Bourke Accounting and before all the Corona social distancing, Bookkeeper Christina would randomly bring her 6-year-old to the office. Sweet kid, he stayed in Christina’s office and played video games or read. Generally, I’d forget he was even there (except when I’d accidentally kick him while asking Christina a question).

I am notoriously afraid of children. I don’t know if it’s the unexpected ways in which they move, the fact that they haven’t learned voice modulation or their high-pitched voices – I told you about my misophonia. Perhaps it’s the fact that a kid represents the utmost in responsibility. A kid isn’t like a dog. If your dog doesn’t twig to housebreaking right away, no one is going to call a government agency. However, don’t potty train your kid right and someone is going to question why your 12-year old is peeing in the corner during History class.

Beyond teaching physical social norms, a caregiver is also responsible for a kid’s mental well-being and self-esteem. Okay, that’s some heavy stuff right there! I don’t want to be held accountable for destroying a kid’s self-worth just because I said something offhand and stupid.

So, you can imagine my surprise, last Thursday, when Bookkeeper Christian accused me of being really good with kids. This was further compounded when my little cousin sent me the above text on Sunday. Has the world gone mental? I mentioned both instances to a friend of mine and he said: obviously you’re good with kids, you’ve never grown up and you listen when they talk. Well, paint me flummoxed.

After reading a few parenting articles, I can admit that I do some things right. For example, according to Parentingforbrain.com, when praising a child, you’re not meant to use “effusive or overly general praises” because the kid will end up thinking you’re full of it. Instead, the article suggests that you get really specific. Like with my little cousin, when she writes something, I pull up lines and images to complement. Reflexively, if there’s something I think she could improve on, I give her honest feedback. She knows I appreciate what she’s done, but she knows I’ll always tell her the truth.

In addition, we’re not supposed to congratulate every little thing. If you fall over yourself with every action, you’re “condition[ing] the child to expect praises every time” (Parentingforbrain.com). The workforce is starting to see a problem with this model when hiring Gen Y workers, as these employees now expect constant praise (Parentingforbrain.com). Big US companies are hiring “praise consultants to keep their young employees affirmed” (Growingleaders.com). I swear, I am not making this up.

Hats off to you parents and guardians. You certainly have a hard (albeit rewarding?) job. If you don’t mind, I’ll be over in the corner, intermittently babysitting and encouraging (with NO authoritative repercussions).

Your Bourke Accounting bookkeeper or tax preparer will not tell you you’re the best if you make a bonehead move. Your Bourke Accounting pro will congratulate your hard-won successes though. Bourke Accounting experts will always tell you the truth, no matter the consequences. After all, if you can’t trust a Bourke Accounting bookkeeper or tax preparer to tell you what’s what, you may as well just have dear old Autie Mildred kiss your cheek and tell you you’re the bee’s knees.

Come see us any time. Our number is 502-451-8773 and don’t forget to visit our website at www.bourkeaccounting.com. See you soon!

Written by Sue H.