Making the Holidays more Meaningful

With the holidays looking much different than years past, families are getting creative in how their holidays will be spent this year. We have put together some ideas on  how you can make the holidays more meaningful for all.

Giving Back

One of the best ways to make the holidays more meaningful is to give back. Make baked goods or a meal for someone in need, or just to let someone know you’re thinking of them. Donate winter clothing and toiletries to a local shelter. Buy gift cards for first responders and essential workers to purchase meals at local restaurants. Adopt a local family hit hard this year, and purchase gifts and groceries.

Get Creative

Set up a family craft night and everyone make holiday decorations for the tree and around the house or make for others as gifts. How about a family gingerbread house making contest? Make holiday cards for essential workers and senior citizens who can’t be with their families this year. Make someone’s holiday special letting them know you are thinking of them.

Holiday Traditions

Create new holiday traditions this year! Maybe a family scavenger hunt? Or how about a family sing-along via Zoom? Have each family member write down what they are thankful for this year and place on the tree. On Christmas morning, everyone reads their contribution.

Family connection

We may not be able to be with extended family in-person this year, but we can still be together. Set up Zoom calls or Facebook video chat.  Set up games you can play from afar. Have your children interview their grandparents and get to know more about when they were children and share memories of holidays they remember. Record and write these down to share in years to come. Place photos of family members who cannot be with you on the tree, around the table, or make a festive display.

Celebrate a Different Culture

Consider celebrating another culture this holiday season. Research how other cultures celebrate the holidays – traditions, foods, songs, language, and clothing. Embrace one, or more different cultures into your holiday celebrations this year.

Furry & Feathered Friends

Decorate the outdoors with handmade bird feeders made of seeds, pinecones, and peanut butter. How about a garland of popcorn and apple and orange slices? Set out apples and carrots for other wildlife to enjoy a holiday feast

Record Your Memories

Take all the photos and video you have taken this year and create a holiday greeting for friends and loved ones. Let each family member make a special message for loved ones and share. Email to friends and family to enjoy and encourage them to do the same.

While the holidays will be different this year, new and exciting traditions and memories can be made. Happy Holidays from all of us here at TLC Family Care.

Teach Your Children the Importance of Giving

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

Start with a Small Act

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

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

Set a Good Example

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

Find Other Kids

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

Make Them Feel Empowered

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

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

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

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.

How to Reduce Holiday Stress

For many families, the Holiday season is the most wonderful time of the year. But, the high expectations that come along with the holidays can lead to stress, depression or disappointment. With so many things that we need to get done in order to spread holiday cheer, it can be pretty easy to get overwhelmed. Here are a few things you can do to keep yourself feeling merry and mellow this holiday season.  

Get Started Early

It’s never too early to start getting ready for next year. Always keep an eye out for festive decorations or the perfect holiday card while you’re out shopping. Not only will this give you less to worry about when Christmas is just around the corner, but buying holiday supplies off-season can also save you money. If the family holiday festivities are going to be held at your house this year, start preparing weeks or even months ahead.

Connect with Family

The stress of the holidays is much easier to manage when you’re able to use the time to reconnect with family. Find new, fun ways to get into the holiday spirit together. You might try decorating Christmas stockings together as a family, or singing carols around your community. You could even volunteer together at a local food bank or toy drive and help to spread some holiday cheer.

Bring Down Expectations

Over-hype and high expectations make preparing for holiday festivities much more stressful. If you worry yourself over having the best decorations, the most presents, or the most memorable dinner party, you could end up trying too hard (and going a little crazy). Try to keep your family more focused on family and being together than they are decorations or presents.

Cut Down on Spending

Financial issues are one of the leading causes of stress, and the holidays tend to be a very costly time. Try to save money where you can so that you have one less thing to worry about. Think of inexpensive or sentimental gifts that you can give, rather than something costly from the store. The same goes for decorating. Homemade decorations for the house or tree save money, as well as provide an activity the whole family can enjoy.

Ask for Help

It’s very difficult to get everything done on your own during the holiday season. But, you don’t have to get it all done by yourself. The ideal people to go to for help would be your family. All of the stress-inducing chores that you need to take care of can become fun family activities. Not only will this make things much easier, but your family is sure to cherish the holiday all the more if everyone helped make it happen together.

If you feel anxious when Christmas is a few weeks (or even months) away, you’re not alone. Many people consider the Christmas holidays to be the most stressful time of the year. But, as long as you avoid the over-hype and encourage your family to have realistic expectations, everybody in your family should have a peaceful and merry Christmas.

 

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.

The Benefits of Nanny Care

Our guest blog comes from Sue Downey, Nannypalooza 

Happy National Nanny Recognition Week. It is a week of celebrating in the nanny community. Last year I wrote a blog post about what NNRW means to me. I love celebrating nanny care. It has been a great career for me and the community of nannies means quite a great deal to me.

But NNRW is also a great opportunity for us and I am not sure we are doing enough to capitalize on it. The nanny industry as a whole has changed immensely in the past few years. Big sites like Care dot come have increased not only our visibility but also have made having a nanny something that even more families desire. There are more and more nannies across the U.S., and not just in the big East and West coast cities where they have been for decades. It is not uncommon to find families looking for nannies in cities like St. Louis, Cincinnati and Dallas. It is not only for the ultra wealthy families anymore either. Certainly, having a nanny is more expensive than other forms of child care, but more and more upper middle class families see the benefit and decide to make the sacrifice necessary.

Read more benefits of Nanny Care by Sue.

 

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.

Top 5 Nanny Sites You Should Be Following

The nanny world is full of resources and information for nannies, parents and agencies. We’ve pulled together 5 of our favorites that we think you should be checking out for the information they provide.

  1. Nanny Magazine. This is the only publication for nannies featuring advice, industry news, insights and inspiration. They offer free articles and a subscription with subscriber only content.
  2. International Nanny Association. The longest running nanny organization serving the in-home child care industry, INA bring together all aspects of this industry – nannies, newborn care specialists, parents, agencies, training programs and service providers. With Recommended Practices for Nannies to the INA Nanny Credential Exam, the INA has it covered. Check out their resources for Parents and their annual conference, happening May 2023 in Orlando.
  3. Nanny ABCs. Nanny ABCs offers courses for nannies to elevate their career, an in-depth blog, and don’t miss their Nanny ABCs’ Next Step podcast featuring the “leaders of the at home childcare industry is here to provide you with the childcare industry’ best practices, to be clear, concise, and immediately applicable.”
  4. Nanny Care Hub. NCH is the site of industry advocate and veteran nanny Lora Brawley. Check out the blog of General information, Parenting and Nanny Life.
  5. Practically Perfect Podcast. The musings of two veteran nannies, Lora Brawley and Sue Downey, they bring hot topics in the industry straight to listeners everywhere.

 

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.

Should You Consider an After School Nanny?

Back to school is right around the corner. Have you considered your child care needs? 

Thanks to HomeWork Solutions for this insight into hiring an after school nanny. 

Your children are in elementary school full time and you and your partner are working full time. After school childcare is a priority. Your son wants to participate in an after-school computer program once a week, and your daughter wants to play fall soccer. Mom and dad have demanding jobs, and just getting a healthy dinner together can be a major challenge. You wonder, are there after school nannies?

Yes, many families turn to after school nanny care.

While there are certainly candidates looking for long term part time nanny positions, families find it can be challenging to hire reliable part time help. You don’t want to hire a part time nanny who is working for you until a full time opportunity comes along. Experts agree,  the more hours offered the better, and the more competitive the pay the better.

Many families look to college students but be aware their availability may change semester to semester.

You will still need coverage for school closures, teacher work days and when child is sick – the after school nanny may or may not be flexible enough to help here.

 

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.

Six Back-to-School Lunchbox Ideas

It’s time for your child to head back to school. You roll your eyes, because that means coming up with a new lunch five times a week, for the rest of the school year. What’s a parent to do? Here are some ideas for creative and healthy lunchbox ideas that you can send to school with your child.

  1. Bento Boxes

Bento boxes are originally from Japan, and they are a very creative way to serve your child food. There are containers especially made for this purpose, or else you can simply use a variety of boxes in an assortment of sizes that you already have.

Bento box food is generally shaped to look like flowers, animals or cartoon characters. The sky is the limit as far as creativity. There are plenty of websites dedicated solely to this artistic endeavor. Check them out and make your child’s lunch fun each and every day.

  1. Pasta

Pasta is an easy and quick lunchbox idea. Make a batch early in the week and then load it up with various vegetables and sauces to make many different options. You can pair spaghetti noodles with green peas and Parmesan, or add broccoli and a simple yet delicious tomato sauce to pasta shells.

  1. Sandwiches

Sandwiches have been an old lunch standby for as long as most of us can remember, but they are not to be scoffed at. There is almost nothing you cannot add between two pieces of bread that does not automatically become delicious. From peanut butter to BLTs, sandwiches filled the lunch boxes of our own childhood and continue to do so for our children.

Keep them fresh by storing any vegetables or other moist food in a separate container, so your child can put it all together directly before consuming it. Add new tastes to expand your child’s palate and prevent boredom, such as wasabi or sriracha mayo.

  1. Veggie Burritos

Why not turn an old favorite into a new lunch idea for your school-age child? Veggie burritos are easy to make and easy to store. What’s not to love about that? Simply choose a type each of beans, veggies, cheese and sauce, and then wrap it up. Your child will never get tired of all the options and combinations available.

  1. Soup

Soup is another great lunchbox standby. With all the thermoses and container options out there, it is easy to find something to keep it in, even keeping it warm until being eaten. A broth filled with numerous kinds of vegetables such as cauliflower, carrots, broccoli, zucchini and onions is healthy and lasts well in a lunchbox. Simply add a piece of bread and a few cheese sticks for a healthy, well-rounded meal.

  1. Salads

Salad is a great lunch option, and it does not have to be boring. Load it up with chickpeas, nuts, seeds, and top it off with a healthy dressing for a lunch your child will thank you for. There are now salad storage containers sold even at the big box stores that have special compartments to fit all the components of the salad – even tiny squeeze bottles for the dressing.

With all the options available, there is no reason for your child to get bored with their school lunches. Thanks to a variety of storage options, your child’s lunch can safely wait for lunch break and not even go bad. Fill up your child’s lunchbox with healthy meals to keep your child fueled all day long.

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.

Back to School!

Yikes! It’s August and that means back to school time. Stores have school supplies out and teachers are getting their classrooms ready. Are you ready for school to start this year?

The first thing working parents can do ensure a great school year is to line up childcare. TLC For Kids can help with all your back to school childcare needs. We can help with St. Louis after school nannies. And our temporary babysitting staff can help with days off. TLC For Kids even has emergency service that can help with last minute sick care needs..

After your lined up your childcare it’s time to get organized! Organizing means decluttering! Find the places in your house where papers gather and to through it. Anything from last school year or summer camps can be trashed. Things that you thought you were going to do this summer and didn’t can be thrown away. Then go through your kids room and do the same thing. Projects from the previous school year can be packed away or recycled to make room for things from this upcoming year.

Pull out anything you will need to start this school year. Things like your school supply list, immunization records, reading lists, and the school calendar. Review these papers and make sure you have everything you need to get the school year started on the right foot!

What are your tips for getting organized for the school year?

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.

 

7 Ways To Practice Self-Care While Caring For Others

Today’s guest post comes from CareAcademy.com

No Care Without Self-Care 

Caregivers in the United States are a diverse group of individuals that represent approximately 17% of Americans. Nearly 40 million people that differ in age, gender, socioeconomic status, and racial/ethnic background have taken on the responsibility of caring for the needs of someone living with a chronic condition, a disability, or the impacts of old age on their own self-care.

Caring for a loved one can be one of the most rewarding acts you may perform in your lifetime, but it can also be one of the most challenging. Typically, family caregivers wear multiple hats; you are the nurse, the banker, the psychologist, and the chauffeur. Due to the wide range of responsibilities, your role is vital to the sustainability and longevity of your care-receiver.

In contrast, studies have shown that caregivers need to maintain their own self-care, as caregiving can have negative impacts on a caregiver’s health, both physical and emotional.

To ensure caregiver burnout does not occur, you must practice emotional hygiene with the same diligence you take when caring for your loved one.

Emotional hygiene refers to the practice of being mindful of our psychological health and adopting brief daily habits to monitor and address psychological wounds when we sustain them.

Continue reading for 7 Ways to Self Care When Caring for Someone Else 

 

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.

Keeping Your House Safe This Summer

Summertime means summer travel for home owners.   Not surprisingly, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) reports that home burglaries peak in July and August.  Homes that look not lived in are more susceptible to burglaries.
There are few things people can do to keep there home from being broken into when traveling this summer. 
The best thing you can do is hire a house sitter to stay in your home while you are gone.  House sitters will give your home the lived in look.  They can bring in your mail and papers, water your plants and park in your driveway.  If you have pets the sitter will also take care of all of your pets needs.
TLC For Kids, Inc, is a childcare agency that also provides house and pet sitters in Miami and St. Louis.  “Our screened and background checked caregivers are a great match for families looking for house and pet sitters,” explains Vice President Angela Lehmann.  “Clients love knowing they only need to make one call to us and it’s taken care of.”

Other steps you can take to keep your risk of a break-in low is to put your lights on a timer, put up a motion detector light outside, and make sure all your windows are locked before you leave.

 

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.