Behavior

How to be Cool, Calm and Collected When Kids Push Your Buttons

If you are a parent, you know that your own children are those who are most skilled at knowing and pushing all your buttons. Since we are generally in contact with our children more than anyone else, they become very knowledgeable about who we are and what makes us tick. They also know what to do when they are seeking a reaction from us. Here is what you can do to remain cool, calm and collected when your children push your buttons and are waiting for a reaction.

Count to Ten

This is not for the sake of your child, nor is it a countdown to consequences for him (or her). This is a countdown for you. Sometimes when our children are being immature, which is normal for their age and to be expected, we simply need time to refocus and put things into perspective. Stop, count to ten, and remember that your child is only acting this way because they are indeed a child.

Talk It Out

The best way to resolve a conflict between you and your child is not to explode in anger, but to talk it out with them. Sit down and discuss what is really going on. Talk to them calmly and aim to find out why they feel the need to push your buttons in this manner.

Do a Relationship Checklist

Often when a child is intentionally pushing your buttons, there is a reason he wants your attention. It is possible that you have not been spending enough time together, and he is looking for a way to connect? Does he feel like at this point, any attention is preferable over none? Jog your memory and see if you can find any reason why your child may be acting out in this way towards you.

Remember How It Felt to Be That Age

Sometimes pushing buttons is simply the normal actions of an immature child. Children do not have the life experience we do, and often struggle to find efficient ways to communicate with others. Take a moment and remember how it felt to be that age. What made you feel good? What made you feel sad? What made you feel connected to your parents, and disconnected? Remember what it was like to be a child, and this will surely lead you to a place of greater understanding and patience with your own.

Think about Life in 20 Years

When all other methods fail to help you feel calm, think about the future. Picture you and your child 20 years from now. What will you fondly remember about these days? What will make you wince with regret? This can be an effective way to quickly put things back into perspective. Times passes so quickly and we only live each day once. Think about how special these days are as a family, and you are certain to emerge as a more caring parent who is slow to react in a negative manner.

Children can surely push our buttons, but our time as parents of non-adult children is relatively short. If you can keep this in mind, and compile a list of distraction strategies for your own benefit, it will help you get through the moments that you feel you are close to losing your cool. When your child is saying and doing everything to get a reaction out of you, maintain your composure and stay cool, calm and collected.

 

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

Problem Solving And Conflict Resolution For Children

Problem solving and conflict resolution for children should begin being taught early on. If you’re a parent of multiple children in your family this becomes apparent as it won’t take siblings long at all to become engaged in some type of ‘sharing’ violation with one another. Children of a family with other children almost immediately are engaged in a social type of activity albeit only with their brothers and sisters early on. Conflicts and resolving those conflicts soon become part of their day.

At an early age children are in more of a self exploration and self discovery mode. From there and from a socialization progression you will see kids playing together but not as a coordinated group. In other words, the next progression is to see a group of children ‘geographically’ playing together but they all still have their own toys and objects. The next step of the socialization of play is around 2 to 3 years old where you’ll see kids begin activities that begin to require interaction and subsequently problem solving and conflict resolution.

As parents and caregivers, you have the opportunity to actually teach conflict resolution and problem solving techniques and skills rather than just solving them. As a part of conflict resolution it’s important to get children to express themselves and their feelings and get past their initial emotional reaction. This will initially take some time and practice, and you should take the time to get back to, and discuss the conflict that occurred at a later time or date after the emotions have calmed sufficiently down. Discussing previous conflicts and how they could have reacted and handled them is a key in their emotional growth.

As all children do early on, before they have the ability to concisely express themselves, they learn that many times crying and even screaming resolves their conflict because as parents we try to assuage the behavior by getting them what they want or need. Understanding and teaching conflict resolution to your children is an integral part of their social development and growth. Without these tools, children will grow into adults resolving problems the only way the have ever known how to do – with emotional behavior, and sadly, many times with force.

There is a tremendous amount of excellent information on these techniques and teaching them to children of all ages. Make them part of your day, and a part of your child’s life and they will grow in depth and confidence.

 

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

Tactics for Tackling a Toddler’s Temper Tantrum

Even the best behaved toddler has an occasional temper tantrum. A tantrum can range from whining and crying to screaming, kicking, hitting, and breath holding. They’re equally common in boys and girls and usually occur from age 1 to age 3. Some children may experience regular tantrums, whereas for other children, tantrums may be rare. Some kids are more prone to throwing a temper tantrum than others.

Toddlers are trying to master the world and when they aren’t able to accomplish a task, they often use one of the only tools at their disposal for venting frustration – a tantrum. There are several basic causes of tantrums that are familiar to parents everywhere: The child is seeking attention or is tired, hungry, or uncomfortable. In addition, tantrums are often the result of children’s frustration with the world. Frustration is an unavoidable part of kids’ lives as they learn how people, objects, and their own bodies work.

Tantrums are common during the second year of life, a time when children are acquiring language. Toddlers generally understand more than they can express. As language skills improve, tantrums tend to decrease.

Keep off-limits objects out of sight and out of reach, which will make struggles less likely to develop over them. Distract your child. Take advantage of your little one’s short attention span by offering a replacement for the coveted object or beginning a new activity to replace the frustrating or forbidden one. And choose your battles: consider the request carefully when your child wants something. Is it outrageous? Maybe it isn’t. Accommodate when possible to avoid an outburst.

Make sure your child isn’t acting up simply because he or she isn’t getting enough attention. To a child, negative attention (a parent’s response to a tantrum) is better than no attention at all. Try to establish a habit of catching your child being good (“time in”), which means rewarding your little one with attention and praise for positive behavior. This will teach them that acting appropriately makes mommy and daddy happy and proud, and they’ll be anxious to do it again and again.

 

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

The Importance of a Regular Routine to your Child

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.

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.  We serve St. Louis, Atlanta and Florida. Reach us at tlc@tlcforkids.com or 314-725-5660

5 Must Ask Questions For Anyone Potty Training A Toddler

If you are thinking about starting to potty train your toddler, there are a few questions you should ask yourself before you begin potty training. Being well prepared for this challenging transition from diapers to potty is one of the best things you can do to make this as easy as possible on your child.

Before you start potty training, be sure that you have discussed and included your nanny in your plan. Communication is key with all parties involved, so be sure that you are all on the same page when it comes to potty training. If not, it will be frustrating for all when you are not successful.

1. Is My Child Ready?

You want to start potty training at just the right time. You will know that your child is ready when he or she gets more interested in you going to the potty, tells you right away when the diaper is wet or pulls on it and seems uncomfortable with it. Give potty training a try, if your child doesn’t seem ready despite the signs, wait a few weeks and try again.

2. Am I Ready?

Just as important as your child being ready is that you are ready. Prepare yourself mentally for the transition from diaper to potty for your child. You will need a lot of patience and understanding. There are going to be resentment, tears and the occasional accident. Make sure you are prepared for this so you can stay calm and supportive for your child.

3. Do We Need A Potty Chair?

A regular toilet is very intimidating for a child. The seat is rather large and your child will have to hold on to avoid falling in. In addition things vanish in there when you flash which can be a pretty scary thought for your child. Many kids are more comfortable with a potty chair at first. After a few weeks you should be able to move on to a potty seat insert that fits on your regular toilet eliminating the potty cleanup.

4. Should We Use A Potty Doll?

A potty doll is not a necessity when it comes to potty training, but can be a great tool. A potty doll will pee like an actual child and usually comes with diapers, panties and a potty chair. The doll can help tremendously during the pre-potty training phase when you are getting your child used to the idea of going in the potty instead of the diaper. You can illustrate whats supposed to happen on the doll and let your child warm up to the idea by playing with the doll in the same fashion. When you are ready to potty train, put the doll on the potty right next to your child.

5. Should We Use Potty Training Rewards?

Before you start potty training, you should decide if you are going to use some sort of rewards as encouragement for your child, or if you will simply make your child feel great about his successes by being his cheer leader. Simple potty training rewards can include stickers, candy like a few jellybeans or M&Ms, or you can use some sort of tracking chart for bigger rewards (i.e. If you use the potty for an entire week without accident, you get a small toy). Using simple rewards can be a great potty training tool, but it isn’t by any means necessary as long as you get the message across to your child that you are proud of him.

Take a few minutes to answer these potty training questions for yourself and go over them with your spouse and your caregiver, to ensure you are all on the same page before you start potty training your child. It will help you give your child a clear picture of what you are trying to accomplish and will cut down on any confusion for everyone.

Laughter Is the Best Medicine When Parenting

Of all the different strategies and techniques for handling situations that come up as a parent, laughter is among the best. Not only does humor and laughter help to alleviate tension and stress, it has also been shown to benefit us physically. Here are a few benefits of parenting with a positive spin, as well as ways to incorporate laughter  into your parenting routine.

Physical Benefits

Laughter helps to relieve physical stress and tension, which leaves your body feeling more relaxed after. A good laugh also gets your heart pumping and gives your heart and lungs a workout. Laughing for fifteen minutes burns almost the same amount of calories as a fifteen minute walk. This means that laughing can really help when it comes to keeping fit and keeping up with the kids.

When we laugh, our bodies release endorphins, which make us feel good and give us a sense of well-being. Laughing also reduces the levels of stress hormones in the body, which eases tension and anxiety. Reducing your stress hormone levels may also boost the performance of your immune system. This means that laughter may also help keep you and your kids healthy.

Other Benefits

When people laugh together, it strengthens their relationship. If you share laughter and humor with your kids, it helps you to bond more as a family. Laughing together encourages people to work together as a team and helps to settle conflict. Your kids will feel more connected to you if you share laughter and will be all the more motivated to do what you want them to.

Humor also helps to relieve distress during times when you are feeling overwhelmed. By making laughter a part of every day, both you and your family can maintain a more positive outlook and healthy attitude, all the way around.

Bring Laughter into Your Life

It’s easy to make laughter a part of your parenting routine, because kids love to laugh and have a good time. If your kids have a hard time getting excited about cleaning up after themselves, come up with an encouraging activity or game to play while you clean. This way, they will actually want to participate and help out, rather than doing it to avoid getting into trouble.

When something bad happens and it’s time to get tough, try to focus on the positive aspects of the situation rather than the negative. Your kids may be more inclined to stay in bed at night if you talk to them about some of the fun things that might happen in the morning, rather than how much trouble they’ll be in if they don’t fall asleep.

Not only does laughter help to keep you and your family healthy and stress free, it also encourages your kids to behave better and enjoy life more. The times your family spend laughing together are the times your kids will fondly remember as they get older and form families of their own. If you encourage them to stay positive, they’ll pass that outlook down to their own kids in the future.

 

Contact us today so we can help you find the best nanny / sitter / caregiver  for your family.

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

Can You Trust Your Parenting Instincts?

As a parent, there is seemingly no end to the tips and advice you get from guides, parenting gurus or other parents. With words of wisdom so readily available, many parents look to other sources for help over their own parental instincts. Is raising your child best left to the experts or are your parenting instincts trustworthy?  

Trust Your Feelings

It’s true that no one knows your kids better than you do, as their parent. When it comes to what they like or what makes them more comfortable, you have a clearer understanding of your children than anyone. Of course, this awareness doesn’t happen right away. You didn’t understand all of your baby’s needs from the moment they were born. But, you have been with them all of their lives, learning what they like, dislike and need. If following the advice of others doesn’t feel right for you or your kids, chances are that it isn’t.

Don’t Take Things Too Far

While going with your gut could be the best thing to do in some situations, it can be easy to rely too heavily on your feelings. Even if you know your kids better than anyone else, everybody makes mistakes. If you listen to your instincts alone every time, it won’t be long before you make a decision that is not the best for you or your kids.

It’s important to take some time to consider each situation and what your instincts are telling you that you should do. Sometimes it can be difficult to see what is best for our kids, because our gut wants us to do what makes them happy.

Finding a Medium

In order to avoid investing too much in either the advice of others or our own (sometimes misguided) instincts, it’s important to become accustomed to relying a bit on both. If the advice you hear lines up with what your gut was telling you, it may mean that you were right in the first place.

Other parents don’t know every detail of your own family’s unique situation, but their tips can still bring a fresh perspective. It never hurts to learn a bit about parenting styles or strategies different than your own. But, it’s also up to you to decide which of these will work for your family and which you have a bad feeling about.

While your parenting instincts are by no means fool-proof, it’s important that you take them into consideration when you make decisions that affect you or your family. When it comes down to whether or not a particular parenting strategy will work, there are many important factors that only you could know about.

But, no one is perfect and no parent comes up with the best solution to every one of life’s conundrums. While you can’t always trust your parenting instinct, you should always listen to it and consider what your feelings tell you about a situation. After all, if you can’t trust your own parenting instinct at all, how can you trust the instincts of another parent?

 

Contact us today so we can help you find the best nanny /sitter / caregiver for your family.

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

Teach Your Children the Importance of Giving

Everyone says that it’s better to give than to receive. But, it can be easy to lose sight of this during the holiday season, especially for kids. So much of the Christmas season is focused on toys and presents, kids tend to catch a case of the “gimmies.” Are you having a hard time teaching your kids about how important it is to give? If so, here are a few ways you can encourage them to be more giving, during the holidays and beyond.

Start with a Small Act

Many people have a hard time getting motivated to give because they feel like their contribution won’t matter in the long run. Prove to your kids that every little bit counts when it comes to donating either time or resources. Look for someone in your community that your kids can help with something like yard work or other chores around the house.

Don’t forget to reward them for their good deeds and show them the ways that even a small act of kindness can be a big help to someone. That way, they’ll probably more willing (and excited) to help the next time.

Set a Good Example

Kids often want to follow in the footsteps of their parents. If you want your kids to pick up on how important it is to give, make sure that you practice a bit of giving yourself. Let them see you putting aside time to help others or donating to a charitable organization. Remember, it’s sometimes more difficult to get your kids to want to give when they’ve never seen you do so. All it takes is once, to set a good example.

Find Other Kids

It will be easier for your kids to connect with the idea of giving if they’re involved in a project with their peers. Look for opportunities like food banks or toy drives in your community. Check to see if they allow children to participate in their programs. If there aren’t any kid-friendly charitable organizations in your area, consider taking it upon yourself to organize a volunteer event. You also have the option of seeking out online charities or volunteer organizations that kids can relate to.

Make Them Feel Empowered

The greatest motivator for giving is the feeling that you can make a difference. If you want your children to feel good about giving, make them feel good about themselves. Let them know that the things they have to say are important and encourage them to incorporate their talents into giving back to others. If they feel empowered, they’ll feel like they definitely can and will make a difference.

If you practice the act of giving on a regular basis, you make a habit out of generosity and charity. This is especially true of kids, who are growing up and developing into the people they will be later in life. Talk to your children about how important it is to give today and they will almost certainly make you proud of their compassion in the future.

 

Contact us today so we can help you find the best nanny for your family.

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

Top Tips for Helping Baby Sleep

The area of infant sleep is somewhat controversial. Some advocate letting babies “cry it out,” while others believe in meeting baby’s needs around the clock. Still others support co-sleeping, while the crib camp points to the advantages of baby having his or her own room.

Following are some tips for helping your baby sleep. None of these tips is intended to advocate or promote a particular parenting style or school of thought; these are tips that are applicable to all sorts of parenting approaches. Here are some ideas.

Swaddling

For young babies, especially newborns, the lights, open space, and cold (relative to the womb) temperatures can be overwhelming. Swaddling, or wrapping your baby closely in blankets, can go a long way to helping baby feel secure enough to sleep.

If you have trouble with swaddling, or it does not seem to be working, try wrapping baby more closely. Remember how tight he or she was in the womb just days or weeks before! It sometimes surprises parents how closely baby needs to be swaddled to feel comfortable. Of course, you should never tie or fasten anything tightly around your baby.

White Noise

Fans or white noise devices can be very helpful for promoting baby’s sleep. Some parents use an air purifier, or even a radio set on static. Pretty much anything that makes a steady hum and does not pose any risk to baby’s safety will work.

Flexibility

Despite what some sleep trainers claim, you are better suited to make adjustments to your baby’s lifestyle than your baby is to yours. There may be something small that you could do that may make a big difference. For example:

* Baby does not have to sleep in a crib or bed right off the bat. As long as it’s safe, there’s no “wrong” place for a baby to sleep. If baby sleeps well on a blanket on the living room floor, great!

* Try varying how you put baby to sleep. Some experts note that this keeps baby from expecting a particular action – rocking, singing, nursing – in order to fall asleep and fall back asleep. So it’s recommended that you vary your methods for putting baby to sleep.

Closeness

If babies do not get a lot of cuddling, interaction, touch, and a certain amount of peace and quiet, they may look to have those needs met at night. Try to satisfy your baby’s needs for closeness and touch during the day, and you may find that he or she rests more peacefully at night.

 

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

How to Raise an Extrovert Child When You Are an Introvert

Even with all the rewards and happiness that parenthood provides, it may often leave an introverted parent feeling drained and in desperate need of some time to be alone. This is especially true if you’re an introverted parent trying to raise an extroverted child, who has a need for social interaction that far exceeds your own. Here are some tips for raising an extroverted child when you’re an introverted parent.

Devote Time to Recharge

To provide the best care and environment for your extrovert, you need to devote time to unwind and recharge yourself. For many introverts, prolonged periods of social interaction can be daunting and often leads to feeling anxious or stressed out.

If you’re in a bad mood, there’s a good chance that your child will pick up on that. This can lead to your child feeling depressed. They may blame themselves as a result for something that couldn’t possibly be their fault. Schedule an hour out of the day for a break, to process and manage your stress. Explain to your child why it is important for people to recharge their batteries and turn it into a positive experience for them. This will also give your child the opportunity to process their feelings and experiences.

Provide Opportunities for Interaction

It’s important to provide many opportunities for social interaction for your extroverted child. However, that doesn’t mean you have to turn your home into a hangout spot for all their friends. Schedule social interactions for your child with a wide variety of people. Spend time with family members, schedule play dates with friends from school or take a trip to a public play place where your child can meet new friends.

By establishing interactions outside of the household, you can provide an appropriate level of social interaction for your extrovert while also keeping your personal space. It is recommended, however, that you allow your child to enjoy interactions with their friends in your household on occasion. Even if it’s just once or twice a week, your child will greatly benefit by having a social outlet on a more personal scale.

School Environment for Your Extrovert

Make sure your child is getting an education that properly caters to their extroverted needs. Meet with the school’s staff of teachers and assess what type of classes would be best for your extrovert. Seek out teachers that have a significant amount of practical “field work” in their lesson plans.

The best thing you can do for your child is to get them involved in extracurricular activities, preferably involving groups of people or clubs. This is something that they’ll already be interested in getting involved with. It is a wonderful way for them to socialize and build relationships with like-minded people, as well as learn valuable skills. Discuss what activities your child is interested in – whether it be sports, the chess team or the drama club, and get them involved in as many as you and they can comfortably manage.

As an introverted parent, an extroverted child can sometimes seem like quite a handful. But, even if you aren’t excited about expressing your feelings or meeting new people, it’s important that your kid gets the chance to do so. Every chance that you give them to interact with people will help them to develop their social skills and maybe even earn them a new friend.

 

TLC for Kids is currently placing summer nannies in St. Louis, Atlanta, and South Florida. If you need reliable, energetic, and professional child care visit our website at tlcforkids.com Or, email us at tlc@tlcforkids.com.

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