Through play, children develop into adults. That’s just the way it works. Children develop all of the important skills of life through play. Education gives them information, play is the way they apply that information to life. 

Play is not just physical, and the purpose of play is not just pleasure, although play can be both physical and pleasurable. An active play life for a child includes the testing of and enhancement of his physical abilities (learning to climb, run, jump, etc.).

Play also includes learning about human interactions and relationships. The child learns such important life skills as communication, negotiation, and compromise when he is playing a game with other children.

Most friendships begin with play for children and even for adults. Think about how your own friendships develop — mutual interest and mutual pleasure (play) is key to the friendship growing and developing. The same is true for children.

And play stokes the imagination and fosters creativity — coloring in a color book or cutting out shapes, drawing pictures, all of these things bring the child’s natural creative ability into focus for him.

Play can be serious business for children, although they would never classify it as “serious.” My six-year-old son told me that he didn’t want to go visit the child of a friend of mine because, “he doesn’t know how to play fair.” Children have their own set of standards that are mostly a mystery to adults, but there IS a system in place that matures through play into a set of adult standards.

An adult can watch children at play and simply miss all of the important “stuff” that is taking place between the children. The kids are determining a “pecking order,” establishing boundaries, and developing their physical abilities as well as their creativity and their imaginations. And you thought they were just playing! Play IS the work of childhood.

 

To assist with the current crisis, TLC is temporarily offering FREE MEMBERSHIP and DISCOUNTED AGENCY FEES to all Medical Professionals and First Responders. We know you cannot work at home and want to help you ensure you have solid care arrangements for your loved ones. Call TLC at 314.725.5660 to learn more and get started.

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 in Atlanta, Charlotte, Chicago, Ft. Lauderdale, Jacksonville, Miami, Orlando, Palm Beach, Sarasota, St. Louis, Tampa and more!. Reach us at tlc@tlcforkids.com or 314-725-5660.

I’m often asked what age a child should be when his parents begin to read to him. The answer is, “It’s never too soon to start!” The baby can “hear” in the womb. Oh, he doesn’t understand words, but he does understand emotions, and he does respond to the emotion behind a sound. 

Sudden loud sounds cause a fetus to flinch. Calming sounds calm, and there is nothing more calming to an unborn baby than the sound of his mother’s voice. So, yes, read to your child before he is born….what you read doesn’t matter…the daily newspaper is fine as long as you read it aloud and in a soft, comforting voice.

The first books that parents should read to their child after he is born are those that feature touching and textures. Children begin to learn language and associate different senses with different words at a very early age.

As the infant becomes a toddler, the books that are read to the child can be used to help reinforce positive behaviors. There are thousands of excellent books for toddlers on the market. It is better to use books that are made of washable materials that are not easily torn until a child is old enough to learn how to treat books with care.

Reading time is a special time for children. They love the sound of their parents’ voices, and they love the undivided attention that one-on-one reading provides. They also love the physical closeness — the touching and cuddling — that are part of a parent reading to a child.

The wisdom of the ages is contained in books. The earlier a child is introduced to books and the pleasure that books bring into his life, the better he will do in life. Nobody who loves to read is ever lonely if they have a book to read!

 

To assist with the current crisis, TLC is temporarily offering FREE MEMBERSHIP and DISCOUNTED AGENCY FEES to all Medical Professionals and First Responders. We know you cannot work at home and want to help you ensure you have solid care arrangements for your loved ones. Call TLC at 314.725.5660 to learn more and get started.

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 in Atlanta, Charlotte, Chicago, Ft. Lauderdale, Jacksonville, Miami, Orlando, Palm Beach, Sarasota, St. Louis, Tampa and more!. Reach us at tlc@tlcforkids.com or 314-725-5660.

Babies come into this world with a functioning (but still developing) physical body. They have all their parts, and those parts work — sort of. Babies grow and develop physically without a lot of “help” from the adults in their world other than the adults providing food and shelter. But babies also grow intellectually, socially, emotionally, and morally, and growth in these areas requires a great deal more from the parents of the child. Food and shelter aren’t enough. 

Here we are talking about teaching “responsibility.” How many times have you heard, “It wasn’t MY fault,” “SHE did it,” and all of the variations for declaring oneself not responsible. It’s a natural human response not to want to be held accountable when bad things happen.

Teaching that there are consequences for wrong behavior is part of teaching responsibility. Children must not live in a “consequence”-free world. When they do wrong, there need to be consequences.

For example, when a toddler throws a toy in anger, the parent might pick the toy up and hand it back to the child once. If the child throws the toy again in anger, the parent must remove the toy and deny the child the pleasure of playing with the toy. Responsibility! Bad actions do not produce good results.

Children must be actively taught to be responsible for their own actions (or inaction’s). He forgets his lunch today, and if you take his lunch to him, he is very apt to forget his lunch tomorrow. If he misses lunch, he’ll likely remember his lunch forever more. Responsibility!

Teaching a child to step forward and accept responsibility for his or her actions isn’t easy. There isn’t a parent alive (or an expert, for that matter) who would claim that teaching responsibility is easy — but it IS necessary!

 

To assist with the current crisis, TLC is temporarily offering FREE MEMBERSHIP and DISCOUNTED AGENCY FEES to all Medical Professionals and First Responders. We know you cannot work at home and want to help you ensure you have solid care arrangements for your loved ones. Call TLC at 314.725.5660 to learn more and get started.

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 in Atlanta, Charlotte, Chicago, Ft. Lauderdale, Jacksonville, Miami, Orlando, Palm Beach, Sarasota, St. Louis, Tampa and more!. Reach us at tlc@tlcforkids.com or 314-725-5660.

Young children take life literally. They view all situations as “good” or “bad.” Water is either “hot” or “cold.” Young children do not assign “degrees” to any situation, and in the young child’s world, everything is real. The three-year-old has absolutely no doubt that Sponge Bob or Dora the Explorer really exists. These characters are just as “real” to the child as Mommy and Daddy. Santa can circle the globe and visit every child on the planet in a single night and the Easter Bunny can deliver baskets of colored eggs just like Daddy can make the car go and Mommy can make food magically appear. 

In my opinion, make-believe is not only healthy, it is essential. Make believe helps a child to make sense of the world around him. He assigns his perceptions of a person, place, or thing with the help of make-believe.

There are those who advocate removing all make-believe from childhood. These experts tell us that make believe causes children to delay their perception of their reality. Shame on them! Too much “reality” isn’t good for adults much less little kids.

Grown-ups attend movies and plays and get caught up in the action on the screen or on the stage. Just for a moment, they believe what they are seeing and hearing. Adults, of course, can separate fact from fiction and fantasy from reality. Kids will learn to make those distinctions as they grow older. Meanwhile, that fantasy is helping them learn how to deal with life in a safe and nonthreatening way.

As long as the make-believe is healthy and doesn’t desensitize the child (make killing seem good and evil seem desirable), I see no harm in make-believe.

 

To assist with the current crisis, TLC is temporarily offering FREE MEMBERSHIP and DISCOUNTED AGENCY FEES to all Medical Professionals and First Responders. We know you cannot work at home and want to help you ensure you have solid care arrangements for your loved ones.  Call TLC at 314.725.5660 to learn more and get started.

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 in Atlanta, Charlotte, Chicago, Ft. Lauderdale, Jacksonville, Miami, Orlando, Palm Beach, Sarasota, St. Louis, Tampa and more!. Reach us at tlc@tlcforkids.com or 314-725-5660.

Children are born with some measure of creativity. I believe that. Like all human ability, of course, some children are more creative than others, but creativity at some level is innate.

Young children have mental images of their perception of the world long before they have the linguistic skill to voice those images. The adults in the child’s world need to provide the child with the opportunity to communicate those metal images using a wide range of ways other than the spoken or written word; gestures, drawings, paintings, sculpture, construction, music, make-believe play, movement, and dance.

There are three basic ways in which parents can help their children to develop their innate creativity: experience, tools, and encouragement.

Experience: Children need to be exposed to a wide range of creative media, including art, dance, acting, sculpturing, etc. The more children see the results of the creativity of others, the more their own creativity is fostered.

Television is a good medium, and I’m certainly not objecting to all television programming for children; but parents need to be selective about their young children’s television viewing. Television programming for children needs to help children see the results of creativity and encourage children to be creative themselves.

Tools: If you put some Silly Putty in the hands of a five-year-old, you’ll be surprised at what he creates. If you give children the tools that they need to express themselves creatively, they WILL use those tools. They will dance to music. They will cut and paste with abandon. Kids need tools to be creative. Every home in which there are children should have a place where kids can create with abandon.

Encouragement: When children see their parents engaging in creative pursuits, they will imitate them. If the parents do nothing more creative than change channels on the TV, the kids aren’t being encouraged to be creative themselves. Children are encouraged by example and not by words.

 

To assist with the current crisis, TLC is temporarily offering FREE MEMBERSHIP and DISCOUNTED AGENCY FEES to all Medical Professionals and First Responders. We know you cannot work at home and want to help you ensure you have solid care arrangements for your loved ones.  Call TLC at 314.725.5660 to learn more and get started.

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 in Atlanta, Charlotte, Chicago, Ft. Lauderdale, Jacksonville, Miami, Orlando, Palm Beach, Sarasota, St. Louis, Tampa and more!. Reach us at tlc@tlcforkids.com or 314-725-5660.

Regular schedules provide the day with a structure that orders a young child’s world. Although predictability can be tiresome for adults, children thrive on repetition and routine. Schedules begin from the first days of life. Babies, especially, need regular sleep and meal programs and even routines leading up to those activities.  sitters available for hotels and visitors

As they gets older, when a child knows what is going to happen and who is going to be there, it allows them to think and feel more independently,  and feel more safe and secure. A disrupted routine can set a child off and cause them to feel insecure and irritable.  

Dinnertime is a great place to start setting a routine.  Sitting together at the dinner table gives children the opportunity to share their day and talk about their feelings.  This is also a great time to include some responsibility in your child’s routine, such as helping to set or clear the table. 

And regardless of how exhausted you or your children may be, don’t be tempted to skip winding down from the day.  This is part of a nighttime ritual and allows both child and parent to decompress after a busy day. It also helps bedtime go more smoothly.  This is usually the time of day when parent and child can spend some quality time together, so fight the urge to start the laundry or do the dishes until after the child has gone to bed.  If this isn’t possible, consider trading off these duties with your spouse each night to ensure your child has quality time with each parent on a regular basis. Take the time to find out what wind-down strategy works best for your child.  Some children are actually energized instead of relaxed by a warm bath, so if that’s the case with your child, bath time should be saved for a different time of day. Whatever routine you settle on, make it quiet, relaxing, and tranquil for everyone.  

And though routines are essential, there should be some room to be flexible as well.  You might be out late at night on a family outing, have unexpected company show up that may result in a skipped meal or nap in the car while running errands in the evening.  In these instances, it’s important for you to keep your cool. If you express frustration or anger about disrupting the routine, your child will as well. Prepare children for such unexpected events and show them that though it can happen from time to time, the routine will return the next day.

 

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 in Atlanta, Charlotte, Chicago, Ft. Lauderdale, Jacksonville, Miami, Orlando, Palm Beach, Sarasota, St. Louis, Tampa and more!. Reach us at tlc@tlcforkids.com or 314-725-5660.

 

 

Staying home for Spring Break? There are plenty of ways you can have loads of fun for little to no cost. Don’t forget – book your TLC Spring Break Sitter today! 

  1. Create a Scavenger Hunt. Fun for any age. Make a list of items to find around the house – think outside the box – and each find has a clue to the next. The prize? How about a Make-Your-Own-Sundae party!
  2. Take your Scavenger Hunt into the community. Head to a local museum or zoo. Hit up the gift shop first, or do a little planning online and find photographs of exhibits or animals and have them ready for your scavenger hunt.
  3. Bring the beach indoors. Let the kids wear their swimsuits in the tub. Bring along your beach towels, favorite tunes, sunscreen and shades.
  4. How about Community Service? Find a local shelter, food bank or charity that you can volunteer for the day. Or check your local animal shelter to volunteer with the animals. We’ve heard reading to the animals has a wonderful effect on them.
  5. Go hike a new trail and bring along a picnic. Take photos and make a memory book, or grab some rocks and paint them when you get home.
  6. Create a restaurant at home. We saw this idea on Regarding Nannies and can’t wait to try this with our kids.
  7. Make your own movie. With today’s smart phone you can record and put together your own Academy Award worthy short featuring the kids and even the family pet. Everyone has a part – and don’t forget the director, sound effects, costumes, makeup and special effects! Have fun, then host a screening of your film with popcorn for everyone to enjoy.
  8. Rock the runway with your own Fashion Show. Pull out that dress you no longer wear, or dad’s old shirt and tie and strut your stuff down the runway. Invite your friends over and make it a day everyone will enjoy.
  9. Declare it a tech-free day and visit the bookstore or the library. Everyone grab a new book, then head to the park or beach and read. Bring along a picnic and games and everyone will forget about their phones / tablets for a while.
  10. Do a little Spring cleaning. Have the kids go through toys they no longer play with and donate to a local shelter. Toss broken toys. Go through clothes they’ve outgrown and donate.

 

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 in Atlanta, Charlotte, Chicago, Ft. Lauderdale, Jacksonville, Miami, Orlando, Palm Beach, Sarasota, St. Louis, Tampa and more!. Reach us at tlc@tlcforkids.com or 314-725-5660.

There are many ways that you can make sure you have enough time for your children. In fact, there are many times when you can take the time that you need for your children. Remember that children don’t always need to have time that is only for them. Often, a child will enjoy any time that he gets to spend with you – even if that time doesn’t seem that important to you. When you are spending time with your children, any of this time can be quality time, as long as you are able to do it correctly and make it worth it for you and for your children. No matter what you are doing with your children, it can be time that is completely worthwhile and that you will enjoy for years to come. 

Part of the reason that many people are not able to spend enough time with their children is because they have so much else to do. They might not feel like they have enough time to spend with their children because they have so much else to do. However, it is very important that you realize that all of the time you spend with your

Father and son

children can end up being quality time, in more ways than you think. 

First of all, when you are with your children, any time at all can be quality time. You will be able to spend quality time together when you are working in your home, or even running errands. When you are doing the dishes or cooking dinner, you will be able to spend quality time with your children. But you want to make sure that you are able to spend each moment with your kids in a quality way. When it comes right down to it, you will be able to spend a lot of time together as your children get older. It is time for you to be able to spend as much time with your children as possible. 

When it comes right down to it, the best way to take advantage of being with your children is to make each moment as wonderful and special as possible. There are many ways that you can do this, and no matter which way you choose, you will be able to spend the time that you need. For instance, when you and your children are working around the house, you can use each moment as a life lesson. When you are cooking, a good thing to do is to have your children help you cook. This will allow you give yourself a chance to get what you need to get done, but also be able to spend this time with your children. It can also help your children learn as much as possible in the time that they have. 

In today’s busy lives, it is often hard to find time for you and your children to spend together. However, if you concentrate, you will be able to spend as much time together as you want. No matter what you are doing, you can do it with your children, and this will help both of you have the time together that you need. Spending quality time with your children is often much easier than you think. In fact, spending as much time together as possible can not only help you spend time with your kids, but help your kids grow up stronger and happier. The more time that your children can spend with you, the smarter and happier that you children will be able to be. So, spend each moment that you can with your children, and make each moment as special as popular.

I’m often asked what age a child should be when his parents begin to read to him. The answer is, “It’s never too soon to start!” The baby can “hear” in the womb. Oh, he doesn’t understand words, but he does understand emotions, and he does respond to the emotion behind a sound.  

Sudden loud sounds cause a fetus to flinch. Calming sounds calm, and there is nothing more calming to an unborn baby than the sound of his mother’s voice. So, yes, read to your child before he is born….what you read doesn’t matter…the daily newspaper is fine as long as you read it aloud and in a soft, comforting voice.

The first books that parents should read to their child after he is born are those that feature touching and textures. Children begin to learn language and associate different senses with different words at a very early age.

As the infant becomes a toddler, the books that are read to the child can be used to help reinforce positive behaviors. There are thousands of excellent books for toddlers on the market. It is better to use books that are made of washable materials that are not easily torn until a child is old enough to learn how to treat books with care.

Reading time is a special time for children. They love the sound of their parents’ voices, and they love the undivided attention that one-on-one reading provides. They also love the physical closeness — the touching and cuddling — that are part of a parent reading to a child.

The wisdom of the ages is contained in books. The earlier a child is introduced to books and the pleasure that books bring into his life, the better he will do in life. Nobody who loves to read is ever lonely if they have a book to read!

 

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.

During the summer months, many kids go to baseball, basketball, volleyball, swimming and dance camp. We instill values of practice makes perfect, but what about their academics? Luckily, there are lots of tips and tricks to make learning as fun as attending a summer camp with their friends.

 Strengthening math skills:

• Let your children help in the kitchen. Allowing your children to join you in the cooking process teaches them how to read the recipe and measure the ingredients. Recipes also expose your children to fractions, which kids typically have problems understanding.

• Play board games and have your child be the scorekeeper. Games like Yahtzee and Monopoly are good games to help strengthen your child’s math skills because each includes lots of adding, and Monopoly gives your child the chance to learn more about money.

• Grab a stopwatch or a stopwatch app. Children love to play with stopwatches, and giving them one opens up lots of learning opportunities. One way they can use the stopwatch is by timing how long it takes their bike to ride down the street or around the block. Then they can keep track of how fast they go and chart the difference in their time the more they practice. This strengthens number recognition, telling time, and subtraction skills.

 Strengthening reading skills:

• Visit your local library. St. Louis City and County Libraries offer  reading incentive programs for kids of all ages. If getting your child to read has previously been a struggle, this is a good way to get them excited about reading because their friends will be reaping the benefits of the program (like free Cardinal tickets).

• Write letters. Do you have a grandparent, cousin, or friend that lives out of town? Have your children write letters to them. This activity will not only teach your kids how to maintain relationships, but also strengthen their reading and written communication skills.

TLC for Kids also offers tutoring. All of TLC’s tutors have degrees in education. To book a TLC tutor today, call (314) 725-5660.