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Pediatric Nurse Interview
Questions

29 Questions and Answers by Heather Douglass
Updated November 21st, 2018 | Heather has over 20 years experience recruiting and hiring candidates,
specifically in the health care industry.
Job Interviews     Careers     Nurse    

Question 1 of 29

Why do you think you are a good pediatric nurse?

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Interview Questions

1.

Why do you think you are a good pediatric nurse?

This is a chance for you to 'sell yourself' to the interviewer. Share what you think sets you apart from other pediatric nurses who may be applying. Remember, be positive. Make sure to mention some of your personal qualities, such as compassion, rather than only your hard skills.

Heather's Answer #1

"I am a very committed and dedicated to my job and helping those I am responsible for giving care to. I feel I will bring a great sense of passion for critical care to this job and look forward to being a part of such a great team of critical care nurses."

Darby's Answer #2

"I am passionate about being a good nurse and doing all I can to make a difference in the lives of my patients. I am a hard worker and believe in teamwork. I believe I could be an asset to the team of pediatric nurses you already have here."

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Anonymous Answer

"I am passionate about being the best CNA that I can be and have a strong drive to make a difference in the lives of my patients. I am a hard worker, and I work well with others to get the job done."

Rachelle's Answer

Try to dig a bit deeper, even looking into the characteristics listed in the job description. You could also refer to how your core values align with the values of the interviewing facility. Statements that include passion, drive, and hard work are ones that most interviewers hear all the time. To stand out, be sure to craft and memorize something memorable :)

"I am a good pediatric nurse because respect, sensitivity, and empathy are at the core of my values. These values align very well with the mission of {hospital}, making me an excellent choice for your facility. In addition to these values, I am flexible, can prioritize under pressure, and am responsible for my actions."

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Anonymous Answer

"I am very dedicated and committed to helping others. I look forward to waking up each day to come to work."

Lauren's Answer

Your interviewer is receiving an authentic sense for who you are based on your responses. You provide a sense of empathy that translates well through your answers. Great job!

"I am a great pediatric nurse because I am intrinsically connected to this work; I am dedicated and committed to helping others. I look forward to coming to work each day."

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2.

If you were offered a position that requires travel, would you accept it?

Some people jump at the chance to have a great job with the benefit of travel. If you are one of those people, a simple 'yes' answer is great. If you would prefer not to travel, say so, but offer a reason why that option is not appealing to you. Just remember, if you are not 100% sure you are willing to travel, don't say 'yes' just to try and land a job. Your resistance to travel later could be detrimental to continued employment.

Heather's Answer #1

"I would definitely accept a position that requires travel. I enjoy going to new places and meeting new people. Having an opportunity to work in a field that I love while being able to experience new people and work at different facilities would be great!"

Darby's Answer #2

"While I would not disagree to travel at times, I have small children and would prefer a position that offers more time at home."

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Anonymous Answer

"I would be willing to travel at times. However, my husband has a position where he travels often and I would like the flexibility of being able to be home a majority of the time."

Rachelle's Answer

Your preference is clear while still offering some flexibility, which is good.

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Anonymous Answer

"Do to my family and caring for my special needs sister, I would prefer a position for sable."

Lauren's Answer

I assisted with grammatical edits.

"Due to familial responsibilities and caring for my special needs sister, I would prefer a position that does not require travel."

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3.

Have you ever been in a situation in which a co-worker put a patient in jeopardy? If so, how did you handle it?

If you have ever been faced with a situation that resulted in you having to make a judgment call that may have affected the job of a friend or co-worker, you know how disheartening it can be. However, nurses are bound by law to protect patients and other co-workers by reporting anything in appropriate or dangerous. The interviewer wants to know that you are capable of identifying and reporting a situation if needed.

Heather's Answer #1

"I actually have experienced a time that I had to report a co-worker to my supervisor. One of my peers had a diabetic patient who had insulin order per sliding scale. The nurse gave insulin to the patient without checking his blood sugar level first. She told me and asked me not to tell anyone. However, I knew that patient safety the responsibility of everyone. So, I did notify the supervisor."

Darby's Answer #2

"I have never been in a situation that required me to report a co-worker. Honestly, I hope I never experience a situation like that."

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Anonymous Answer

"I have never been in a situation that required me to report a co-worker. I hope I never experience such a situation, but if I did, I would like to think that I would handle said situation per the protocol and work professionally."

Rachelle's Answer

Good! To the point and very clear.

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4.

Is there a particular story about a pediatric patient that was personally moving for you?

Nursing, although rewarding, can be very stressful at times. It is important to recognize the things that make you feel stressed, but it is just as important to be able to remember events that brought you satisfaction or happiness within the job. These are the things that keep a nurse motivated. The interviewer wants to see that you are able to balance the negatives with positives.

Heather's Answer #1

"I once had a patient with a seizure disorder come onto our unit. This child had a service dog, and we were able to draft new regulations allowing service animals to be accommodated. The presence of her dog made the child much more relaxed while receiving care on the medical unit. A comfortable patient heals faster. It was very moving to see how she interacted with her pet and what a difference it made for her having him there."

Darby's Answer #2

"I remember a patient who had leukemia and whose wish was to live through the Christmas holiday season. We were able to arrange a private room for her and we brought in decorations and a tree. She was able to have Christmas in her room with her family. I will never forget her."

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Anonymous Answer

"I have not yet worked with a pediatric patient, but do have a story of an adult patient who was personally moving for me. He had a major fall and traumatic brain injury; his doctors thought he would never walk or talk again. A couple of months later he was non-verbally responding with smiles and actions, then he was sitting in his chair, then taking his first steps and going to rehab. I got to see that patient walk out of the hospital. It was so touching."

Rachelle's Answer

What an amazing example! A story like this will make you a memorable candidate that stands out. Nicely done.

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Anonymous Answer

"I had a family that would come in for a visit as a group. It was a mother and a father and three siblings. The youngest was only a month old. His mother passed unexpectedly at the age of 22. The next visit that we saw them it was only dad and the youngest sibling. The other two have been taken from dad because they were not biological. Between my doctor and me, we pulled together to get them as many resources as we could; gave them free samples of everything. By the end of the visit you could see the dad's mood change to relief."

Lauren's Answer

This is a deeply moving response (that the interviewer will appreciate). You demonstrated empathy and professionalism with the family. I encourage you to create a more well-rounded response by explaining what the experience did for you; the interviewer will get to know you even more by doing so.

"I once worked with a family who always attended visits as a group. The family was comprised of a mother, father, and three children. Tragically, the mother passed away unexpectedly at the age of 22. As a result, the two older children were removed and placed with the biological family. Consequently, the father and youngest child (who was one month old), came in for a visit. The doctor and I collaborated to connect and refer them to as many resources as we could as well as free samples. By the end of the visit, we could visually see the relief on the father’s face. Patients like this will remain in my heart and memory. There is no better feeling than helping patients, and I cannot imagine myself in any other field or industry."

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5.

What advice would you give to a nurse who is about to begin a career in pediatrics?

Your thoughts and opinions are important. It is important to remember when you are asked a question like that that the interviewer will be observing for sincerity. Don't use this as an opportunity to say all of the things you would change in this specialty. Rather, highlight the things that are positive, things that would encourage others to want to be a part of your team.

Heather's Answer #1

"You are about to enter an amazing career. Be prepared to laugh and to cry. You will experience things that will make your own life richer as you will feel blessed every day from your encounters with patients and their families."

Darby's Answer #2

"I would say to remember that you're only human, and you will become emotionally involved. Remember it is ok to cry and laugh. Just know when each is appropriate. Most of all, don't be afraid to love and give your heart away because as a pediatric nurse you will do that every single day."

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6.

What about your job as a pediatric nurse gives you the most satisfaction?

We all have things that give us a feeling of accomplishment or satisfaction. The interviewer uses questions like this to get to know you, not just as a nurse, but as a person. Often the things that bring us satisfaction at work have a parallel in our personal lives that affect us in much the same way.

Heather's Answer #1

"As a pediatric nurse, one thing that makes me happy is seeing a child that has been very ill begin to recover. They seem to have a sparkle in their eyes that gets brighter as they get better."

Darby's Answer #2

"There are so many things about this job that are satisfying to me. I love the feeling of caring for someone and knowing that I gave my all with regard to my job of providing for them. Sometimes patients or family members thank me for being there, and that means so much. I always want those that I care for to feel like nursing is not just a job to me, but it's part of who I am."

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Anonymous Answer

"I love being able to care for someone else’s sick and vulnerable child. What I enjoy the most about my job as a pediatric nurse is seeing the smiles on kid's faces as they start to improve and feel better."

Rachelle's Answer

Nice answer. This must be a very rewarding experience :)

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7.

What would you say is your greatest strength as a pediatric nurse?

Understanding one's own strengths and weaknesses is critical. It is always a good idea to read over the job description of the job for which you are applying while preparing for an interview. Compare your strengths to the required skills listed in the job overview highlight those when the interviewer asks this question.

Heather's Answer #1

"I believe being a pediatric nurse requires several strengths. For me, personally, I am a very patient person and I feel like this is a skill that anyone providing care to children should learn."

Darby's Answer #2

"One of my strengths is definitely being able to multitask. Working with pediatric patients often means having to do several things at once. Children are not very patient; so being able to multitask and get things done quickly helps me get my job done without them becoming too impatient."

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Anonymous Answer

"My communication skills with the family and patients team."

Rachelle's Answer

Good start! Can you dive deeper into this, further explaining your communication style? You can even give an example of these strengths in action.

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8.

Nurses at our facility often work on rotation. Are you willing to work, nights,weekends, holidays, or overtime if needed?

Being flexible with the schedule you are willing to work is always a plus. However, many people work more than one job or have a one parent home which requires them to have a flexible schedule. Others simply prefer to work one shift rather than another. Being upfront with the interviewer about what schedule suits your preference could help prevent conflict later on. It is easier to plan a schedule you can agree on than it is to fix problems that arise due to fear of being rejected. Be honest and direct.

Heather's Answer #1

"I am not married and have no children at this time. So, I am pretty flexible with my schedule. If I had a choice, I would prefer the late shift, as I am a bit of a night owl. However, I am excited about the opportunity to become a part of this team and am willing to work where I'm needed."

Darby's Answer #2

"While I am not unopposed to working overtime or extended schedules such as holidays, I would like to have the opportunity to spend time with small children, as well."

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Anonymous Answer

"Yes, I am very flexible."

Rachelle's Answer

It's great that you offer flexibility. Are you accustomed to working this type of schedule?

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9.

If you could choose a specific schedule or shift, what would it be?

Many people work more than one job or have a one parent home which requires them to have a flexible schedule. Others simply prefer to work one shift rather than another. Being upfront with the interviewer about what schedule suits your preference could help prevent conflict later on. It is easier to plan a schedule you can agree on than it is to fix problems that arise due to fear of being rejected. Be honest and direct.

Heather's Answer #1

"I am not married and have no children at this time. So, I am pretty flexible with my schedule. If I had a choice, I would prefer the late shift, as I am a bit of a night owl. However, I am excited about the opportunity to become a part of this team and am willing to work where I'm needed."

Darby's Answer #2

"I really don't have a preferred schedule. I know that, as a new employee, I may be asked to work different shifts, and I am ok with that."

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Anonymous Answer

"I am pretty flexible with my schedule. If I had a choice, I would prefer the morning shift, as my husband has an 8 a.m. - 4 p.m. job. However, I am excited about the opportunity to become a part of this team and am willing to work where I'm needed."

Rachelle's Answer

Great response! Your preferences are clear while still showing a willingness to be flexible.

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Anonymous Answer

"I am pretty flexible with my scheduled. My ideal scheduled would be during the day but I am willing to work where I am needed."

Lauren's Answer

Great response; the interviewer will appreciate your flexibility. I assisted with minor grammatical edits.

"My ideal schedule would be during the day, but I am willing to work when I am needed. I am open and flexible to all shift opportunities."

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10.

Why do you think nurses often report experiencing 'burn out' and what do you do to help try to prevent that?

Being a healthcare provider is a great responsibility. Unfortunately, because of the great responsibility, many providers do report experiencing the need to take a break. The interviewer wants to know that you are capable of handling stress and that you know when to ask for help.

Heather's Answer #1

"I understand how some healthcare providers can experience burn out. It has nothing to do with wanting to change professions or leave a job. Sometimes it's just hard to lose patients or to feel like we can't save them all. I try to schedule myself some personal time, whether its a few days away when I am off work or going hiking. Anything to help create some balance in my life."

Darby's Answer #2

"I had a great mentor when I was in nursing school. She told me if I didn't remember anything else she told me, that I should always remember to take care of myself. I have grown to understand what she meant. If we are bogged down physically and emotionally, it is easy to become overwhelmed and experience feeling burned out."

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Anonymous Answer

"I think nurses experience burnout because it is not an easy job. It can be an emotionally and physically draining job at times, which is why it is crucial to take care of yourself and to remember the reasons why you love your job. After a rough day, I also write down the positive things that happened before going to bed."

Rachelle's Answer

Excellent answer! Offering insight into your own routine is a very nice touch.

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Anonymous Answer

"Nurses are very passionate people and truly love what they do. We put some much into our work to help others. I believe we forget to take time for ourselves. I love to take vacations or bake to help prevent burn out."

Lauren's Answer

Terrific response; you demonstrate a level of introspection and reflection to safeguard against burn out in order to stay healthy. I enhanced your response slightly.

"Over the years, I have experienced many colleagues who have burnt out. Nurses are very passionate people, and we genuinely love what we do. We put so much time, focus, attention, and energy into helping others, that we sometimes forget to nurture ourselves. Having a healthy work-life balance allows me to safeguard against burn out. I love to bake, take vacations, and decompress with family and friends."

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11.

How do you respond to an emergency situation at work?

Depending on the situation, you will want to respond quickly and make yourself available to assist the doctor in any way you can. Be aware of the surroundings and also observe the patient. Your best response will be one where you are sensitive to the situation by listening closely to the doctor and nurses involved. There may not be anything you can do to help, but if you get in the way, you could definitely create more problems. Ask what you can do and pay attention. If you need to step aside, be respectful and understanding.

Heather's Answer #1

"If an emergency were to arise, I would wait patiently for the doctors orders and assist her or him in whatever she or he needs. If there is an immediate danger to a patient or someone in my care, I would make sure to offer assistance to get them to safety."

Darby's Answer #2

"That really depends on the situation. I always try to remember to remain as calm as possible and report to my designated area as quickly as possible and follow emergency protocol."

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Anonymous Answer

"This depends on what the emergency is. I would follow the protocol based on the emergency and act calmly. If I could do something in my field of practice in an emergency that needed immediate attention, then I would do so at that time."

Rachelle's Answer

Perfect response! The interviewer will be looking for an answer that refers to your ability to remain calm while recalling your training.

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Anonymous Answer

"I would assess the situation. Remove the patient from any immediate danger. Notify the physician and follow any orders that the physician has."

Lauren's Answer

Great response. It is helpful for the interviewer that you are proactive versus reactive in times of crisis.

"In a crisis situation, I remain calm and proactive. I would assess the situation quickly to remove myself and the patient from any immediate danger, and notify the physician and follow necessary protocols."

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12.

Have you ever worked in an environment where your co-workers were from diverse backgrounds?

In an industry as large as healthcare, diversity among peers is inevitable. To be successful, it is crucial to learn how to work with a diverse group of people. Some people are intimidated when faced with learning new cultures and beliefs, but in the healthcare industry, it is crucial to provide effective care. The interviewer wants to know that you are open to meeting and learning about new people and becoming an integral part of the team. Be positive with your response.

Heather's Answer #1

"The diversity of specialty areas is something I love about the healthcare field. I like the idea of being in a career that challenges me to learn and grow. I believe we all have something that we can contribute to others and I like to embrace the diversity among those that I work with."

Darby's Answer #2

"The largest diverse group I worked with was probably when I did my clinical rotation at University Medical Center. I was afforded the opportunity to meet people from different cultures, religions, and professional backgrounds. It gave me an eye-opening experience of how many wonderful people there are!"

Anonymous Answer

"The largest diverse group I worked with was when I worked at Memorial Hospital. I got the opportunity to dig deep and build wonderful relationships with those from different cultures."

Rachelle's Answer

Good answer! Try rounding out your response with your thoughts on the importance of diversity in a medical setting.

"The largest diverse group I worked with was at Bryan West Hospital. I gained the opportunity to dig deep and build wonderful relationships with those from different cultures. I believe that diversity in the workplace creates an opportunity for innovation, new working styles, and creative patient care concepts to surface."

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Anonymous Answer

"I have experience a very diverse culture during my clinical in school and my time working an LPN. I believe we all have different aspects to contribute to better the work place and to provide great patient care."

Lauren's Answer

Wonderfully thoughtful response! I made slight edits and included your eagerness to join a diverse work group.

"I have had the pleasure of working in several diverse environments during my clinical schooling and tenure at LPN. I believe everyone possesses unique strengths that enhance patient care and the workplace."

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13.

What fuels your passion for your work as a pediatric nurse?

This question is just as important for you as it is the interviewer. It is important to recognize what is important to you and how it affects your drive to perform a job well. The interviewer wants a look inside at what makes you passionate about this job.

Heather's Answer #1

"Pediatrics is truly rewarding in that we have kids with illnesses of varying degrees. Sometimes they come to us with chronic, debilitating conditions. Still, they always find a way to smile and play no matter how tough it gets. Kids are so resilient."

Darby's Answer #2

"I think I could say more than one thing fuels my passion for pediatrics. There is just something about the feeling I get when I can help a child begin to recover and be back to his happy, playful self. It is a very rewarding feeling."

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Anonymous Answer

"What fuels my passion for my work as a pediatric nurse is going home at the end of the day knowing that I made a difference in my patients' lives and even their families' lives. Putting a smile on their face and helping them to have a better experience in such a difficult time is the driving force."

Rachelle's Answer

Your response is well said and very heartfelt. Nice work.

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Anonymous Answer

"The kids drive my passion. Their joy they bring even when they are sick truly is rewarding."

Lauren's Answer

Wonderful response. I assisted with minor grammatical edits.

"The children drive my passion every day. The joy they bring even when they are sick is truly rewarding; I am motivated to assist them as best I can, and help make their experience as comfortable as possible."

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14.

If you were the person responsible for hiring new employees, what qualities would you look for in a candidate? Do you think you possess those qualities?

There is more than one reason for asking this question. First, the interviewer wants to know what qualities you think are important to perform this job. Second, and most importantly, your answer will tell the interviewer if you hold yourself to the same standard as you do others. If you want to see certain characteristics in your peers, you should be able to tell the interviewer with confidence that you possess those traits, as well. This question is one that interviewers often use to distinguish sincerity on the part of the candidate.

Heather's Answer #1

"I believe that honesty is important no matter what job title a person holds. I have found that being honest with people creates an atmosphere of mutual trust and respect. Those qualities, I feel, are essential when building rapport with patients and co-workers."

Darby's Answer #2

"If I were hiring someone, I would look for someone who is passionate about the job and about patient care. I also feel that being approachable and willing to learn is very important."

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Anonymous Answer

"Seeing that this is a profession for growing and learning, I would hire someone who is passionate and has the desire to grow and learn."

Rachelle's Answer

Try completing the question by drawing ties to the qualities you mention, and the qualities you possess.

"Seeing that pediatric nursing is a profession for growing and learning, I would hire someone who is passionate and has the desire to grow and learn. It's important to me that I take new courses and workshops throughout the year, for my own professional growth."

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Anonymous Answer

"Being honest, trustworthiness, and hardworking are a few qualities I believe a worker should possess."

Lauren's Answer

Great response. I added more depth to your response to further drive your point.

"I am a firm believer in leading by example. I take pride in my work and appreciate it when colleagues think and do the same. I would hire employees who had the same level of honesty, trustworthiness, and a reliable work ethic that I possess. I believe these traits are innate in successful nurses, and I would want to hire individuals with like-minded values and qualities."

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15.

What are some things you would like for people to notice about your personality?

Personality and character are closely related. For instance, someone with an honest character or good work ethic will tend to be more open about his or her beliefs as well as personal and professional expectations. The interviewer is looking for cues as to what character you may bring to the table, so to speak. It is important to remember, body language speaks volume and eye contact is a big indicator of your self-esteem, and your self-esteem is reflected outwardly in your personality. Be confident when you answer and make eye contact with the interviewer.

Heather's Answer #1

"I would describe my personality as approachable, light-hearted, and positive. I like to give more than I take and pride myself on being part of a team."

Darby's Answer #2

"I would like for people to feel that I am genuine and easy to get along with. Life can be stressful, but we don't have to dwell on difficult things. I want to people to see that, no matter what may be going on whether at home or work, I have a positive attitude and a good work ethic."

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Anonymous Answer

"I would like for people to notice that I am easy-going, approachable, and kind. I want others to see that no matter what life throws at me, I keep a positive attitude and continue to be passionate and loving."

Rachelle's Answer

Perfect response! This would make me want to hire you :)

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Anonymous Answer

"I always try to stay positive and make the most of everything. Kids are smart and pick up on how people act. Their little eyes are always watching, and we need to set an example for them."

Lauren's Answer

Wonderful response! I assisted with minor edits.

"People pick up on my positivity most readily. Children are very smart and pick up on people's actions and reactions. Their little eyes are always watching, so I make a conscious effort to set a good example."

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