Every once in a while there’s a story on the Internet that makes every parent, teacher or caregiver cry. The happy kind of cry.
In case you missed it, Caine Monroy is a gregarious 9-year-old boy who spends much of his time after school hanging out at his dad’s used auto parts store in East Los Angeles. Caine, a budding entrepreneur, designed and built an elaborate collection of arcade games and machines using only cardboard boxes and packing tape.
Most of the amusements are classics you’d find at any carnival midway, including one of those crank claw/crane machines that challenge you to scoop up stuffed animals. He selflessly used his own toys as prizes. Customers could play the games four times for $1 or get a “Fun Pass” good for 500 plays at a bargain price of $2.
Just one problem… Caine’s father’s auto shop is a virtual ghost town with barely any random foot traffic. Most customers are generally in a rush and don’t have the time to humor the boy.
Filmmaker Nirvan Mullick is the exception. He not only buys a Fun Pass, but takes the time to play each cardboard game and get to know Caine.
He’s so impressed with the kid’s spirit, that he does a bit of impromptu marketing and turns Caine’s Arcade into a busy, standing-room-only attraction.
I’m not going to tell you how that happens — let’s save the surprise ending for when you get a chance to watch Mullick’s short film below — but it’s a heartwarming example of how adults can make a tremendous difference in a child’s life just by making a tiny effort.
Contrary to popular belief, a nanny isn’t an hourly babysitter or someone to just make sure the kids don’t run out in the middle of the street. A professional nanny sees herself as a substitute parent, just as concerned with a child’s emotional, social and intellectual development as she is about bedtimes and making sure all the vegetables get eaten.
Not every kid’s idea will be as cute or as clever as Caine’s Arcade — and certainly very few will have these kind of miraculous results (again, you MUST watch the video). But encouraging children to dream, work hard and enjoy the limitless boundaries of their imaginations should be part of any full-time nanny’s job description. Most of the challenge simply comes down to patiently listening, and making the effort to engage with a child’s interests instead of trying to squeeze in one more text or an extra TV show.
At eNannySource, we urge every parent to run a Nanny Background Check on prospective candidates, but the screening shouldn’t end there. You’re not hiring a bodyguard or Secret Service Agent. Personality matters — a lot!
Searching for a nanny should include a personality screening, a set of interview questions that make it clear if she will be an ideal match for your family and parenting style. Only you know what’s most important for your needs, but here are “9 Questions for the Nanny Interview That Make the Difference” to get you started.
Feel free to mix it up a bit and see how she feels about this video!
Perhaps the most inspiring part of the whole story is how the filmmaker’s kindness will keep on giving. Mullick has set up a Caine’s Arcade Scholarship Fund to help Caine and other kids from disadvantaged backgrounds go to college.