Posts Tagged ‘childcare jobs in St. Louis’

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

 

Parents Need Time Outs Too – Knowing When to Step Back

There are many moments in parenting, ranging from the warm and emotional moments, to the ones when you want to throw an adult tantrum. Our own children are the most knowledgeable about our temperaments, and they know exactly how to push our buttons for maximum reaction.

It is difficult when we cannot agree on an issue with our children, and both parties are passionate about their respective points of view. It is also difficult when we feel burnt out simply from the rigors of parenting. How do you know when you as a parent need to take a time out and step back for a few moments to regain your cool?

The Argument Has Lasted Too Long

There is a time to talk things out, and a time to end the conversation. If you have been arguing with your child for a lengthy amount of time and it simply keeps on going, perhaps it is time to take a break. Putting the talk on hold doesn’t mean you can’t continue it later, but it is often wise to end it and continue it later when you are both feeling refreshed.

There Is No Resolution in Sight

Sometimes there is an issue that you must discuss, but you feel like you and your child are both talking in circles. It can get to a point where everyone becomes more determined to make their point, and each party stops listening to the other. This is another moment where the only solution is to temporarily put the conversation on hold.

You Begin to Feel Angry

If you begin to feel tense while parenting, or feel your blood pressure rising, you may have reached your limit. It may be time to walk away and spend a little time alone. When you as a parent are feeling angry, this can turn into a power struggle and it will always be tipped in your favor, leaving your child feeling powerless and trapped. This is a feeling that can negatively affect your relationship, so end it while you have the chance to settle things in a calm manner.

Your Child Appears Angry

If your child is feeling angry, it is possible you are not acting or speaking in a loving and fair manner. Sometimes our children need breaks from us, and we must be the mature one who removes ourselves from the situation and gives them the space they need. Take a time out and allow your child the chance to cool down without having to always be the one who retreats.

You Feel Tired

Even as adults, we are still human. There are moments when we have reached our limit and need to take some time to breathe. Find a relaxing activity that you enjoy and take awhile to recover. You will come back refreshed and ready to parent with more energy and positivity.

Parenting is rewarding, but that reward is not always felt strongly when we are burnt out or in the middle of an argument with our children. There are times you will need to take a step back and embrace silence. Give yourself a time out and come back to real life when you have been fully recharged.

 

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

Having Trouble Getting Your Kid To Sleep?

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

TLC For Kids, Inc. has been St. Louis’ premier nanny and babysitting agency for over 30 years. TLC For Kids’ dedicated staff is ready to assist you in finding nannies, tutors, newborn care specialists, sitters and more.  We serve St. Louis, Atlanta and Florida. Reach us at tlc@tlcforkids.com or 314-725-5660

Encouraging Positive Values

As a parent or a nanny, it is your job to help encourage positive values in your children. It’s never too early or too late to start teaching your children and you can do this with rewards for kids and positive reinforcement. We understand that many just don’t know where to begin to do this and that’s why we want to help.

As parents, we owe it to our children to raise them to be the type of responsible adults we want them to be. However, this challenge can be more difficult than you think. Children don’t come with guidebooks and this can make it hard to know what to do. To make it even more difficult, every child is different and may not respond to the same methods.

It’s not enough to just tell your child how they should be and then expect them to do it. Even if the child does what you want out of respect, fear or intimidation, there is no guarantee they will continue these behaviors into adulthood unless you instill positive values into them.

Rewards for Kids

We’ve mentioned one way to encourage positive values is with rewards for kids. What are some rewards and what ways can you use them? When planning rewards, you need to take different factors into consideration such as:

• The age and maturity level of the child
• The situation
• The child’s personality and interests

You want rewards to be something that will motivate the child. To do this, you have to make sure you are offering rewards that match the child. For example, you want the child to feel motivated to earn the reward so it needs to be something they will like and want to earn for themselves. If they don’t care about the reward, they won’t have any motivation to seek it through positive behavior. Depending on the age of your child, you can get help with rewards by asking them for their input and ideas. When your child feels they have a role in choosing the reward, they are more motivated to participate.

Rewards for kids may include:

• Behavior charts
• Sticker charts
• Small “prize boxes”
• Points system that can be added up for prizes
• Move nights
• Family game nights
• Invite a friend over night

These are just a few ideas of the types of rewards you can use for your child to encourage positive values.

Positive Communication

In the parent / nanny and child relationship, just like in any relationship, communication is very important. Talk with your child about your own values and beliefs and give them opportunity to express their own opinions. Role-play with different moral situations and ask your child to tell you how they would handle it.

Maintain open, positive communication so your child feels comfortable coming to you with any problem, including if they make mistakes in their own life. This communication not only allows your child the freedom and comfort of being able to come to you but it also sets an example for positive values in their other life relationships. They will maintain these values as they grow older.

Set the Example

When encouraging positive values in your own children, it’s important to set the example. While it’s easy to say, it’s not always as easy to do. The old adage of “do as I say, not as I do” does not apply. You are your child’s first role model. From birth on your child will watch you and your actions. He will base his decisions and opinions on your own.

Every action you make, every word you say is viewed by your child and this is how they learn to form their own values in life. Remember that your child is watching when you experience a situation where you are wronged, where you can help someone or where you have to make a moral decision in life. Your child will learn from your actions more than anything you can ever say to them. Are you setting the right type of example?

It’s not just the parents that need to encourage positive values in children, however. Anyone who works with children as their profession or as recreation should learn from these tips and ideas. If you’re a teacher, coach, or anyone who works with children, you are a role model and you have opportunity for encouraging positive values.

Most Common Home Accidents

Accidents happen every day in people’s lives, whether at home or out in public. While accidents can occur anywhere and to anyone, some of the most common and even the  most dangerous ones occur at home. Below is a list of some of the most common accidents that take place in the home.

  1. Falling Objects – If you have children then you know that once they start moving around on their own, they begin touching everything in the house. They can potentially knock stuff over, leading to broken objects or a bump on the head. To prevent this from happening, make sure electrical cords, table cloths, and any dishes are out of reach.
  1. Trips and Falls – Obviously anyone can fall, but falls usually occur in young children and the elderly. You can help prevent trips and falls by making sure things get picked up off the floor, that cords are not running along the floor, and by making sure carpets are tacked down.

Look for any tripping hazard and deal with it right away. Often times if a young child falls, you can soothe them with kind words and hugs and kisses. However, if you notice that after a person falls they become drowsy, vomits, or loses consciousness, get medical attention right away. There could be something seriously wrong and it’s best to get them checked out by a doctor.

  1. Dangerous Furniture – Be careful with furniture that has sharp corners, like a coffee table. You can get covers to make the corners not so sharp. Also, be careful with glass top tables, especially if you have small children. Take stock of the furniture around your home to see that it’s safe. Anchoring large, heavy furniture to the wall will help prevent you from getting pinned under these objects, especially small children. When hanging a TV on the wall, make sure it’s well secured and wires are tucked away.
  1. Sharp Objects – Beware of these, not just when you have children around. When you wash knives you want to make sure you put them away properly, so that when you reach for something you don’t accidentally cut yourself.
  1. Getting Burnt – Hot drinks and foods are the most common thing to cause burns and scalds to children under the age of five. Of course children should be kept away from the oven, open flames, and irons (anything hot). Also, make sure the temperature on your water heater is not set too high, to help prevent scalding burns in the bathtub. You should not have it set any hotter than 120 degrees F (49 degrees C).

The most common ways that adults get burnt is when cooking and straightening hair. All burn wounds should be held under cold running water for a couple minutes. The best way to cover a burn to prevent infection is by covering with plastic and taping down.

  1. Poisoning – Most poisoning incidents involve medications and household products. It’s important that these things are kept out of reach of children and anyone you feel may want to use it to intentionally cause harm to him- or herself.

When it comes to the health and happiness of our home and loved ones, we want to take all precautions possible to prevent injuries. If an accident does occur, though, it’s vital to know what to do.

 

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

Making Learning Fun This Summer

During the summer months, many kids go to baseball, basketball, volleyball, swimming and dance camp. We instill values of practice makes perfect, but what about their academics? Luckily, there are lots of tips and tricks to make learning as fun as attending a summer camp with their friends.

 Strengthening math skills:

• Let your children help in the kitchen. Allowing your children to join you in the cooking process teaches them how to read the recipe and measure the ingredients. Recipes also expose your children to fractions, which kids typically have problems understanding.

• Play board games and have your child be the scorekeeper. Games like Yahtzee and Monopoly are good games to help strengthen your child’s math skills because each includes lots of adding, and Monopoly gives your child the chance to learn more about money.

• Grab a stopwatch or a stopwatch app. Children love to play with stopwatches, and giving them one opens up lots of learning opportunities. One way they can use the stopwatch is by timing how long it takes their bike to ride down the street or around the block. Then they can keep track of how fast they go and chart the difference in their time the more they practice. This strengthens number recognition, telling time, and subtraction skills.

 Strengthening reading skills:

• Visit your local library. St. Louis City and County Libraries offer  reading incentive programs for kids of all ages. If getting your child to read has previously been a struggle, this is a good way to get them excited about reading because their friends will be reaping the benefits of the program (like free Cardinal tickets).

• Write letters. Do you have a grandparent, cousin, or friend that lives out of town? Have your children write letters to them. This activity will not only teach your kids how to maintain relationships, but also strengthen their reading and written communication skills.

TLC for Kids also offers tutoring. All of TLC’s tutors have degrees in education. To book a TLC tutor today, call (314) 725-5660.

 

 

Laughter Is the Best Medicine When Parenting

Of all the different strategies and techniques for handling situations that come up as a parent, laughter is among the best. Not only does humor and laughter help to   alleviate tension and stress, it has also been shown to benefit us physically. Here are a few benefits of parenting with a positive spin, as well as ways to incorporate laughter into your parenting routine.

Physical Benefits

Laughter helps to relieve physical stress and tension, which leaves your body feeling more relaxed after. A good laugh also gets your heart pumping and gives your heart and lungs a workout. Laughing for fifteen minutes burns almost the same amount of calories as a fifteen minute walk. This means that laughing can really help when it comes to keeping fit and keeping up with the kids.

When we laugh, our bodies release endorphins, which make us feel good and give us a sense of well-being. Laughing also reduces the levels of stress hormones in the body, which eases tension and anxiety. Reducing your stress hormone levels may also boost the performance of your immune system. This means that laughter may also help keep you and your kids healthy.

Other Benefits

When people laugh together, it strengthens their relationship. If you share laughter and humor with your kids, it helps you to bond more as a family. Laughing together encourages people to work together as a team and helps to settle conflict. Your kids will feel more connected to you if you share laughter and will be all the more motivated to do what you want them to.

Humor also helps to relieve distress during times when you are feeling overwhelmed. By making laughter a part of every day, both you and your family can maintain a more positive outlook and healthy attitude, all the way around.

Bring Laughter into Your Life

It’s easy to make laughter a part of your parenting routine, because kids love to laugh and have a good time. If your kids have a hard time getting excited about cleaning up after themselves, come up with an encouraging activity or game to play while you clean. This way, they will actually want to participate and help out, rather than doing it to avoid getting into trouble.

When something bad happens and it’s time to get tough, try to focus on the positive aspects of the situation rather than the negative. Your kids may be more inclined to stay in bed at night if you talk to them about some of the fun things that might happen in the morning, rather than how much trouble they’ll be in if they don’t fall asleep.

Not only does laughter help to keep you and your family healthy and stress free, it also encourages your kids to behave better and enjoy life more. The times your family spend laughing together are the times your kids will fondly remember as they get older and form families of their own. If you encourage them to stay positive, they’ll pass that outlook down to their own kids in the future.

 

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

Family Travel: Traveling With Kids

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, video games, 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. Portable game players, tablets, and movies are sure ways to keep everyone busy. Download the latest songs, movies and books. Challenge each child to a photo scavenger hunt using a camera or phone camera.

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.

Choosing Safe Toys For Babies and Toddlers

The government monitors baby and toddler toys in that they insure that manufacturers place specific labels on toys for recommended ages of use. You should follow these guidelines at least, when choosing safe toys for your children. Yet, you may want to play even a closer amount of attention to the toys they have. Even with the best intentions, there is no way to know how a child may manipulate a toy and potentially hurt themselves or others with it.

Age Appropriate

The age restrictions placed on baby toys and toddler toys are there for a reason. These toys may have small pieces to them that small children may put into their mouths. They may also have working pieces where fingers can get snapped or pinched in the process. Small hands can get stuck in some devices, too. Never give a toy with a choking hazard to toddlers or babies, as their first reaction is to put things in their mouths. Of course, it also makes sense that the younger child will not use many of the older toys for children properly. Not only could this be a risk for their safety, but it will likely frustrate them, too.

Look Closely At All Toys

All types of toys could have the potential of being an injury for the child. For example, most people love to give their children a cute, cuddly stuffed animal to play with. While these dolls, action figures and stuffed items may be a great toy, some do contain potential choking hazards. Can an eye or accessory pop off these items and go in the child’s mouth? If it can happen, assume it will happen.

When choosing toys, you should look at the design of the toy. How can this hurt your child? A sharp edge on the toy can easily cut or scratch them. You may find a wheel that pops off the car. You may find that if the child chews on the toys too long they could rip it and choke on the plastics. For toys that are electronic, be sure they are safe toys for the child’s age. Battery compartments can come off, fingers can get stuck in keys and the toy can be tossed around which may break it.

What’s It Made From?

In today’s eco friendly environment, not only should you look for safe toys that fit within specific requirements for choking and safe play, but also from what the toy is made. A variety of products is on the market that is eco friendly and just as fun to play with. For example, you may wish to look for toys made from recycled products or made from organic cotton instead of man-made products.

It is also important to know what is contained in the toy. For some children, especially those who suffer from allergies or who have sensitive skin, fabric dyes and chemicals contained in the toys can be harmful to them.

What To Look For

When buying toys, keep these things in mind. Safe toys that fit within these requirements are out there and easy to find, too.

• Look for toys without strings, which can wrap around their neck and choke the child. Some toys may be comprised of strings wrapped around objects. Look for these and avoid buying them.

• The size of the toy is important of course for swallowing risks. Be sure that anything that could come off the toy is large enough not to fit into the child’s mouth.

• Avoid peeling surfaces or toys with any type of material in them that could potentially be dangerous if the toy is broken open.

Perhaps the most important protection for children is to give your child supervision when playing with toys. Even safe toys can be picked up and thrown or dropped on a foot. It is important to watch your child interact with the toy. When you notice them doing something that could potentially be dangerous, take the toy away from them. Over time, teaching your child how to play with toys correctly can limit problems, but nothing will protect them better than your watchful eye.

 

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

Time Management Hints for Busy Parents to Keep in Tune

There are many ways that you can make sure you have enough time for your children. In fact, there are many times when you can take the time that you need for your children. Remember that children don’t always need to have time that is only for them. Often, a child will enjoy any time that he gets to spend with you – even if that time doesn’t seem that important to you. When you are spending time with your children, any of this time can be quality time, as long as you are able to do it correctly and make it worth it for you and for your children. No matter what you are doing with your children, it can be time that is completely worthwhile and that you will enjoy for years to come.

Part of the reason that many people are not able to spend enough time with their children because they have so much else to do. They might not feel like they have enough time to spend with their children because they have so much else to do. However, it is very important that you realize that all of the time you spend with your children can end up being quality time, in more ways than you think.

First of all, when you are with your children, any time at all can be quality time. You will be able to spend quality time together when you are working in your home, or even running errands. When you are doing the dishes or cooking dinner, you will be able to spend quality time with your children. But you want to make sure that you are able to spend each moment with your kids in a quality way. When it comes right down to it, you will be able to spend a lot of time together as your children get older. It is time for you to be able to spend as much time with your children as possible.

When it comes right down to it, the best way to take advantage of being with your children is to make each moment as wonderful and special as possible. There are many ways that you can do this, and no matter which way you choose, you will be able to spend the time that you need. For instance, when you and your children are working around the house, you can use each moment as a life lesson. When you are cooking, a good thing to do is to have your children help you cook. This will allow you give yourself a chance to get what you need to get done, but also be able to spend this time with your children. It can also help your children learn as much as possible in the time that they have.

In today’s busy lives, it is often hard to find time for you and your children to spend together. However, if you concentrate, you will be able to spend as much time together as you want. No matter what you are doing, you can do it with your children, and this will help both of you have the time together that you need. Spending quality time with your children is often much easier than you think. In fact, spending as much time together as possible can not only help you spend time with your kids, but help your kids grow up stronger and happier. The more time that your children can spend with you, the smarter and happier that you children will be able to be. So, spend each moment that you can with your children, and make each moment as special as popular.

 

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

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