“When we teach mindfulness to kids, we equip them with tools to build self-esteem, manage stress, and skillfully approach challenges. Explore our guide on how to introduce mindfulness and meditation to your children—at any age.”

By teaching children meditation and mindfulness skills we help them increase their well-being and enable them to meet the stresses of the world with presence, self-compassion, and openness.

In order to help kids of all ages find their way into practicing mindfulness, it can be helpful to give them an easy definition they can relate to.

A Definition of Mindfulness Meditation for Children

Mindfulness meditation, at its simplest, is paying attention to what is happening in the present moment. It may be what you’re feeling, hearing, or anything else you notice. There’s no special place of calm you have to reach and it’s not about clearing your mind, it’s just an honest and kind look at what you’re experiencing in this moment.

 

Read the entire article on Mindful.org.  Check out our Pinterest board for more Mindfulness for Kids suggestions.

Whether you’re preparing for kids to go back to school or you’re taking them out in public, wearing a mask is recommended for everyone – even children. But getting them to keep them on while out or all-day in a classroom can be challenging and scary. 

The CDC recommendations are as follows:

COVID-19 can be spread to others even if you do not feel sick. A cloth face covering helps prevent a person who is sick from spreading the virus to others. Appropriate and consistent use of cloth face coverings is most important when students, teachers, and staff are indoors and when social distancing of at least 6 feet is difficult to implement or maintain.

Cloth face coverings should not be placed on:

  • Children younger than 2 years old.
  • Anyone who has trouble breathing or is unconscious.
  • Anyone who is incapacitated or otherwise unable to remove the cloth face covering without assistance.

Appropriate and consistent use of cloth face coverings may be challenging for some students, teachers, and staff, including:

  • Younger students, such as those in early elementary school.
  • Students, teachers, and staff with severe asthma or other breathing difficulties.
  • Students, teachers, and staff with special educational or healthcare needs, including intellectual and developmental disabilities, mental health conditions, and sensory concerns or tactile sensitivity.

Additional information from KidsHealth provides info on WHY kids are afraid of masks, and offers tips to helping kids get used to wearing masks.

Finally, check out our Pinterest board for mask tips and some of our favorites for kids.

 

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.

This post originally appeared on Nanny Magazine, October 5, 2017.

It happened. In the blink of an eye, it happened. My two-year-old NK locked his baby sister in the car! It was unexpected and I couldn’t believe it happened. We were at a

Photo courtesy of Pexels.

grocery store, leaving to head home for naps, and he wanted to hold my keys to help. I put the baby in the car and shut the door. Then, we walked around to the other side of car, but the car door wouldn’t open. My heart immediately sank. When I discovered the door wouldn’t open, I asked him calmly about my keys and he told me in his sweet, little kid voice, “I help you,” and I knew in that instant, I needed to get ACTUAL help, right away! It hit me that in his effort to help me, in our excitement chatting about a video we were going to make for his parents when we got home, that he had put the keys in the car for me. He must have pushed the button to lock the doors when he set them inside, and I didn’t hear it. I knew I needed to act fast!

Within seconds of realizing he had locked her in the car, I realized that my cell phone was also in the car. I knew I needed to remain calm. I saw someone in their car chatting on their phone, so I walked over and asked them if I could use it to call 911. The man was super nice and handed the phone right over. I stayed calm, spoke to the operator, and within seven minutes both the police and fire department had arrived. It was a very warm day and my only concern was for the baby locked inside of the hot car. I didn’t care what my employers would think about the situation, or about the cost of fixing my vehicle; my only thought was for her safety. The firemen were very nice and offered me two options: call someone to come unlock the door (which would take 10-20 minutes), or break the window. I wanted to scream, “Just break it and get that baby out!” but I knew for my NK’s sake and for my nanny baby, I needed to stay as calm as possible. I told them to please break the window, as her safety was paramount. Within 10 minutes of being locked in the car, she was out safe and sound.

What a rush! I was so grateful to the fire department for getting her out so quickly. Once home, I made sure to call one of the parents to let them know what happened, as I felt it was important to tell them as soon as I could. Luckily, they also felt I had handled the situation correctly. What a relief! They even offered to pay for the window, which again, in that moment, I didn’t care about. I just cared about getting her out quickly and safely. But, having the support of my nanny bosses really helped in the aftermath.

After this happened, I knew I wanted to share my experience. This was an accident. This didn’t happen because I was neglectful or a “bad nanny.” It was something you can’t plan for or expect to happen, which is why we call it an accident to begin with. It definitely doesn’t make me less of a nanny; in fact, I feel even more confident in my role now because I know, in an emergency, I can keep my cool, stay calm, and do what needs to be done to ensure the safety of my nanny kids.

  • Make sure you keep a signed medical permission form for each child (this emergency reminded me that I only have one for my older NK and I needed to have the parents sign another one for the new baby). I keep one copy in my diaper bag and another in my wallet, just in case.
  • I keep a stocked first aid kit in my car at all times and a small first aid kit in my diaper bag; I also keep one or two band-aids in my wallet.
  • Sometimes my employers don’t answer the phone when I call; it’s important to know their office numbers or a back-up person to call, so that you can reach a parent ASAP in an emergency. It’s also beneficial to keep a written record of all important phone numbers (parents’ work, grandparents or other relatives, neighbors, pediatrician, etc.) in your wallet or diaper bag, just in case something happens to your cell phone and you can’t access an emergency contact.

Accidents are going to happen, but we can take steps now to ensure that when it happens, we know we can handle it. I’ll be the first to admit that it wasn’t a fun experience, especially having to call a parent and tell them what happened, but as a nanny, it’s my responsibility to keep my little ones safe and I strive to do that every single day. While I hope that we don’t have another accident or emergency anytime soon, I know that if something does happen, I have the ability to stay calm and be the best nanny I can be for my charges and their parents.

 

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.

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.

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.

Most of us have a lot of stress in our lives today. Some of it is due to the fast-paced society that we live in and some of it is self-inflicted due to who we choose to spend our time with. Much of it may be attributed to COVID-19, work or lack of, online learning and so much uncertainty. The fact is, misery loves company. If you want to live a positive and happy life, surround yourself with positive things and positive people. The more positive energy you manifest into the world, the more positive you’ll get back.

Set Specific Goals for Yourself

Whether it has to do with diet, exercise, or being positive, set realistic and specific goals that have a timetable so that you know when you’re supposed to be done with the goal. Write down the goal and the steps that you’ll take to reach the goal. Then add it to your calendar. Feeling accomplished will automatically make you feel more positive.

Nip Negative Self-Talk in the Bud

If you want to be more positive, start with yourself. When you feel your mind go toward negative self-talk, change it around to positive. Instead of, “I am fat,” change your words to, “I am healthy and I am eating right to make myself even healthier.” Even if it’s not immediately true, the more you tell yourself it’s true, the more you’ll seek to make the behavior match the feeling.

Listen to Happy Music

Find the most uplifting and positive music that you can find and put it on your play list. Try listening to the positive and happy music at least once a day. If you can figure out what time of day you are generally prone to negativity, try listening to that music before that time comes.

Read a Lot of Happy and Positive Books

There is no shortage of positive books to read in the library or on Kindle. There are even a lot of free inspirational books available on Kindle. Keep your eyes open for the free offers; join a group on Facebook that helps you find positive free books to read on Kindle. Try to read one positive book each month.

Find Positive People to Make Your Friends

Remember that positive people generally want to hang around with other positive people. Therefore, if you want to meet more people who fit that description, you’ll need to focus your thoughts and actions more on the positive than the negative. Otherwise you’ll turn them off and they won’t want to be around you, which could backfire on your new positive world. Set up weekly Zoom chats with friends and family. Consider a Facebook video call with a different friend each day – just to check up on each other and let others know you are available for support and conversation.

Practice Daily Affirmations

The character Stuart Smalley made fun of affirmations in his famous skits on Saturday Night Live but the truth is, it works. You can use the mirror self-talk or you can use a journal to write down five good and positive thoughts every single day to help you focus your thoughts in a positive direction.

Reorganize and Decorate Your Home

Take this time to tackle projects. If you currently live in disorganization and clutter it can be very difficult to think positively. Try to work on one room at a time to redesign your life so that your surroundings are uncluttered and attractive. For organizational tips try visiting FlyLady.net which has many tips on how to get your home organized easily.

Surrounding yourself with positives is something that is very realistic and something that you can accomplish. Choose one thing at a time to work on, giving yourself a time limit on when you will accomplish adding every one of these positives to your life. You will be glad you did it.

 

 

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.

We are thrilled to announce our participation in the “One to One” childcare campaign. One to One is a collaborative effort of 6 of the top nanny agencies located in major metropolitan areas to provide relief to essential workers during this COVID-19 pandemic. If you are an essential worker and are in need of child care, talk to your HR benefits representative today about One to One and let them know TLC Family Care can help.

TLC provides child care coverage for companies in the Miami, Orlando, Tampa, Jacksonville, Charlotte, Atlanta, St. Louis and Chicago Metropolitan Areas, while other participating agencies provide coverage in Dallas, Los Angeles, New York, Philadelphia, Phoenix, San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle, Baltimore and Washington DC. Together we cover a lot of ground and bring together an impressive team of industry veterans possessing more than 120 years of combined child care staffing experience.   To learn more now and get started visit our Backup care Page.

 

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.

Toddlers can be fussy eaters who refuse to try new food at least half of the time. Approximately half of all toddlers fit this description, so it is no wonder that food issues are a source of stress for parents.

Establishing healthy eating patterns is important to avoid problems such as obesity and eating disorders later in life. Various strategies can help your child accept a wider range of foods.  It may be necessary to offer food to your child as many as 10 different times before they choose to eat it. The problem is, many parents get frustrated and give up before the fourth or fifth try. 

Try to make food fun. Colorful foods like carrot sticks, raisins, apples, grapes, cheese sticks and crackers can all be fun and healthy choices for your growing toddler. Explain to them that eating good food is important so they’ll grow big and strong, and how it will help them run faster and play longer. 

Children learn behaviors from their parents. If you restrict yourself to a narrow range of foods, your child will take notice and mimic your caution. Don’t limit your child’s food variety to only those foods you prefer. It may be that your child’s tastes are different to yours, and perhaps you are simply serving them foods they don’t happen to like.  Try to set a good example and try a variety of foods in front of your child. It could motivate them to do the same. 

If your child seems healthy and energetic, then they are eating enough. If you are still concerned, keep an eye on how much food they actually eat over the day. Children tend to graze constantly, rather than restrict their eating to three meals per day like adults. You may be surprised how those little handfuls and snacks add up. For further reassurance, check your child’s growth and weight charts, or check with your child’s pediatrician. 

Try not to worry, and remember, that unless a child is ill, they will eat. Children are very good at judging their hunger and fullness signals. Try to stay relaxed about mealtime and offer your child a wide variety of foods, and most importantly, remember to set a good example by trying a wide variety of foods yourself.  You may discover you and your toddler share a new found favorite food!

The benefits of the internet are vital to your kid’s growth, but it may also impose some danger when used incorrectly. So as parents, you should know the ways to keep your kids safe while using the internet.

1. Create a set of rules on how to use and what time your child can use the internet. It would be advisable if you discuss it with your kids or create the rules together with your kids. In this way, both of you can agree to each rule that you impose. This will give your kids a level or responsibility when they can participate on rule-making. 

2. As much as possible, keep the internet connected computer where adults can see it (and not in your kid’s bedroom). In this way, you can monitor the websites that your kids visit.

3. Speak to your kids about online pornography. You can direct them to websites about sexuality and health.

4. Block websites with malicious content. Although there are several ways to do it, the easiest way is to follow these steps: Keep one user name for the computer and one internet browser e.g. Microsoft Internet Explorer and Mozilla Firefox. This will allow you to monitor and access the internet activity of your kids. For the Internet Explorer, you can change the setting of your security access by implementing the security zone on your Internet Options menu. This way, you can restrict website access and block specific websites that your kids shouldn’t see.

You can also use a firewall to block any unwanted content to enter your computer. There are several software’s that allow you to do this.

5. Show your kids how to use the internet properly. Although this may be taught in school, it is always good to spend some time with your kids while they use the internet. This way, you also bond with them and can direct them to websites that are right for their age.

6. If you allow your kids to enter chat rooms, make sure that they remain in public rooms. Tell him not to talk to anyone in private and absolutely no personal information (school, parent’s occupation, address, etc.) should be given to anyone.

7. Tell your kids not to give his password to anyone, even to his friends or classmates.

8. And, make the computer area free from clutter so that your kids will enjoy the time on their computer.

 

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.