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.

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 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.

Being a parent is not easy and it gets even harder, when your child gets angry. A toddler throwing a temper tantrum, a young child screaming and pounding or an adolescent slamming the door slamming, can leave us all puzzled, frustrated and at our wits end. Sometimes it might even make us angry and it is hard to deal with your child’s anger if you are getting angry and frustrated too.

Therefore one of the first things you might want to do when trying to deal with child anger and tantrums is identifying the source. Find out what triggered the anger and also, find out what the child’s reaction to anger is. Not all children have the same reaction. Some scream, some pound, others might hit and bite, bang their heads on the wall or not show any exterior signs at all while they store the anger inside. Even though many of us were taught that anger is a bad thing and that we should be ashamed for being angry, this is not exactly true. Of course anger is not a nice thing, but learning to properly deal with and express our anger can make all the difference.

Children should always be allowed to express their feelings and the feelings should be treated with respect. A child has a different view of life. What angers him now might not even bother him tomorrow, but for now we need to respect the feelings and acknowledge them. The angry outburst of a child might be a defense mechanism or might be related to failure or self esteem. Sometimes it might even be a way to express anxiety. Many young children actually get angry when they are sad. It is a normal reaction for them because anger and sadness are very closely related.

If you are worried about your child, find out when and why the child gets angry. Also there is a fine line between anger and aggression. Anger is a temporary situation, whereas aggression is a way of hurting a person or destroying property. Neither one of the two is really bad, but when other people can get hurt it is absolutely time for you to deal with your child’s anger/aggression. When dealing with an angry child, think about trying to protect and help the child; don’t think about punishing the child.

Ways to prevent anger or help a child with the anger are more or less effective for different children. Here are some ways that you can deal with anger in children.

First of all, “catch your child being good”. Telling a child when he or she has done something that pleases you helps a child learn what you think is good behavior. It also makes the child feel good about him/her by accomplishing things that are important to you. When a child learns the difference between good and not so good behavior the child will try to behave more often in a way that you appreciate. This does not mean to just tell the child that he is good. It needs to be related to a specific situation. Praise your child after cleaning up by himself, after taking the shoes off when entering the house or after helping you with a chore without being asked.

Another important part with dealing with aggressive/angry children is to ignore behavior and situations that can be tolerated. If you tell your child every time he does something wrong you not only overwhelm the child, you might also lower the self-esteem. The child will think that he or she can never do anything to please you.

Additionally you can help your child by giving him or her physical outlets or by manipulating the surroundings. Sometimes anger comes from having to much energy to burn; the child is on the edge. If the child gets an opportunity to burn the energy there will be less energy put into anger. Manipulating the surroundings to prevent the child from being angry is also helpful (removing a toy, starting a different activity).

Lastly, one of the most important things, show your child that you love him or her, be close, lovingly connect to your child through touch and talk. And if you get into a situation, try some humor to break the ice; it will ease the tension in your child.

 

 

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.

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.

There are many families that seem to be fixated on the television. While this fixation may not be active on the part of the parents, it may seem for them to be almost easier letting their children watch television than figuring out how to connect with them. Sometimes, parents may even try to connect with their children through watching a television show with the child. Still, the most effective ways in which a parent can reconnect with their child or children is by first making the point to turn the TV off.

One of the simplest ways to enjoy family time together is to try having dinner together. Some families prefer to have dinner together every night of the week, while others strive for just two or three nighttime meals together. Again, the important thing here will be to make sure that the television is not on during these meals. While eating, it is important not to sit in silence. It is very likely that almost all parents and their children will find this uncomfortable. Instead, try to talk about each other’s days. Parents can share with their children things such as when they plan to go grocery shopping, and they can also ask their children what lunch meats or snacks they would prefer to have for the upcoming week or so. Children can be encouraged to share what they enjoyed most about their days and what they learned throughout their day. Remember – keep the television off!

Board games are also a great way to connect with one’s children. Not only do board games help parents to see their children in action, it also showcases the child’s nature or personality. Are they strategic? Are they ruthless? Are they competitive? Are they just in it for the fun of the game? These are all great questions that will give parents insight into their children and their behaviors. A board game is inexpensive for the most part and families can come together once or twice a week for a bonding experience. This is also particularly interesting for families that choose to play games that require the family to team up and bond in that specific manner. However, it will be important to try to shy away from board games that utilize the television, since this may lead back to the familiar or easier television watching days. Pictionary, Charades, Guesstures, Chess and Trouble are all great games. There are many games at stores that families can consider as well.

If time allows on the weekends or on nice, mild weathered days, parks and playgrounds can be considered. Parks are often fun whether children are small enough to enjoy the swings and see-saws, or whether the family wants to spend time walking around, perhaps playing with the family dog. It also helps the family to get some exercise together, which is always nice! While the television is great for getting news and staying up to date on current events outside the home, it often does not allow for much bonding or quality time within the home. By simply turning off the television, parents can take a proactive step towards getting to know their children again and spending quality time with them. It will also be important for families to look at their own individual situations when considering activities. Active families may find more outdoor activities or sports to take part in while more secluded families prefer to stay in and play board games. If one idea is not working for your family, feel free to try another until you become more comfortable as a whole!

 

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

One of the most important things in your life is going to be your children. It is very important that you want to be sure that your children grow in as many ways as possible. One of the things that you can do to make sure that your children are able to get as much as they can out of you as parents is to help them be as creative as possible. Being creative is something that you can do along with your children, and the more creative that you and your children are, the better off everyone is going to be in the end. It is very important that you teach your children as much creativity as possible, so that they can have the mindset to do anything that they want.  

When it comes to being able to teach your children to be creative, there are several things that you can be sure to do. One of the things that you will be able to do to help your children be more creative is to show them that there is always more than one way to solve a problem. Problem solving is often something that is learned from parents to children, so as you are teaching your children you should be modeling good problem solving skills for them. This will help you be able to teach your children many things, including how to be more creative.

Art and music are two very important parts of being able to teach your children as much as you can. First of all, when you are ready to help your children grow in their creativity, teaching them art and music can be a very important way to go. If you are able to teach your children as much creativity as possible you will see that their lives are going to be much better for it. This is something that you always want to be sure that you remember. Being creative with your children is something that you can do. When you are working with your children, you want to be sure that you can give them plenty of chances to be as creative as possible. This is often something that is hard to do, but you will be able to see that it works wonders on their life. When it comes time for you to find things for your children to do, it is important that you find creative things. Remember that there are lots of different things that you can do in order to be creative. You want to be sure that you can teach your children all there is to learn, and that you can do as many interesting things as possible. Be sure that you are able to do this, and be sure that you give your children a chance to do things that they might not be able to do otherwise. This is very important, and you will be able to do this very easily.

One of the things that you have to think about with your children is what you will do with them during their spare time. You want to always be thinking about the things that they might enjoy doing, and you want to always be having them help you in as creative ways as possible. When it comes time for you to make the most out of your situation with your children, you will see that the more creative things you can do together, the stronger that your family will get. Part of being a strong family is to make sure that you are being creative, and that you are learning how to solve problems together. This can help you be happy and healthy as a family for a long time to come.

 

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

Do you often wonder how you can continue going down the road you are traveling without feeling like you are neglecting your children and your spouse.

The good news is that many families have found a way to keep up with both the demands of their bosses as well as their loved ones. Successful career families make it work by applying one or more of the following principles to their life:

• The Art of Setting Limits and Saying “No”: Accepting the fact that you cannot do everything is not a sin, and the word “no” is not a dirty word. Although you want to give it your all for your work and your family you have the right to say “no” once in awhile when you need to.

For instance, you may be in a situation where your boss gives you the option whether or not to work on Sundays. If it is not a job requirement, you have no need about feeling guilty if you tell your boss you need that day to yourself.

Likewise, you have the right to not give in to every single demand that your child or teen may have. You will need to teach them that they cannot have every thing in life that they want.

If it means the difference between sanity and keeping your child happy all the time it may be necessary to tell your child he or she will have to wait for that new toy, new computer, etc. In doing so you will also help your child be content with what he or she has right now.

Furthermore, you will help your child by saying “no” to some of the things they want that they do not need. You can explain to them that family time and love between people is more than just material possessions.

• Effective Time Management: Families function best when they know how to make time for all the things that are important. This is done most simply with the use of a daily, weekly, or monthly calendar.

Although you may not be able to make every family or work function, you can physically set time aside for the events that are most important. Keeping a calendar and/or task list will take your family a long way.

• Task Delegation: One aspect affecting a busy family is finding time for chores as well as work responsibilities and fun time.

The older your children are the more they can share in the household duties. Besides, if the work is divided amongst the entire family chances are it will free up more time for you to plan for recreation.

• Understanding: The most loving families will understand that you cannot always be there for them.

However, at the same time you realize the importance of your family. A truly loving and understanding has mastered the art of helping each other feel loved even during times of absence.

No family is perfect. It may take awhile to help you as a whole to “get it right.” However, the more quality time you can spend together as a family the stronger you will be.

Also, parents need to remember to spend time alone together. Moms and dads need to still go on dates with one another, as hard as it is sometimes to do especially if the children are still young.

Furthermore, when trying to decide if you can financially afford entertainment remember one thing. Sometimes you cannot afford not to indulge once in awhile, within reason of course.

 

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

Kids are often very curious and sometimes aren’t very aware that there are numerous dangers surrounding us every day. It’s important that we get our kids to be conscious of dangers to help keep them safe. Listed below are steps to ensure that your children are conscientious about their own safety in and around your home.  

  1. Teach your children how to make emergency calls in case of a serious emergency. Ensure they know the difference between someone needing help and calling about a minor issue like one of their toys being lost. Teach them the emergency numbers and have them posted in a visible location. Ask them frequently to recite the emergency number of 911 so it’s second nature to dial, even when they are scared and panicked.
  2. Review the emergency exit plan with your children frequently. In case of a fire, ensure that they know how to get out of the house and where they should meet once they’re outside. Practice this monthly because for many, doing is better than telling as they learn and know it better by doing the action.
  3. Teach your children about when to feel uncomfortable in certain situations. Ensure that they know to stay away from strangers. However, do it in a way that they aren’t scared of every person they meet. Teach your child what a stranger is and avoid teaching them that all strangers are dangerous, since this is not the case.
  4. Teach your children about what a dangerous situation will look like. Teach them that if someone they do not know tries to take them somewhere, they should run away screaming, “Someone’s trying to take me!” or something along those lines, to let others know they need help.

Also teach them that if someone is chasing them, they should run into a safe place. A safe place is any place that has multiple people inside – like a grocery store or a library, for example. Another situation may be when someone is trying to physically harm your child. Some parents don’t believe in this but teaching your child some self-defense skills may be something to think about. Teach them to poke a harmful guy in the eyes or kick them in the knee.

  1. Teach them what a stranger is. Giving them a private family code word that will be used if they are ever picked up by someone they are unfamiliar with can be helpful. They should never get in an unfamiliar vehicle, even if it seems innocent enough. If someone tries to get them to go in a vehicle, then they should leave and find a trusted adult right away.
  2. Always have a recent picture of your child with you. If they were to ever go missing, show the picture to the police so they can help you find them. Keep the info about your child up to date. Know their height, weight, eye color, and any birthmarks they may have. This will also help the police to find your child.

The safety of our children is so important. It’s important that we teach them how to be safe, especially in situations where we aren’t there. Remember though not to scare your children about certain situations. You don’t want them to fear every person they see, but you do want them to be aware of the people and their surroundings. When your child is safety conscious, you help to decrease the risk of anything happening to them.

 

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