Posts Tagged ‘afterschool care’

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.

 

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.

 

The Terrific Threes and the Frustrating Fours

Three- and four-year-olds are fascinating. They are, for lack of a better word, “becoming.” They are beginning to show their own unique personality. They are beginning to develop their sense of “self.”

Three- and four-year-olds begin to distinguish between fact and fiction, between what is “real” and what is make-believe. They begin to sort through, distinguish between, and categorize feelings, thoughts, and actions.

There is no specific timetable for development and development is not a “one-size-fits-all” situation. Children develop in different areas at different rates. Development is divided into five general categories: physical, intellectual, social, emotional, and moral. It is perfectly normal for children to make greater advancements in one area at a time.

Physical milestones:

* He’ll be able to ride a tricycle.
* He’ll be able to climb a ladder.
* He can scribble with a pen, pencil, or crayola.
* He begins to dress himself.
* He can feed himself with either a spoon or a fork.
* He is mostly toilet trained.

Intellectual milestones:

* His imagination develops and he likes to assume “play-like” grown-up roles as mommy, daddy, fireman or superhero.
* He is curious and asks a lot of questions.
* He begins to understand the cause/effect concept.

Social milestones:

* He can now accept separation from his mother calmly.
* He beings to interact with other children his own age.
* He begins to notice and imitate the differences in the way men and women behave.

Emotional milestones:

* He is becoming sensitive to the feelings of others.
* He is becoming more independent.
* He wants to please the adults in his world.

Moral milestones:

* He begins to understand the difference between right and wrong.
* He wants people to like him.
* He is gaining self-control.

 

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.

The Terrible Twos and the Terrific Threes

There’s a very good reason why we often refer to two-year-olds as the “terrible twos.” They are discovering themselves. They discover that it is possible for them to make their own choices about food, clothes, sleep, and play. The two-year-old is aware of becoming a separate and distinct human being.    

The good news is that the terrible twos only last for about a year, and even better news is that they are followed by the terrific threes.

Indications to parents that there could be a problem in normal development are if the child becomes either too easily adaptable or too aggressive. Both extremes indicate problems and should be discussed with the child’s pediatrician.

There are five general areas of development: physical, intellectual, social, emotional, and moral. There is, of course, no specified or RIGHT order in which children develop. Remember that each child is an individual, and the following is only a general outline of the development expected of two- and three-year-olds.

Physical development:

* Coordination improves and physical activities include: running, climbing, kicking and throwing a ball, pulling and pushing objects, etc.
* He handles and manipulates small objects like buttons, zippers, pencils, etc.
* He feeds himself with a spoon.
* He helps to dress himself.
* He can build a block tower of six or seven blocks.
* Will gain control of bowels and bladder.

Intellectual development:

* He is very curious and explores the world using all five senses.
* He can make sentences of three or four words.
* He can sing simple songs.
* He can keep simple rhythms.

Social development:

* He is still wary of strangers and clings to his mother.
* Attempts to imitate adult activities like washing dishes, mopping floors, applying makeup, shaving, etc.
* He can participate in simple group activities like listening to a short story.

Emotional development:

* Begins to assert himself and says “no” frequently.
* Shows emotions by laughing, squealing, throwing temper tantrums and crying hysterically.
* Develops fear of such things as animals and loud noises.

Moral development:

* He wants to “be good.”
* He still can’t keep promises.

Teaching Good Manners

Good manners makes other people like a child, but maybe it’s more important that good manners make a child like himself and give him confidence. Nobody wants to embarrass themselves by committing a faux pas. So the question is, how does a parent go about teaching a child good manners?  

Actually, teaching good manners begins early and almost naturally. We teach our little ones to use the “magic words” (“please” and “thank you”) as soon as they master “mama and dada.”

Young children imitate what they see the adults in their world do. Imitation is the way children learn. If they see their parents using basic good manners, they will use good basic manners themselves.

But the finer points of good manners must be instructed. When instructing a child in using good manners, it is important to use positive teaching techniques rather than negative reprimands.

Good manners sometimes are governed by the words we choose to express thoughts. Your little darling might say, “YUCK! I hate this slimy green stuff!” Wait to correct him and at a later time and in private you tell the child that it would be more polite to say, “I really don’t care for spinach.”

It takes time and patience to teach a child to have good manners. You aren’t going to cover the spectrum of good manners in a day of instruction, no matter how intense. Teaching good manners goes on and on. As situations are presented, you teach the child the most polite way to handle them.

And when you know that your child knows how to use good manners, you need to expect him to use those good manners all the time. Good manners can become a good habit and help your child to become confident in himself in social situations.

The Wonderful Ones and the Terrible Twos

Children who are between the ages of one year and three years are referred to as a group as “toddlers,” but there is a great deal of difference between a one-year-old and a three-year-old. Here we’ll just discuss onesies and twosies.  

The main job of a one-year-old as he progresses to being a two-year-old is to establish self-awareness, develop speech, become responsive to others, and begin to get the basics of self-control.

When a child is between the ages of one and two, parents can begin to take note of indications of developmental problems. Excessive adaptability problems become apparent; withdrawal, passivity, fearfulness; obsessive head banging, finger sucking, rocking; lack of interest; and being overly rebellious. If any of these extreme behaviors are noted by parents, they should be discussed with the pediatrician.

Physical development between one and two years includes: * Learning to walk * Learning to climb * Pushing and pulling objects * Stacking one object on top of another * Removing clothing

Intellectual development between one and two years includes: * Begins to explore the world around him * Used all five senses to learn about his world * Begins to learn and say names of simple objects * Can form simple one- or two-word sentences * Begins to enjoy and maybe imitate simple melodies and rhythms

Social development between one and two years includes: * Becoming possessive of his own possessions * Enjoying interaction with familiar people * Waves bye-bye and begins to accept separation

Emotional development between one and two years includes: * Begins to develop trust * Throws temper tantrums * Is usually happy but can become angry * May become frustrated

Morals begin to develop at about age two and are indicated by the child becoming sensitive to and seeking the approval of the adults in his world.

 

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.

Back to School Checklist

Families everywhere are getting ready for the beginning of the new school year.  Here are some helpful tips from Good Morning America parenting expert Ann Pleshette Murphy so you can be prepared for the first day.

1. Start readjusting to a school-year bedtime now.

2. Hang a family calendar and color-code everyone’s activities.

3. Gather all school forms as they arrive.

4. Book babysitters now for your school’s parents’ night and other dates when they’ll be in-demand.  Call TLC for Kids to help with all your babysitting needs.

5. Create a family station where you can find what you need as you head out the door.

6. Set up an in/out box for school forms.

7. Look at online organizational websites.

8. Discuss goals for the year.

9. Institute a night quiet hour.

10. Reach out to your child’s teacher.

 

Good luck on the first day.  Don’t forget to post your first day of school photo’s on our Facebook page for a chance to win $20 credit towards any TLC for Kids agency fee.

 

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

 

Evolution of the Afternoon Family Assistant

The Evolution of the Afternoon Family Assistant

Better known as After-School Nannies, Family Assistants can do wonders to make life easier for your family. Life is supposed to get easier for us when our children start school, right? Wrong! It gets much more complicated. When my children were small, I never realized how many different activities and things needed to be done between 3:30 and bed-time. They need to be at different places after school, every day of the week. I often find myself taking my lunch-hour from 3:30-4:30 PM so I can shuffle my kids around from place to place. Then when my husband and I get home from work, we are trying to make dinner, supervise loads of homework, run to music lessons with one and soccer practice with the other, attend school functions, and it goes on and on! I only have two kids. I can’t imagine how it would work with three or four kids, even in families where there are not two working parents. It is no wonder parents are exhausted and overwhelmed.

TLC for Kids has been finding nannies for families for over 25 years, but we have only recently seen a huge increase in the demand for family assistants after school. These nannies are becoming invaluable family assistants, alleviating the stress of busy families when they need it most: from 3 PM – 7 PM! The family assistant, picks up kids from school, provides transportation to activities, lessons and appointments, gets the kids started on their homework, walks your dog, empties your dishwasher, throws in a load of laundry and can start dinner. Some may offer special skills in art, foreign language, sports and music.

Plenty of moms used to hire a sitter to play with the kids while she prepared dinner, but today’s families need more. Clients used to call TLC for Kids for After-school Nannies because they needed someone to pick their kids up from school and supervise them until parents could get home for work. Now, After-school Nannies/Afternoon Family Assistants are becoming an integral part of the family and provide so much more!

Afternoon Family Assistants are generally college students looking for a job that will fit with their class schedule. More often than not, our Afternoon Family Assistants are studying education and eager to put their education to work to help your children with their homework, teach them organizational skills and get them into a good routine for effective homework habits and study skills. Typical hours for Afternoon Family Assistants are any combination of M-F from 2:30/3:30 pm – 6:30/7:30 pm. They are generally flexible to work on school holidays, stay overnight if you have to travel, pet sit when your entire family travels and even work for you more hours in the summer when everyone is out of school.

So, if you are a parent like me, you may find an Afternoon Family Assistant a huge asset to the family; fewer battles over homework with the kids, more time for each individual child, less stress in your marriage, and time to breathe. If you are a student, an empty nester, a retiree looking for a great part-time job, an Afternoon Family Assistant job might be just what you are looking for!

Here’s a list of the various AFA responsibilities you may benefit from.

Pick up children from school
Take to after-school activities
– sports practice
– tutoring/Kumon
– music lessons
– religious school

Homework
– get kids to start homework before dinner
– teach good study skills
– help your child learn
– supervise musical instrument practice

Run errands
– grocery store
– target
– dry cleaner
– Walgreens
– library

Start Dinner
Help with homework
Do a load of laundry
Empty the dishwasher

Sports
-practice sports
-teach kids to ride a bike, skate, etc.
– supervise active, outdoor play

Supervise/help kids with household tasks
– emptying out their backpacks
– supervising their chores
– keep them away from the TV!

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