Summertime safety is a big concern for most parents, simply because many children get long breaks from school and are either home all day or with a caregiver. During the school year, it’s comforting to know your child is safe in a classroom with a competent teacher, but during summer months, it can be difficult not to worry. When your child has special needs, that worry is magnified tenfold.
It takes a little planning, but it is possible to have a relatively stress-free summer along with your child. With some preparation, communication, and careful planning, you can figure out a way for your child to be safe and have fun at the same time. Here are some of the best tips.
If your child will be with a nanny during the day, it’s important to maintain communication with them at all times and let them know what to expect at the beginning of each day. If they’ll be taking your child outside the home–to a park or playground, for instance–you might consider making a visit there first to check out the equipment and to see what sort of surfaces there are. Playgrounds with mulch are much preferable to those with gravel or concrete.
Keep a contact list for the nanny with detailed instructions on what they need to tell a first responder about your child’s medical needs should an accident occur. This includes any allergies, your child’s official diagnosis, and any medications they are taking.
Make sure to communicate to the nanny that being well-rested is important when they are spending time with your child. The benefits of a good night’s sleep are invaluable, whereas too little sleep could negatively affect their ability to function rationally and quickly.
Teaching your child how to be safe outside is imperative for summer months, and this includes water and pedestrian safety. Educating them about crosswalks, how to look both ways for vehicles, holding hands before crossing, and staying away from parked cars will go a long way in giving you peace of mind when they aren’t with you.
For water safety, consider enrolling your child in a swim class. Many children on the autism spectrum love the feel of water, so it’s especially important to teach your child how to stay safe when swimming. Always drain kids’ pools after use and consider installing motion sensors near in-ground or large above-ground pools if you have a child who wanders.
Always have your child use a helmet and knee/elbow pads when they are using any equipment that moves, such as a bike, scooter, or roller skates. Make sure the helmet and pads fit well and are in good shape.
Watch the heat index
Many children with special needs have a decreased tolerance for heat, so it’s important to follow the weather reports and prepare. Dehydration can occur quickly and with little warning, but some signs to look for are headache, nausea, cramps, dry mouth, irritability, fatigue, and few trips to the bathroom. Urine will be dark in color. If your child has any of these symptoms, get them into a cool, shady spot immediately and give them water to drink. A cool washcloth on the back of the neck can help if one is available.
Summer can bring lots of things to think about, but with a little bit of planning and good communication, you can make it a fun time for everyone involved.
TLC for Kids has caregivers who have experience working with children who have special needs. To learn more about TLC for Kids visit the website at tlcforkids.com
Thank you to our guest writer Sean Morris!
Sean Morris is a former social worker turned stay-at-home dad. He knows what it’s like to juggle family and career. He did it for years until deciding to become a stay-at-home dad after the birth of his son. Though he loved his career in social work, he has found this additional time with his kids to be the most rewarding experience of his life. He began writing for LearnFit.org to share his experiences and to help guide anyone struggling to find the best path for their life, career, and/or family.
If you are a parent, you know that your own children are those who are most skilled at knowing and pushing all your buttons. Since we are generally in contact with our children more than anyone else, they become very knowledgeable about who we are and what makes us tick. They also know what to do when they are seeking a reaction from us. Here is what you can do to remain cool, calm and collected when your children push your buttons and are waiting for a reaction.
Count to Ten
This is not for the sake of your child, nor is it a countdown to consequences for him (or her). This is a countdown for you. Sometimes when our children are being immature, which is normal for their age and to be expected, we simply need time to refocus and put things into perspective. Stop, count to ten, and remember that your child is only acting this way because they are indeed a child.
Talk It Out
The best way to resolve a conflict between you and your child is not to explode in anger, but to talk it out with them. Sit down and discuss what is really going on. Talk to them calmly and aim to find out why they feel the need to push your buttons in this manner.
Do a Relationship Checklist
Often when a child is intentionally pushing your buttons, there is a reason he wants your attention. It is possible that you have not been spending enough time together, and he is looking for a way to connect? Does he feel like at this point, any attention is preferable over none? Jog your memory and see if you can find any reason why your child may be acting out in this way towards you.
Remember How It Felt to Be That Age
Sometimes pushing buttons is simply the normal actions of an immature child. Children do not have the life experience we do, and often struggle to find efficient ways to communicate with others. Take a moment and remember how it felt to be that age. What made you feel good? What made you feel sad? What made you feel connected to your parents, and disconnected? Remember what it was like to be a child, and this will surely lead you to a place of greater understanding and patience with your own.
Think about Life in 20 Years
When all other methods fail to help you feel calm, think about the future. Picture you and your child 20 years from now. What will you fondly remember about these days? What will make you wince with regret? This can be an effective way to quickly put things back into perspective. Times passes so quickly and we only live each day once. Think about how special these days are as a family, and you are certain to emerge as a more caring parent who is slow to react in a negative manner.
Children can surely push our buttons, but our time as parents of non-adult children is relatively short. If you can keep this in mind, and compile a list of distraction strategies for your own benefit, it will help you get through the moments that you feel you are close to losing your cool. When your child is saying and doing everything to get a reaction out of you, maintain your composure and stay cool, calm and collected.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or 314-725-5660
What are some good ideas for creating family traditions? Here are some ideas based on the holiday. These can be useful to get you started but remember that your own family traditions can be whatever you want and they don’t have to be centered around a holiday at all. Part of the fun of a family tradition is that it is yours and you can do whatever you want.
• Create your own special day or holiday such as “unbirthdays” or “family day”
• Never go to bed without saying I love you
• Have a special birthday meal whenever a family member has a birthday
• On Saturdays, everyone cooks breakfast together
• Have a monthly movie day where you watch movies that explore traditions
• Sing a special birthday song made up by the family
• Keep a family journal and let everyone write in it
• Make a scrapbook for every family vacation
• Always eat dinners together as a family and talk about your day
• Take turns choosing topic of discussion at dinner
These are just some ideas for creating family traditions. You can use these to boost your own ideas and be sure to ask your family members to think of their own. You can have everyone write down their ideas for traditions and then vote as a family on the ones you want to make happen.
Ideas for Passing on Family Traditions
When it comes to passing on family traditions, there are many ideas here as well. The most important thing to remember is to remain consistent. It’s important to do something over and over again each time to become tradition. If your family does not seem enthusiastic about it right away, you will have to help motivate them by being consistent.
For example, hold an event every year at the same time and continue to encourage the family to participate. Remain positive about it even if others do not and always continue even if only a few show up. By doing this consistently and with enthusiasm, others will begin to join in and the tradition will continue. As soon as all parties give up and miss an event, the tradition dies along with any enthusiasm to do it.
Here are some holiday traditions that we enjoy and might help you get started:
• For Easter, color eggs together or have an Easter egg hunt
• Volunteer at a homeless shelter for Thanksgiving or Christmas
• Collect or make an ornament each year at Christmas
• Have Thanksgiving dinners together with everyone helping to make a dish
• Have the children dress up as pilgrims and Indians on Thanksgiving
• Re-enact holiday events or perform a small skit as a family
• Act out the Christmas story
• Make cookies and milk for Santa
• Leave shoes outside for “baby New Year” to fill with goodies
• Create family New Year resolutions together
These ideas should help you with creating and passing on family traditions of your own. Whether you have your own family now or hope to one day soon, we hope that you will explore these options and ideas for family traditions. The memories you will create together as a family will last a lifetime.
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 email@example.com or 314-725-5660
Problem solving and conflict resolution for children should begin being taught early on. If you’re a parent of multiple children in your family this becomes apparent as it won’t take siblings long at all to become engaged in some type of ‘sharing’ violation with one another. Children of a family with other children almost immediately are engaged in a social type of activity albeit only with their brothers and sisters early on. Conflicts and resolving those conflicts soon become part of their day.
At an early age children are in more of a self exploration and self discovery mode. From there and from a socialization progression you will see kids playing together but not as a coordinated group. In other words, the next progression is to see a group of children ‘geographically’ playing together but they all still have their own toys and objects. The next step of the socialization of play is around 2 to 3 years old where you’ll see kids begin activities that begin to require interaction and subsequently problem solving and conflict resolution.
As parents and caregivers, you have the opportunity to actually teach conflict resolution and problem solving techniques and skills rather than just solving them. As a part of conflict resolution it’s important to get children to express themselves and their feelings and get past their initial emotional reaction. This will initially take some time and practice, and you should take the time to get back to, and discuss the conflict that occurred at a later time or date after the emotions have calmed sufficiently down. Discussing previous conflicts and how they could have reacted and handled them is a key in their emotional growth.
As all children do early on, before they have the ability to concisely express themselves, they learn that many times crying and even screaming resolves their conflict because as parents we try to assuage the behavior by getting them what they want or need. Understanding and teaching conflict resolution to your children is an integral part of their social development and growth. Without these tools, children will grow into adults resolving problems the only way the have ever known how to do – with emotional behavior, and sadly, many times with force.
There is a tremendous amount of excellent information on these techniques and teaching them to children of all ages. Make them part of your day, and a part of your child’s life and they will grow in depth and confidence.
Wedding season is almost upon us! Many parents often face the dilemma of what to do with their children when it comes to wedding season, especially when kids aren’t invited to attend the ceremony. Adding to that concern is when families need travel for destination weddings with kiddos in-tow. But now wedding sitters gives parents a way for their little ones to be included in the big day without the worry of tantrums or distractions during the event. TLC Nannies and Sitters provides special wedding babysitters and in-room hotel sitters. TLC sitter’s make the experience both safe and fun for the kids. This service has become almost a norm for millennial weddings, but I can see why it’s so popular – no one wants a toddler screaming through the service! Weddings are such beautiful events, and we’re glad that people are finding ways through the site to make sure no one misses out.
TLC recently provided five sitters at the History Museum in Forest Park. The bride was so thankful to get everything arranged ahead of time, and the kids enjoyed their own dinner and some fun games while the adults had their fun in another room. The parents were so happy to be able to relax and dance while they knew their kids were well cared for.
However, some parents feel better booking their own one-on-one sitter in their hotel room so they can go to sleep at their normal time. This is especially important with babies. TLC sends hotel sitters to the hotel room, where they can ensure a quiet bedtime, and mom and dad can stay out as late as they like!
Whatever your wedding child care needs, TLC has you covered. Give us a call today and learn more.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or 314-725-5660.
Family travel is something most families do throughout their years together. Traveling on vacations is often an annual tradition families have. From the time your child is born, it is likely you will take him or her on trips to see family members, theme parks, and even just one day drives. While safety is often the first thing parents consider when traveling with their kids, keeping them happy and busy along the way also adds to the success of the trip.
Safe Travel Tips
Safety is the most important factor with children traveling. Family travel should always been done with caution paid to safety above anything else. Here are some tips to keep everyone safe.
• Insure everyone is using proper safety belts and car seats throughout the trip. It’s tempting to loosen the belt for long trips, but high speed accidents on highways are common during the summer months.
• Be sure that the driver gets enough sleep and that parents are able to stay alert not only in the car but also on airplanes and buses.
• Keep items out of the car that could be choking hazards for small children. Travel games often have small pieces and are meant for older children. The jarring of a car can easily cause these to slip down the child’s throat.
• Be sure everyone knows where to meet if for any reason the group is splitting up. Cell phones are a good communication device and the responsible person’s within each group should have one.
• Talk to your children ahead of time about the risks of strangers and who to talk to if they do get lost. For family travel to be fun, everyone has to remain safe.
Family Travel Things To Do
When it comes to being on the road or in a plane for an extensive amount of time, busy kids are happy ones. Parents can do a number of things to keep kids active and busy so they don’t become overwhelmed with the long trip.
• Pack snacks. Kids are hungry every few hours and snacks are the best way to keep them quiet. Prepackaged items are sold in individual sizes, but you can also choose crackers, grapes and other small foods and place into small bags. Juice boxes and bags travel well.
• Pack an activity bag. For younger children, these goody bags can be a surprise for once you are on the road. Load them up with small toys, coloring supplies, stickers, and other activities you know they will enjoy. Don’t let them go into the bag until they are on the road.
• Pack things to do in backpacks. For older children, keeping them busy will help to cut down on your stress. Handheld games, tablets, a deck of cars and travel size games can work very well. Include a few comic books, a magazine or even a book they want to read.
Many of today’s ultra fun activities for the car are in the form of technology. Tablets, phones, laptops, portable DVD players, in car systems and even full scale video games are sure ways to keep everyone busy. Make sure all are charged, and that you packed enough chargers for everyone.
Family travel is often best when everyone on the trip is looking forward to something that interests them. When there are two completely different opinions, cater to both. For example, if you are traveling to an area where there is a lot of camping and wilderness hiking, and one child does not care for this, find out if there’s a local show or museum nearby they may like to stop in during the trip.
Traveling with kids is enjoyable when you plan ahead. Take the time to talk to your kids about the trip alerting them to the length of the drive. While traveling at night is not always an option, this is also a good way to cut down on the boredom factor. Many kids are happy enough with a few things to do and the conversation of the parents to keep them busy. Make this a trip that everyone enjoys by sharing stories, ideas and thoughts in an open forum. Everyone will feel welcome and happy before, during and after the trip.
When you get there, if your travels take you to any of our locations, give us a call for a vacation nanny, date night sitter or hotel sitter. We bring the fun, while you enjoy your time together.
Every parent wants to do well by their children but it’s important to remember the importance of making time for yourself. We live in a fast-paced, busy world but even the hardest working parent needs to take some time for themselves. It’s important for parents to spend time together as a couple, separate from the children and it’s equally important for each individual to have some time alone for themselves.
There are many different ways you can squeeze in a little time for yourself in your normal daily routines as well. For example, do you carpool or wait for your children while they are in sports and other activities? You can spend this time in between traveling to sit in the car, listen to your favorite music, read a book or otherwise experience time alone. This can be a great rejuvenation from the busy activities of the day.
If you want to stay a sane and happy parent, you deserve a break. You deserve some time with yourself where you don’t have to worry about the children or be distracted by events of the household. Here is some more information about the importance of making time for yourself each day.
Why You Need Time for Yourself
Why is it so important to take time for yourself? Many parents feel like they are being selfish when they take time for themselves but sometimes being a little selfish is a good thing. Every human on earth needs a little time for themselves and parents are no exception.
Taking this time for yourself will keep you sane, keep you focused and keep you motivated for the tasks you must perform each day. Being a parent is hard work so don’t forget to give yourself a much-needed and earned break now and again.
Here are some reasons you need time for yourself:
• It relieves stress
• It allows you to relax
• You can build creativity
• You develop hobbies
• You get to know yourself better
• It will improve your mood and well-being
• It can improve your health
Have you ever experienced a great afternoon all to yourself just doing something you want to do? If so, then you know that great feeling you have afterwards when you feel rejuvenated and ready to take on many tasks and activities with ease. You can have this feeling on a regular basis when you remember to make time for yourself.
How to Take Time for Yourself
When you make time for yourself, it allows you to grow as a person and as a parent. It also gives you time to relax, de-stress and be ready for the new day ahead. You will have more patience with your children and other people in your life and more energy to do the tasks at hand. Some things, however, are easier said than done and the hard working parent may get to a point where they don’t even know how to take time for themselves anymore.
Here are some ways to make time for yourself:
• Designate a certain block of time in your daily schedule for doing something you want to do
• Record your favorite show or program to watch when the kids go to bed
• Plan a monthly “spa day” where you can get out of the house and treat yourself to a pampering
• Make a weekly “date night” with your spouse
• Go for a walk in the evenings (or in the mornings if you prefer)
• Take a bike ride, roller blade or some other physical activity
• Take up a hobby and devote a few hours a week to participating in your hobby
• Get up a bit earlier and take some time before the kids get up or the rest of your day begins
• If you’re not an early riser, stay up a bit later at night and devote some time to yourself
These are just a few ideas. One of the first steps to making time for yourself is to sit down and make your own list of ways that you can take a little important quality time for yourself. It may be tempting to continue to push and plow through the many tasks you have each day but don’t forget the importance of making time for yourself.
TLC can help you find and plan that time alone or together. Give us a call and book a sitter and start planning your next self-care day.
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 things were really loud all of the time. Total silence is scary to many babies. Having a ticking clock or some other steady 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.
Also, check the temperature. Is it too hot or cold? As adults we know the impact it has on our sleep and can adjust the thermostat, throw on an extra blanket, but for a child, they may not be able to communicate that.
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.
A number of great tools and products are on the market to help make your home as safe as can be for your new baby. By the time baby is six months old, he will likely to exploring the home is his own way. This gives you just a small amount of time to get anything and everything out of the way so that he can’t hurt himself (or hurt your things) in the process. Today’s baby proofing products are more adult friendly to use, but there are often better choices available than those you may remember using in the past.
Get Down On Your Knees
The best way to find potential problems within your home is to see your home as your child does. Get down on your hands and knees and crawl around. Make a list of all the potential problems you expose your child. At this level, you will see electrical outlets, cords for televisions or lamps, small fringe or other small items on tables that can be picked up, thrown or put in their mouths. Look for corners on tables or other surfaces that are sharp. Look for stairs or places within the home they can get to as they crawl and later stroll around. This may include cabinets, closets and doors.
With a list in hand like this, you can start finding the solutions to your problems. Luckily there are many great products on the market that can help you to child proof your home without a lot of worry about expense or the difficulty in using your home as you would like to.
Child Proofing With Adults In Mind
Your baby’s safety is the most important consideration but you do not have to compromise the ease of living you currently have. The following are some of the most important tools available to you to both protect your child while still have easy access to your home and things.
Safety Latches: Perhaps you have drawers and cabinets that baby can get into. It is important to keep these locked so that your child can’t get into them and access poisonous chemicals and medications. Latches are available that can be attached to these cabinets (with minimal if any damage to the cabinet itself) You will want to buy latches that are durable can handle the pulls that your child is likely to do to them. Still, many of these products are very easy to install and easy to use.
Corner Protection: As you crawled around you may have bumped into the corners of tables and chairs along the way. Either remove those with a point from the area or they should have a corner bumper installed on them. These will soften the edge and allow the child to bump into them with little or no effect. Most are widely available for just a few dollars. Choose bumpers that stay snuggly in place.
Outlet Covers: One of the most effective ways to prevent baby from being hurt is with outlet covers. A package of 20 or more can cost just a few dollars. These plastic covers are in the sockets throughout your home, keeping fingers out of the outlet. Parents can easily remove them and replace them when the outlet is in use.
Safety Gates: Older models of safety gates were hard to put in place and often were cumbersome to deal with. Newer models make getting through them must faster and safer. Protecting baby from stairs and areas of the home that are too dangerous is one of the best ways to child proof your home. These gates are available in a range of sizes and styles to accommodate virtually any home’s design.
There are many other things to add to your home to child proof it. You may wish to add locks to doors to rooms where you do not want your toddler to venture. Every home should have carbon monoxide detectors and smoke alarms installed in them. Be sure to secure all items on tables safely or otherwise remove cords that could cause an item to fall on the child.
There’s a lot to do but by making a few simple changes to your home you will successfully protect your child from all the problems that usually affect children. Since thousands of children end up in the hospital each year due to injuries or poisonings at their home, don’t overlook the safety in child proofing.
When it comes to caring for children with special needs, there are different approaches you will need to take. As a parent or caregiver, you may need to treat the special needs child different from an ordinary child, depending on what their needs are. It can be difficult for many parents, especially when they first find out or when they feel like they are going through this alone.
Caring for children with special needs mean facing many obstacles and challenges that can be difficult at times. These children need extra attention that can take up much of your time. There are numerous hours required for medical appointments and hospitals visits and some children even require regular therapy sessions.
When you are caring for a child with special needs you not only have to consider the present but you must also think about the future. What will happen to that child if you were to become sick or if you are involved in an accident? As you age you may no longer be physically able to care for them but they may still need assistance. As important as the here and now is, the future must be considered.
Part of planning for the future includes taking steps to teach that child as much as they are capable of learning now. You will work with them to help them achieve independence and teach them the basic skills needed to survive but that still may not be enough. It will depend on their disabilities and they may always need someone to be there and help care for them. Take the time now to plan for the future and it will help to relieve some of your worries.
Resources for Special Needs
What resources exist for children with special needs? When your child was diagnosed with a disability or other issue, you were probably told then that there are many resources available for special needs. But you may be surprised to find out how many different options really exist for you out there. Search for resources for special needs with:
• Online resources
• Online support groups
• Local support groups
• Videos/ DVDs
• Other parents and caregivers
These are just a few of many places you may be able to find more info about your child’s special need and what is available to help you.
When you are caring for a child with special needs don’t hesitate to use any of the resources designed for children with special needs. It’s a difficult task and no one expects you to go it alone. You should never feel like you have to deal with it all on your own, especially when there are so many people out there who know what you’re going through and so many resources to make it easier.
Seeking Help with Special Needs
As a parent, the more you learn about special needs and what options are available to you, the better prepared you will be to give your child the help they need and deserve. Don’t hesitate to seek help with the special needs of the one in your care. There are people out there more qualified and more experienced than you in this type of problem and they can help show you the ropes and gives you hints, tips and ideas for how to better care for your child.
As a parent or caregiver for a child with special needs you will spend countless hours worrying about your child and doing all that you can to comfort them. Many people spend sleepless nights simply listening and watching over the child so they will be right there in the event they are needed during the night.
Parents and caregivers of children with special needs display extraordinary strength and courage when caring for these kids. They focus all of their attention on the child and do all they can to nurture and protect them in every way. In the end, the most important thing is that you give your child the best opportunities available, regardless of what types of special needs they may have. In the end, caring for children with special needs can be one of the most rewarding experiences you ever have.