Childhood Sleep Issues

From the time a baby is born until he is about six months old, he requires more sleep than an adult — a lot more. Newborns may sleep between 12 and 18 hours out of every 24-hour period. After a child is about six months old, his sleep requirements are a bit higher, but very similar to an adult’s sleep requirements.  

It is of the utmost importance that parents help the child to establish a regular sleep/wake schedule as early as possible. This will make life easier for everybody in the household, including the baby. Babies, even as young as six months old, like continuity.

A regular “go-to-bed” time and a regular “get-up” time as well as a regular “naptime” will help to prevent all kinds of sleep-related problems.

There are lots of reasons why children can have sleep problems. Some of the problems are caused by physical discomfort or illness. Some sleep problems are caused by emotional or developmental problems that might seem totally unrelated to sleep. If your child is consistently unable to sleep (and consistently is the operative word here) it is best to talk to your pediatrician about the problem and have him or her help you resolve the issue.

The thing to remember is that when humans are tired, no matter how old or young they are, they sleep if they aren’t having mental, physical, or emotional pain. Sleep is natural; it isn’t a behavior that must be learned.

If you have worked to establish a regular schedule for your child (eliminated all of the foods and drinks that might prevent sleep, read him a story and tucked him in), and sleep continues to be a problem, it really is time to seek professional help. The lack of normal sleep is a symptom, not a disease.

 

The professionals at TLC Family Care personally assist nannies, babysitters and families in St. Louis, Atlanta, Chicago, Nashville, Memphis, Charlotte, Miami and Orlando to find the right childcare arrangement. Our mission is to provide a safe and personalized  approach for families and caregivers to connect with each other that is not an internet search. TLC has worked with families, nannies, sitters, newborn care providers, and tutors for over 35 years and looks forward to working with you! To find great nanny and babysitting jobs visit us at tlc@tlcforkids.com or Call 314-725-5660.

 

Tips for Tackling Your Fussy Eater

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 professionals at TLC Family Care personally assist nannies, babysitters and families in St. Louis, Atlanta, Chicago, Nashville, Memphis, Charlotte, Miami and Orlando to find the right childcare arrangement. Our mission is to provide a safe and personalized  approach for families and caregivers to connect with each other that is not an internet search. TLC has worked with families, nannies, sitters, newborn care providers, and tutors for over 35 years and looks forward to working with you! To find great nanny and babysitting jobs visit us at tlc@tlcforkids.com or Call 314-725-5660.

Different Ways to Instill Responsibility in your Kids

Responsibility is always something that comes with a price. Part of the problem with a lot of situations and children today is that they simply don’t have the responsibility that they need to make good decisions and to do well in the world around them. There are many reasons for this, and there are many things that a parent can do in order to help their children learn more responsibility in the long run. 

First of all, the best way to teach a child responsibility is to model it. It is a proven fact that a child will respond best to what he sees around him. This means that as a child watches the way that you run your life and the things that you say and do to others, this is what they are going to learn. Therefore, if you are not responsible, and if you do things that you might not think are the best ways to do things, you will see that your child will model these behaviors as well. There are many times when you might find yourself faced with this type of choice – and you should know that the best way for you to get children to be responsible is to show them what it means to be responsible.

The other way that you can teach your children to be responsible is to start small. Many times when a parent feels that their child is ready for responsibilities, they shove many onto them at once. This creates a situation where a child has absolutely no idea of how to proceed with their responsibilities, and they might feel as if they have been totally overlooked. If you want to make your child responsible and teach them how to be so, you have to start out in ways that they can understand. Start with small projects and small tasks, and then work your way to the larger things. This is the best way that you can help your child be just as responsible as you need them to be. You cannot teach a child to be responsible by giving them so many tasks that they cannot see a way to be successful. Check out our Pinterest board for ideas the whole family can use when being more responsible with chores.

Therefore, you have to start small. Give a child one thing to do, and make sure that they do it. If, for some reason, they do not do what you have asked them to do, there should be a consequence that happens. Doing small projects with small consequences is the best way that you can make sure your children learn how to be responsible.

Remember that part of being responsible is wanting to take control of things and want to be the person who is in charge. Often, a small pet such as a fish or a hamster is a good way to teach a child to be responsible because they are fairly easy to care for and they are something that a parent can deal with if they need to. If your child wants a larger pet like a cat or a dog, you can start small and see how they handle the responsibility of that smaller pet. If they are able to take care of the smaller pet, you might find that they are ready for bigger responsibilities. Remember, a child will be more likely to show you what they are ready for, and they will be more likely to help you understand what they can and cannot do yet. So take your cues from them, know your children, and you will see that this is the best way for them to become responsible.

Finally, be sure and check out our Pinterest board for ideas the whole family can use when being more responsible with chores.

The professionals at TLC Family Care personally assist nannies, babysitters and families in St. Louis, Atlanta, Chicago, Nashville, Memphis, Charlotte, Miami and Orlando to find the right childcare arrangement. Our mission is to provide a safe and personalized  approach for families and caregivers to connect with each other that is not an internet search. TLC has worked with families, nannies, sitters, newborn care providers, and tutors for over 35 years and looks forward to working with you! To find great nanny and babysitting jobs visit us at tlc@tlcforkids.com or Call 314-725-5660.

Redefining The Notion Of ” Super Mom”-All You Need Is Love

Every day we  watch our children grow, and reflect on your most important career choice-the day you became a mom. Like other women, you struggle to balance work, life, home and family, but the good news is there is a solution.

First is to forget trying to be a “Super Mom.” These are moms who try to be all things to all people and come up short in the process. Today’s moms have learned to prioritize, focusing not only on our families but on taking care of ourselves. Our lives come in seasons, and we find that when we’re stretched too thin, we’re not effective at anything. Taking time for yourself is a win-win for everybody.

As moms, once we have our priorities in line, we can then be more productive in all areas of our lives. For some, this includes, faith, family and then of being of service through volunteer work. We think we can have it all, just not all at once.

To find out more about how moms balance their busy lives, Sharpie, a trusted mom tool, surveyed moms and found that 95 percent of mom’s agree that taking time for ourselves makes us a better mother. Still, 44 percent said that spending time with their family is the best stress relief.

The survey also identified a new breed of mothers-“Signature Moms.” These are moms who have their own way of parenting and expressing love to their children-whether it’s by volunteering at school, attending extracurricular games and activities or taking a much-deserved mom break.

To celebrate today’s Signature Moms and help set priorities, here are some simple things moms can do to keep love at the forefront of their family relationships. These “10 easy ways to say I love you” have helped me daily, and we hope they will do the same for you.

1. Slip a handmade valentine or a simple note into your child’s lunch box.

2. Take a walk together in the woods or your favorite park.

3. Jot down a line from your favorite poem. Share it with family members.

4. Kiss your kids good night, but also every chance you get.

5. Read a chapter book together.

6. Make it a priority to have family dinnertime together-no matter how busy the schedule.

7. Turn off the TV. Have a pizza night and watch a movie together.

8. Have a picnic in the park after the soccer game, instead of stopping for a fast meal on the way home.

9. Have each family member write down one reason why they appreciate each other. Write your reasons on a tag and use ribbon to attach them to a batch of your favorite cookies. Let every family member find his/her own special cookies.

10. Help your kids write a letter to a family member who lives far away. Write the first few lines of a story and instruct the recipient to write the next, and then return the letter. Your story can continue indefinitely.

 

The professionals at TLC Family Care personally assist nannies, babysitters and families in St. Louis, Atlanta, Chicago, Nashville, Memphis, Charlotte, Miami and Orlando to find the right childcare arrangement. Our mission is to provide a safe and personalized  approach for families and caregivers to connect with each other that is not an internet search. TLC has worked with families, nannies, sitters, newborn care providers, and tutors for over 35 years and looks forward to working with you! To find great nanny and babysitting jobs visit us at tlc@tlcforkids.com or Call 314-725-5660.

Teach Kids Important Values Through Activities: 6 Traits That Build Character

As a nanny, you have the opportunity to make a positive impact on the children you care for. You can act as an inspiration, example and a mentor for the kids, so they can learn important virtues. There are six main pillars of character– trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, fairness, caring and citizenship. You can engage in different activities with the kids that will teach and test them in these areas. 

Provide anecdotes for each virtue-related activity, so the story can serve as an example and help to further understand why these are important values. Here are some of the ways you can instill the six pillars of character:

Trustworthiness

Trust is a vital foundation for every relationship. Explain that the child will receive more freedom and will be considered more mature in relation with their level of trustworthiness.

For older kids who receive homework, provide them with an initial independent studying time. Explain that this time can be used for organization of assignments and be clear that you expect a certain volume of homework finished by the time you check in with them. Leave the room and return at the agreed time and check whether or not they’ve completed their work. If they’ve engaged in other activities and distracted themselves, explain they must now be monitored for assurance that the homework is properly completed.

If you work with smaller children, play a board game with them and then leave the room. If the pieces on the board have moved, point this out to the children and ask why or how it happened. Read a story about honesty and trust to further illustrate your point.

Respect

Respect is seen in many forms — respect of the environment, respect of others and respect of yourself. Teach kids how they can respect the environment and create a compost bin at home. Explain how landfills overflow with trash and how their contents can be reduced through recycling and composting.

Teach the kids about respect for others and take them into a restaurant. Have them order for themselves and remember to say please and thank you to the server.

Explain the importance of self respect and create a list where they add a characteristic they like about themselves every day. They will gain a greater appreciation for their own self and through that positive reinforcement, they’ll have a solid foundation for self respect.

Responsibility

Responsibility teaches kids how they can muster willpower and why it is important to do tasks properly. Chores are an excellent introduction for the foundation of responsible behavior. Create a weekly chore list and post it in a visible area. Establish the expectation that the child must remember their chores and complete them.

Fairness

Explain that everyone must be treated equally — no one is more important than anyone else. Play a game together in which the kids can earn a prize, like 12 pieces of candy. Have one of the children divide the prize amongst all the players and make sure everyone receives the same amount. You can also put a child in charge of dishing up dessert and make sure he doles out the same amount for each person.

Caring

Caring and kindness reduces the negativity that is spread throughout school, the workplace or your personal life. Talk with the children about helping others and set up a time, every week, where you can volunteer within the community together. You can also utilize the Charity Miles app, where you and the child can take daily strolls and rack up points. The points turn into money that you can give to a charity that you choose together.

Citizenship

Children should understand at an early age that they are a citizen of their community, country and the world. Visit a variety of museums to help children see how people from all time periods and all parts of the world have contributed to civilization. Both art museums and natural history museums will provide children with enhanced worldly knowledge and instill the idea of citizenship.

 

This post originally appeared on RegardingNannies.com. Used with permission. 

 

The professionals at TLC Family Care personally assist nannies, babysitters and families in St. Louis, Atlanta, Chicago, Nashville, Memphis, Charlotte, Miami and Orlando to find the right childcare arrangement. Our mission is to provide a safe and personalized  approach for families and caregivers to connect with each other that is not an internet search. TLC has worked with families, nannies, sitters, newborn care providers, and tutors for over 35 years and looks forward to working with you! To find great nanny and babysitting jobs visit us at tlc@tlcforkids.com or Call 314-725-5660.

4 Car Safety Tips for Nannies to Follow

As a nanny, you’re not only investing in your childcare career, you’re also investing in the well-being and safety of someone else’s children. Your responsibility is to provide maximum care and the most hazard-free environment, which may include traveling via car. 

You may prefer to use your own vehicle for your job because you’re more comfortable and secure driving. But you’ll want to ensure your clients that your car is well-equipped to safely transport children with as minimal risk as possible. Here’s some guidance to follow if you choose to use your personal car to shuttle kids to and from as a nanny.

Establish Guidelines with Parents

Your clients entrust you to safeguard their children in their absence, which means you’ll both want to create a plan in advance to prevent surprises or accidents as much as possible, including these adhering to these steps.

  • Set up a work agreement with policies that include expectations on gas, parking ticket payment, limitations on how far the children can be driven and trip documentation.
  • Establish car safety standards, such as proper vehicle maintenance, secure car seats and liability insurance.
  • Discuss work-related reimbursements based upon the IRS nanny mileage reimbursement rate; these reimbursements may cover transportation for school, activities, errands, shopping, etc.
  • Agree on ways to keep kids busy in the car to help prevent crying or outbursts that can dangerously distract. This may include movies video games, books or car games

Find a Car with Top Family-Safety Features

If you’re just beginning as a nanny, you may want to invest in a family-friendly car to support your long-term career and appear as an attractive nanny candidate. U.S. News & World Report released its 2021 Best Cars for Families that fit all budgets and lifestyles. Your best bet? Choose a multi-purpose car or SUV that can serve both work and your personal life.

Invest in Quality Tires, Learn How to Change a Flat

Without proper tire maintenance or replacements, a tire is doomed to go flat. A flat tire can become a complicated situation with a newborn or toddler in the car, especially since it shouldn’t be driven on. If you get on, you should pull over immediately. AutoGuide.com explains that driving on a flat can lead to wheel and vehicle damage, resulting in risky vehicle handling and loss of control. Poor control can ultimately cause an accident or injury to passengers.

In case of an emergency, learn how to change a tire or invest in a AAA membership that allows you to receive free roadside assistance. Consumer Reports also offers a tire-buying guide highlighting tips on tire types, tread wear and tire-pressure monitoring systems when searching for brand-new, high-performance tires.

Maintain Your New Car with Regular Upkeep

Properly maintaining your vehicle ensures top reliability, supports longevity and helps reduce wear and tear. Consumer Reports recommends following these three top tasks:

  • Check the engine oil regularly for an oil leak or deficiency.
  • Check tire air pressure and inspect tires for premature, uneven or abnormal wear and tear.
  • Wash your vehicle routinely to remove dirt, debris and any interior trash accumulated from caravanning kids.

You may also want to schedule an appointment with a mechanic who can provide an in-depth inspection on your car’s air filter, brakes, exhaust system, fluids, battery and more. Have your mechanic routinely check on the cooling system, automatic-transmission fluid, drive belts and hoses and timing belt. You’ll keep you car in excellent condition for your own transportation, career and, most importantly, the little ones in your care.

this article originally appeared on RegardingNannies.com. Used with permission.

The professionals at TLC Family Care personally assist nannies, babysitters and families in St. Louis, Atlanta, Chicago, Nashville, Memphis, Charlotte, Miami and Orlando to find the right childcare arrangement. Our mission is to provide a safe and personalized  approach for families and caregivers to connect with each other that is not an internet search. TLC has worked with families, nannies, sitters, newborn care providers, and tutors for over 35 years and looks forward to working with you! To find great nanny and babysitting jobs visit us at tlc@tlcforkids.com or Call 314-725-5660.

Having Trouble Getting Your Kid To Sleep?

Kids have a thing about going to sleep at night. It does not matter if it is a girl or a boy, they all have this thing: they hate going to sleep. Even babies will fight sleep like it was the devil. They cannot stand the thought of missing out on anything and they simply refuse to fall asleep and that is why you as the parent need to find out all of the top techniques that will help you to get your kids to sleep at night.

Let us focus on babies. They need to be on a strict schedule from the get go if you want to get them sleeping through the night. Kids need structure and balance in order to sleep well each and every night. That is why you should have a time of night that you put your child down. Do not simply wait for the kids to get tired before you put them to bed, have a time and stick to it. This is the best way to get your kids sleeping through the night quickly and easily.

Good nighttime rituals can really help you to get the kids to sleep at night. For example, you may want to give the kids a warm and soothing bath at night before bed. This can go along way towards relaxing them enough that they will go to sleep with ease when put to bed. Kids like rituals and these kinds are great.

It is also a very good idea for you allow the evening to unfold quietly. Playing games with your kids just before bed is probably not the best way to go. Instead of wearing out your kids playing games is only going to get them riled up. This is not going to help you get them to sleep each night. You need to get the kids calm and relaxed and a quiet evening followed by a nice warm bath is great.

If you are trying to get your kids to sleep, especially when they are still babies you need to take into consideration that your baby is not used to real silence. They come from your tummy where tings were really loud all of the time. Total silence is scary to many babies. Having a ticking clock or some other stead sound in the room with him or her might be what is missing in their bedtime routine. Try having these kinds of sounds in the room with your kids and watch the difference they can make. In no time your kids may be getting to sleep right away each night.

It is also important for parents to learn about whether their kids are self soothers or not. The techniques that you choose for your kids will be hugely impacted by this fact. Find out what works for your kids by experimenting. Don’t worry if you do not get everything right the first time, in fact, you might as well get used to it because no one is the perfect parent right off the bat.

 

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

Pets Teaching Kids Responsibility

Here’s the situation: Your child wants a pet. But, should you get them one? Having a pet in the home can be one way of teaching your kids responsibility. 

Kids like cute things and many pets are cute. It shouldn’t surprise you when they ask for one. You might get a request for a cat, dog, rabbit, horse, iguana, lizard, turtle or other animal. Your first reaction might be to say no, but instead, consider how it may impact your child if they had the experience of owning a pet.

There are a few things to consider. First, choose a pet that is age appropriate. Small children are not mature enough to learn to take care of a puppy, for example. You will end up doing most of the work. Instead, find a pet that can keep their interest while they learn all about it.

Second, know the benefits of kids and pets. Kids can learn to care for something other than themselves. Pets teach selflessness and empathy. Kids learn to put the needs of something else over their own.

Pets also teach social behavior. For many kids, pets are their first friends. Also, a pet can help them make more friends by interacting with others who own pets. It’s a win-win situation for kids and parents as long as you can take on the responsibility of teaching your kid to care for their pet. It takes patience, but it will be worth it in the long run.

Here are a few ways to help your kids get started.

* Take a class – Local community centers, pet stores and animal shelters may hold classes to help others learn how to care for pets. This is useful before you buy the pet to gauge your child’s interest in certain pets.

* Visit pet stores – Let kids see pets and hold them. Some kids like the idea of pets but not the thought of handling them. For those kids, starting with a pet that they can’t touch like fish might be a better choice.

* Show them what to do – Before kids can learn to care for their pets, they need to see what it involved. If you have fish, show them how to feed the fish, clean the aquarium and change the water. It may take several times (if you have small kids) but they will catch on.

* Discuss the consequences of not caring for them – When they forget to feed or clean the cages, discuss what will happen: odor, germs and more of a mess than you originally would have had.

* Be backup – Watch your child care for their pets but know that you are backup in case they forget to do anything.

Children can learn to care for pets at any age. Start with animals that don’t need much care and graduate up as your kid demonstrates maturity and interest.

 

The professionals at TLC Family Care personally assist nannies, babysitters and families in St. Louis, Atlanta, Chicago, Nashville, Memphis, Charlotte, Miami and Orlando to find the right childcare arrangement. Our mission is to provide a safe and personalized  approach for families and caregivers to connect with each other that is not an internet search. TLC has worked with families, nannies, sitters, newborn care providers, and tutors for over 35 years and looks forward to working with you! To find great nanny and babysitting jobs visit us at tlc@tlcforkids.com or Call 314-725-5660.

Brain Breaks for Kids and Why they are so Important

“It’s time to do homework.” 😱

This simple phrase is often dreaded by kids and parents. And it’s understandable.

With so many changes this year, including much more learning from home, parents want to stay involved in their children’s education more than ever. But spending too much time on homework only seems to lead to distraction, frustration or exhaustion (or all of the above).

It might feel like a constant battle, and homework stress can lead to burnout and anxiety for kids if you’re not careful.

That’s why brain breaks for kids are so important for reducing stress and keeping kids motivated to learn!

 

Read the entire article at ProdigyGame.com

Check out TLC Family Care Pinterest board for more ideas to get the whole family moving.

 

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.

Putting Things into Perspective

Even if you’re not a parent, it’s sometimes very difficult to put things into perspective. Life is filled with unexpected twists and turns, many of which are quite frightening.

When you’re a parent, these unexpected roadblocks typically seem all the more daunting. After all, it’s your job to protect your children and assist them in making the best decisions, now and in the future. The following tips are suggestions to help you put things in perspective, as quickly and seamlessly as possible. Honestly, it can be done! All it takes is a little bit of practice.

Image by rawpixel.com

Technically, putting something into perspective is comparing it to a similar situation. The end result is a clear, more accurate understanding of the problem. It can also mean coming to the realization that you now understand the importance of something.

Stay Calm

One of the most crucial things when trying to put things into perspective, is to remain calm… or at least as calm as possible. Take three or four deep breaths. Briefly, close your eyes and try to envision yourself relaxing on the beach or one of your favorite destinations. Listen to music, pull up an app such as Calm or Insight Timer or Headspace. Find an outlet that works for you in the moment.

Doing your best to stay calm allows you to take control of the situation and come to a resolution as soon as possible.

Consider the Feelings of Others

In a perfect world, everyone would be considerate of the feelings of others. When perspective is an issue, try to put yourself in the shoes of all of the other people involved. What are their motives? What do they fear? Why are they behaving this way? These are just a few questions to think about.

Everyone is different. No two people look at a situation exactly the same. Before you say anything that may end up hurting someone’s feelings, step into their shoes. It really makes a difference.

Take a Break

If all else fails, take a break. Put younger kids down for a short nap or if you have older kids who don’t need constant supervision, take a walk around the block. This gives everyone the chance to cool off and think about things in a rational manner.

At this point, you can even talk to yourself a bit (if only in your mind). Doing so might prevent you from overreacting. Overreacting only upsets everyone and elevates the problem.

Remember that you’re the adult. If the situation is causing your children to be upset, seeing you upset will only make things worse. Let’s face it, life is stressful for everyone at times. No one is immune to stress-free parenting.

Now that we’ve talked a bit more about the best ways to put things into perspective, hopefully it’s helped you stay on the right track. Of course, at times, you’ll still feel a challenge. There’s no way around it. But, the more you make use of these tips, the better off you’ll eventually be. Just take it one day at a time and as the saying goes… “don’t sweat the small stuff!” You’re certainly not alone. And, in reality, the world would be a boring place if everybody had the same perspective, wouldn’t it?

Check out our Pinterest board for suggestions on Mindfulness for Adults.

 

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.