Three- and four-year-olds are fascinating. They are, for lack of a better word, “becoming.” They are beginning to show their own unique personality. They are beginning to develop their sense of “self.”

Three- and four-year-olds begin to distinguish between fact and fiction, between what is “real” and what is make-believe. They begin to sort through, distinguish between, and categorize feelings, thoughts, and actions.

There is no specific timetable for development and development is not a “one-size-fits-all” situation. Children develop in different areas at different rates. Development is divided into five general categories: physical, intellectual, social, emotional, and moral. It is perfectly normal for children to make greater advancements in one area at a time.

Physical milestones:

* He’ll be able to ride a tricycle.
* He’ll be able to climb a ladder.
* He can scribble with a pen, pencil, or crayola.
* He begins to dress himself.
* He can feed himself with either a spoon or a fork.
* He is mostly toilet trained.

Intellectual milestones:

* His imagination develops and he likes to assume “play-like” grown-up roles as mommy, daddy, fireman or superhero.
* He is curious and asks a lot of questions.
* He begins to understand the cause/effect concept.

Social milestones:

* He can now accept separation from his mother calmly.
* He beings to interact with other children his own age.
* He begins to notice and imitate the differences in the way men and women behave.

Emotional milestones:

* He is becoming sensitive to the feelings of others.
* He is becoming more independent.
* He wants to please the adults in his world.

Moral milestones:

* He begins to understand the difference between right and wrong.
* He wants people to like him.
* He is gaining self-control.

 

TLC For Kids, Inc. has been St. Louis’ premier nanny and babysitting agency for over 30 years. TLC For Kids’ dedicated staff is ready to assist you in finding nannies, tutors, newborn care specialists, sitters and more.  Reach us at tlc@tlcforkids.com or 314-725-5660.

National Nanny Recognition Week (NNRW) is a week long event, created in 1998, to bring awareness to the positive impact nannies and caregivers have on the children and families they work with. All too often we hear the negative stories of caregivers, but not enough of the positive. Nannies give their hearts to the children they care for, often sacrificing time away from their own family and friends. Being a nanny isn’t about working for wealthy or celebrity parents – it’s walking in the door and having the child run to you with open arms because they are happy to see you and can’t wait for the next adventure. It’s about the child drawing a picture of their family, with the nanny proudly displayed for all to see.

What began as an effort of few now spans hundreds of professionals the last full week of September each year.  NNRW continues to focus on the positive, quality aspects that nannies bring to their charges and jobs every day; and for parents and agencies to say “Thank You” to their wonderful caregivers. ~ www.nnrw.org 

How can you say Thank You to your nanny?

♥ Say Thank You ♥ Tell your friends good things about her knowing she will hear them back ♥ a surprise day off ♥ Have the children say Thank You ♥ Treat your nanny to breakfast or dinner made by the family ♥ a card and framed photo of the family ♥ Membership fees to a local nanny support group or other Professional Organization ♥ Pay for conference fees to Nannypalooza or INA with paid professional days to attend the event ♥ Pay for dinner out with friends ♥ gift basket of favorite treats ♥ gift certificates to favorite stores ♥ movie tickets ♥ gift certificate for manicure/pedicure or massage ♥ handmade card or gift from the child/children ♥

From the TLC family to all our nannies … Thank You! We appreciate all you do day after day, and are grateful to have you as part of our family of caregivers.

There’s a very good reason why we often refer to two-year-olds as the “terrible twos.” They are discovering themselves. They discover that it is possible for them to make their own choices about food, clothes, sleep, and play. The two-year-old is aware of becoming a separate and distinct human being.    

The good news is that the terrible twos only last for about a year, and even better news is that they are followed by the terrific threes.

Indications to parents that there could be a problem in normal development are if the child becomes either too easily adaptable or too aggressive. Both extremes indicate problems and should be discussed with the child’s pediatrician.

There are five general areas of development: physical, intellectual, social, emotional, and moral. There is, of course, no specified or RIGHT order in which children develop. Remember that each child is an individual, and the following is only a general outline of the development expected of two- and three-year-olds.

Physical development:

* Coordination improves and physical activities include: running, climbing, kicking and throwing a ball, pulling and pushing objects, etc.
* He handles and manipulates small objects like buttons, zippers, pencils, etc.
* He feeds himself with a spoon.
* He helps to dress himself.
* He can build a block tower of six or seven blocks.
* Will gain control of bowels and bladder.

Intellectual development:

* He is very curious and explores the world using all five senses.
* He can make sentences of three or four words.
* He can sing simple songs.
* He can keep simple rhythms.

Social development:

* He is still wary of strangers and clings to his mother.
* Attempts to imitate adult activities like washing dishes, mopping floors, applying makeup, shaving, etc.
* He can participate in simple group activities like listening to a short story.

Emotional development:

* Begins to assert himself and says “no” frequently.
* Shows emotions by laughing, squealing, throwing temper tantrums and crying hysterically.
* Develops fear of such things as animals and loud noises.

Moral development:

* He wants to “be good.”
* He still can’t keep promises.

Good manners makes other people like a child, but maybe it’s more important that good manners make a child like himself and give him confidence. Nobody wants to embarrass themselves by committing a faux pas. So the question is, how does a parent go about teaching a child good manners?  

Actually, teaching good manners begins early and almost naturally. We teach our little ones to use the “magic words” (“please” and “thank you”) as soon as they master “mama and dada.”

Young children imitate what they see the adults in their world do. Imitation is the way children learn. If they see their parents using basic good manners, they will use good basic manners themselves.

But the finer points of good manners must be instructed. When instructing a child in using good manners, it is important to use positive teaching techniques rather than negative reprimands.

Good manners sometimes are governed by the words we choose to express thoughts. Your little darling might say, “YUCK! I hate this slimy green stuff!” Wait to correct him and at a later time and in private you tell the child that it would be more polite to say, “I really don’t care for spinach.”

It takes time and patience to teach a child to have good manners. You aren’t going to cover the spectrum of good manners in a day of instruction, no matter how intense. Teaching good manners goes on and on. As situations are presented, you teach the child the most polite way to handle them.

And when you know that your child knows how to use good manners, you need to expect him to use those good manners all the time. Good manners can become a good habit and help your child to become confident in himself in social situations.

Children who are between the ages of one year and three years are referred to as a group as “toddlers,” but there is a great deal of difference between a one-year-old and a three-year-old. Here we’ll just discuss onesies and twosies.  

The main job of a one-year-old as he progresses to being a two-year-old is to establish self-awareness, develop speech, become responsive to others, and begin to get the basics of self-control.

When a child is between the ages of one and two, parents can begin to take note of indications of developmental problems. Excessive adaptability problems become apparent; withdrawal, passivity, fearfulness; obsessive head banging, finger sucking, rocking; lack of interest; and being overly rebellious. If any of these extreme behaviors are noted by parents, they should be discussed with the pediatrician.

Physical development between one and two years includes: * Learning to walk * Learning to climb * Pushing and pulling objects * Stacking one object on top of another * Removing clothing

Intellectual development between one and two years includes: * Begins to explore the world around him * Used all five senses to learn about his world * Begins to learn and say names of simple objects * Can form simple one- or two-word sentences * Begins to enjoy and maybe imitate simple melodies and rhythms

Social development between one and two years includes: * Becoming possessive of his own possessions * Enjoying interaction with familiar people * Waves bye-bye and begins to accept separation

Emotional development between one and two years includes: * Begins to develop trust * Throws temper tantrums * Is usually happy but can become angry * May become frustrated

Morals begin to develop at about age two and are indicated by the child becoming sensitive to and seeking the approval of the adults in his world.

 

TLC For Kids, Inc. has been St. Louis’ premier nanny and babysitting agency for over 30 years. TLC For Kids’ dedicated staff is ready to assist you in finding nannies, tutors, newborn care specialists, sitters and more.  Reach us at tlc@tlcforkids.com or 314-725-5660.

It is common for kids, especially preschoolers, to suffer from separation anxiety. Separation anxiety is  hard on both the child and the parents.  Trust me  I know, I have lived through it.  Whether it was taking my children to school, a birthday party or a leaving them with a babysitter they cried.  Leaving them was hard but leaving them when they are crying was even harder.  Thankfully, I don’t have these problems anymore.   Now when I leave them with a TLC  babysitter they wave goodbye with a smile on their face and start playing.

Here are some tips from  Dr. Laura Horsch , a child psychologist in Menlo Park, California on helping your kids deal with separation anxiety.

1.   It’s important for parents to keep their morning goodbyes consistent and short. “Lingering in response to crying or tantruming may inadvertently reinforce those behaviors,” explains Horsch.  The rule of thumb in such situations is to strive for a short goodbye process.

2. “Parents are encouraged to prepare their children for what to expect, acknowledge their child’s feelings, engage their child in a goodbye ritual (for example, hug, wave, etc.), and reassure their child that they will return,” she says.

3.  And it’s crucial for parents to talk openly with their children about their feelings. Read a book about kids going off to school or Mommy going to work and then discuss with your child. And remind them that Mommy or Daddy will always come back to get them.

Horsch reminds parents that being tearful before mom or dad leave is common and natural. “Remember that these challenges are likely a normative part of healthy child development. These experiences are part of a child’s building resilience and emotion regulation.”

And she adds that there is almost always a silver lining: “Most children calm down quickly and enjoy their day shortly after their parents’ departure.”

To read the complete article and interview with Dr. Horsch click here.

 

TLC For Kids, Inc. has been St. Louis’ premier nanny and babysitting agency for over 30 years. TLC For Kids’ dedicated staff is ready to assist you in finding nannies, tutors, newborn care specialists, sitters and more.  We serve St. Louis, Atlanta and Florida. Reach us at tlc@tlcforkids.com or 314-725-5660

New backpack? Check.

New crayons? Check.

New clothes? Check.

Childcare? Don’t stress. No matter how much help you need, TLC for Kids has a few ideas on how to help you gear up for the school year.

1. Hire an after school nanny. Not every parent is able to be home after school with their kids. Luckily, TLC for Kids has caregivers with flexible schedules to care for your children when you need it. After school caregivers can pick up your child from school, help with homework, start on dinner, etc. All of our caregivers have reliable, insured forms of transportation and have been thoroughly vetted.

2. Make a list of your top five favorite nannies. Once the school year starts, calendars start overflowing with practices, PTA meetings, and plays. When parents get this busy, it is easy to forget when you need a sitter. Plan ahead and make your requests now with for your favorite sitters. Requesting your favorite sitters in advance helps ensure one of them will be available. A familiar nanny is easier for you and your kiddos because they’ve been to your house before—you don’t have to spend time explaining all the dos and don’ts. Plus, being requested for a job lets your nanny know he/she is doing her job well.

3. Emergency Childcare. No matter how much planning we do last minute needs come up. Our kids will get sick, an extra practice is scheduled or a last minute meeting is added to the calendar. Don’t worry, the TLC for Kids Emergency Service can help with these last minute needs.

TLC for Kids is here to help as you gear up for this school year. Visit us online at tlcforkids.com or call 314-725-5660.

 

Families everywhere are getting ready for the beginning of the new school year.  Here are some helpful tips from Good Morning America parenting expert Ann Pleshette Murphy so you can be prepared for the first day.

1. Start readjusting to a school-year bedtime now.

2. Hang a family calendar and color-code everyone’s activities.

3. Gather all school forms as they arrive.

4. Book babysitters now for your school’s parents’ night and other dates when they’ll be in-demand.  Call TLC for Kids to help with all your babysitting needs.

5. Create a family station where you can find what you need as you head out the door.

6. Set up an in/out box for school forms.

7. Look at online organizational websites.

8. Discuss goals for the year.

9. Institute a night quiet hour.

10. Reach out to your child’s teacher.

 

Good luck on the first day.  Don’t forget to post your first day of school photo’s on our Facebook page for a chance to win $20 credit towards any TLC for Kids agency fee.

 

TLC For Kids, Inc. has been St. Louis’ premier nanny and babysitting agency for over 30 years.   TLC For Kids’ dedicated staff is ready to assist you in finding nannies, tutors, newborn care specialists, sitters and more.  Reach us at tlc@tlcforkids.com or 314-725-5660

 

There are many moments in parenting, ranging from the warm and emotional moments, to the ones when you want to throw an adult tantrum. Our own children are the most knowledgeable about our temperaments, and they know exactly how to push our buttons for maximum reaction.

It is difficult when we cannot agree on an issue with our children, and both parties are passionate about their respective points of view. It is also difficult when we feel burnt out simply from the rigors of parenting. How do you know when you as a parent need to take a time out and step back for a few moments to regain your cool?

The Argument Has Lasted Too Long

There is a time to talk things out, and a time to end the conversation. If you have been arguing with your child for a lengthy amount of time and it simply keeps on going, perhaps it is time to take a break. Putting the talk on hold doesn’t mean you can’t continue it later, but it is often wise to end it and continue it later when you are both feeling refreshed.

There Is No Resolution in Sight

Sometimes there is an issue that you must discuss, but you feel like you and your child are both talking in circles. It can get to a point where everyone becomes more determined to make their point, and each party stops listening to the other. This is another moment where the only solution is to temporarily put the conversation on hold.

You Begin to Feel Angry

If you begin to feel tense while parenting, or feel your blood pressure rising, you may have reached your limit. It may be time to walk away and spend a little time alone. When you as a parent are feeling angry, this can turn into a power struggle and it will always be tipped in your favor, leaving your child feeling powerless and trapped. This is a feeling that can negatively affect your relationship, so end it while you have the chance to settle things in a calm manner.

Your Child Appears Angry

If your child is feeling angry, it is possible you are not acting or speaking in a loving and fair manner. Sometimes our children need breaks from us, and we must be the mature one who removes ourselves from the situation and gives them the space they need. Take a time out and allow your child the chance to cool down without having to always be the one who retreats.

You Feel Tired

Even as adults, we are still human. There are moments when we have reached our limit and need to take some time to breathe. Find a relaxing activity that you enjoy and take awhile to recover. You will come back refreshed and ready to parent with more energy and positivity.

Parenting is rewarding, but that reward is not always felt strongly when we are burnt out or in the middle of an argument with our children. There are times you will need to take a step back and embrace silence. Give yourself a time out and come back to real life when you have been fully recharged.

 

TLC For Kids, Inc. has been St. Louis’ premier nanny and babysitting agency for over 30 years. TLC For Kids’ dedicated staff is ready to assist you in finding nannies, tutors, newborn care specialists, sitters and more.  We serve St. Louis, Atlanta and Florida. Reach us at tlc@tlcforkids.com or 314-725-5660

Moving from elementary school to middle school is hard for anyone. Your middle schooler may feel overwhelmed, anxious and even scared to walk the halls of middle school. Depending on the setting, they could be in a new building. They could be with other kids they have not met yet. And, they could be the youngest around after being the oldest in their former school. When it comes time to make the move, be sure you are doing all you can to help them adjust.

No Mom!

The most common words you will hear from your middle schooler will start with the word “no.” This is normal and to be expected. The fact is, middle school is also a time when you start to explore yourself, forging your own way and getting to do things on your own, without mom and dad to help you through. When you ask your child if they would like your help, and they tell you no, realize this is a good sign. They are trying to work through their problems on their own, which should be a sign of good intentions.

On the other hand, you may hear a change in the discipline of your child during the middle school years. They may be more willing to talk back and may question your authority. Realize that this too is a sign of being independent and do not take it to heart. Most parents will still want to enforce the rules, as a family you should not feel that changes are necessary for your middle school kid.

It Isn’t Just The Building

There are many other changes happening for your middle school kid, too that have nothing to do with the school itself. Suddenly, boys are cute and girls look pretty. And, of course, puberty is in full swing, which means lots of raging hormones and misunderstood topics. You can help your child through these situations by simply being informative but not pushy. Ensure they have had the opportunity talk with you about puberty and that you have answered their questions. Give them guidance when you can without being too over the top about it. The fact is, your child will feel embarrassed and if you push them too far, you could push them away.

For many boys, puberty brings on more aggression and anger. This often happens at school. If you find your child is acting out more, realize that it may be normal, but that does not mean it is allowable. Talk with your school about potential problems and get them under control. Middle schoolers do need guidance and often need more reassurance of the rules than kids younger than them.

Handling School

School itself will change for your middle school child, too. A variety of school issues change too. Here are some things to prepare your child for leading up to middle school.

• Let them know that the demand for work will be higher during their middle school years than during their elementary years. This is also a time to talk with them about grades and the importance of them.

• Talk with your child about the increased amount of social activities and after school activities, they will have more exposure. Set limits on what they can do including what affect it can have on their grades.

• Let them know that they are going to have more responsibilities in school. For example, your child will be more responsible for finding their way from classroom to classroom. They will need to remember which books to bring home, as their teachers won’t be helping them.

Moving into middle school can be a lot of fun, too. Your children are going to meet new people and start growing into their own people. You may find this a good time for bounding, but more than likely your child will want more freedom to do the things that interest them. They may want to go to the mall with friends or meet their friends at the arcade. Realize that all of your hard work in talking to them and teaching them over the last few years is going to come into play now. In most cases, they will enjoy being a middle schooler, and you may enjoy them, too.

 

TLC For Kids, Inc. has been St. Louis’ premier nanny and babysitting agency for over 30 years. TLC For Kids’ dedicated staff is ready to assist you in finding nannies, tutors, newborn care specialists, sitters and more.  We serve St. Louis, Atlanta and Florida. Reach us at tlc@tlcforkids.com or 314-725-5660