Regular schedules provide the day with a structure that orders a young child’s world. Although predictability can be tiresome for adults, children thrive on repetition and routine. Schedules begin from the first days of life. Babies, especially, need regular sleep and meal programs and even routines leading up to those activities.  sitters available for hotels and visitors

As they gets older, when a child knows what is going to happen and who is going to be there, it allows them to think and feel more independently,  and feel more safe and secure. A disrupted routine can set a child off and cause them to feel insecure and irritable.  

Dinnertime is a great place to start setting a routine.  Sitting together at the dinner table gives children the opportunity to share their day and talk about their feelings.  This is also a great time to include some responsibility in your child’s routine, such as helping to set or clear the table. 

And regardless of how exhausted you or your children may be, don’t be tempted to skip winding down from the day.  This is part of a nighttime ritual and allows both child and parent to decompress after a busy day. It also helps bedtime go more smoothly.  This is usually the time of day when parent and child can spend some quality time together, so fight the urge to start the laundry or do the dishes until after the child has gone to bed.  If this isn’t possible, consider trading off these duties with your spouse each night to ensure your child has quality time with each parent on a regular basis. Take the time to find out what wind-down strategy works best for your child.  Some children are actually energized instead of relaxed by a warm bath, so if that’s the case with your child, bath time should be saved for a different time of day. Whatever routine you settle on, make it quiet, relaxing, and tranquil for everyone.  

And though routines are essential, there should be some room to be flexible as well.  You might be out late at night on a family outing, have unexpected company show up that may result in a skipped meal or nap in the car while running errands in the evening.  In these instances, it’s important for you to keep your cool. If you express frustration or anger about disrupting the routine, your child will as well. Prepare children for such unexpected events and show them that though it can happen from time to time, the routine will return the next day.

 

TLC For Kids, Inc. has been St. Louis’ premier nanny and babysitting agency for over 30 years. TLC For Kids’ dedicated staff is ready to assist you in finding nannies, tutors, newborn care specialists, sitters and more in Atlanta, Charlotte, Chicago, Ft. Lauderdale, Jacksonville, Miami, Orlando, Palm Beach, Sarasota, St. Louis, Tampa and more!. Reach us at tlc@tlcforkids.com or 314-725-5660.

 

 

Toddlers can be fussy eaters who refuse to try new food at least half of the time. Approximately half of all toddlers fit this description, so it is no wonder that food issues are a source of stress for parents.

Establishing healthy eating patterns is important to avoid problems such as obesity and eating disorders later in life. Various strategies can help your child accept a wider range of foods.  It may be necessary to offer food to your child as many as 10 different times before they choose to eat it. The problem is, many parents get frustrated and give up before the fourth or fifth try. 

Try to make food fun. Colorful foods like carrot sticks, raisins, apples, grapes, cheese sticks and crackers can all be fun and healthy choices for your growing toddler. Explain to them that eating good food is important so they’ll grow big and strong, and how it will help them run faster and play longer. 

Children learn behaviors from their parents. If you restrict yourself to a narrow range of foods, your child will take notice and mimic your caution. Don’t limit your child’s food variety to only those foods you prefer. It may be that your child’s tastes are different to yours, and perhaps you are simply serving them foods they don’t happen to like.  Try to set a good example and try a variety of foods in front of your child. It could motivate them to do the same. 

If your child seems healthy and energetic, then they are eating enough. If you are still concerned, keep an eye on how much food they actually eat over the day. Children tend to graze constantly, rather than restrict their eating to three meals per day like adults. You may be surprised how those little handfuls and snacks add up. For further reassurance, check your child’s growth and weight charts, or check with your child’s pediatrician. 

Try not to worry, and remember, that unless a child is ill, they will eat. Children are very good at judging their hunger and fullness signals. Try to stay relaxed about mealtime and offer your child a wide variety of foods, and most importantly, remember to set a good example by trying a wide variety of foods yourself.  You may discover you and your toddler share a new found favorite food!

Most parents nowadays are busy – but most also still want a clean home.  Yearly events have been established culturally in which homes are given particular attention when it comes to straightening up and beginning fresh.  Communities often have bulk trash days a couple of times a year and most individuals are familiar with spring cleaning, a seasonal time in which the world seems clean and brand new – and through hard work, so do homes.  However, due to the hectic schedules of some parents, spring cleaning may often take a back seat, leaving parents feeling cluttered and frustrated. Here are some simple ways in which busy parents can help to make the most out of spring cleaning!

  1. Involve children.  Children of almost any age can help when it comes to spring cleaning.  Sometimes the tasks are more involved, such as cleaning windows, and other times the tasks are much more simple, such as putting one’s own toys away.  Regardless of the ages of your children, they can help. 
  2. Remember to keep the specifics of your child in mind when enlisting help.  Asking a three year old to clean windows is, in most cases, unrealistic. However, asking the same thing of a thirteen year old is often much more in line with their capabilities.   It is very important to keep the particulars of one’s child in mind so that the tasks are reliably completed and no one, child or parent, is left completely frustrated by the tasks.
  3. Explain the concept of spring cleaning to your children and, if necessary, your spouse.  Everyone likes a clean and organized home, and so everyone needs to be willing to pitch in and help.  Spring cleaning is a big task. If it is accomplished successfully and everyone respects the works that has been done, it should not need to be done often – usually only once a year as the name suggests.  By explaining these things to your family, it is more likely that they will be content with the work that they are doing.
  4. Set a reasonable time limit.  It is unlikely that an entire house can be cleaned and organized entirely in just one day.  Be aware that it will take time for these tasks to be completed – Especially if you are a busy parent!  Instead of creating unrealistic goals, make sure that you set reasonable time lines, not just for your children, but for yourself as well.
  5. If necessary, look outside the home for help.  There are plenty of cleaning services that can help busy individuals achieve their spring cleaning goals.  However, it will be important to find a reputable company to do the work, which means a cleaning service that will hire individuals that are trustworthy and reliable.  At the same time, it will help to give you a feeling of accomplishment, even as a busy parent, if you do not allow them to do all of the work. Take pride in your home and keep some simple, less bulky chores on hand for you and your family to take part in.
  6. Remind your family of their unity!  Spring cleaning is a great time for families to come together and help each other out in order to create a more peaceful living environment.  By simply setting aside a small amount of time, families can remember what it is that unites them and how important it is for them to act as a family.  In just a few hours, by working together a family can accomplish quite a bit in the home, possibly more than they ever may have expected possible!

 

TLC For Kids, Inc. has been St. Louis’ premier nanny and babysitting agency for over 30 years. TLC For Kids’ dedicated staff is ready to assist you in finding nannies, tutors, newborn care specialists, sitters and more in Atlanta, Charlotte, Chicago, Ft. Lauderdale, Jacksonville, Miami, Orlando, Palm Beach, Sarasota, St. Louis, Tampa and more!. Reach us at tlc@tlcforkids.com or 314-725-5660.

The benefits of the internet are vital to your kid’s growth, but it may also impose some danger when used incorrectly. So as parents, you should know the ways to keep your kids safe while using the internet.

1. Create a set of rules on how to use and what time your child can use the internet. It would be advisable if you discuss it with your kids or create the rules together with your kids. In this way, both of you can agree to each rule that you impose. This will give your kids a level or responsibility when they can participate on rule-making. 

2. As much as possible, keep the internet connected computer where adults can see it (and not in your kid’s bedroom). In this way, you can monitor the websites that your kids visit.

3. Speak to your kids about online pornography. You can direct them to websites about sexuality and health.

4. Block websites with malicious content. Although there are several ways to do it, the easiest way is to follow these steps: Keep one user name for the computer and one internet browser e.g. Microsoft Internet Explorer and Mozilla Firefox. This will allow you to monitor and access the internet activity of your kids. For the Internet Explorer, you can change the setting of your security access by implementing the security zone on your Internet Options menu. This way, you can restrict website access and block specific websites that your kids shouldn’t see.

You can also use a firewall to block any unwanted content to enter your computer. There are several software’s that allow you to do this.

5. Show your kids how to use the internet properly. Although this may be taught in school, it is always good to spend some time with your kids while they use the internet. This way, you also bond with them and can direct them to websites that are right for their age.

6. If you allow your kids to enter chat rooms, make sure that they remain in public rooms. Tell him not to talk to anyone in private and absolutely no personal information (school, parent’s occupation, address, etc.) should be given to anyone.

7. Tell your kids not to give his password to anyone, even to his friends or classmates.

8. And, make the computer area free from clutter so that your kids will enjoy the time on their computer.

 

TLC For Kids, Inc. has been St. Louis’ premier nanny and babysitting agency for over 30 years. TLC For Kids’ dedicated staff is ready to assist you in finding nannies, tutors, newborn care specialists, sitters and more in Atlanta, Charlotte, Chicago, Ft. Lauderdale, Jacksonville, Miami, Orlando, Palm Beach, Sarasota, St. Louis, Tampa and more!. Reach us at tlc@tlcforkids.com or 314-725-5660.

 

 

Children and teens will often shrug their shoulders and give one-word answers when you ask them what is bothering them. It may be obvious to you that something is wrong, but your child may not know how to express it.      

The strategy you use to get a child to open up will differ slightly with a younger child than with a teen. With children-especially children ages four to ten-will usually not mind if you are a little bit “nosy”. 

They will feel less violated than would a teen if you try to ask them a number of questions to get them to open up. However, if you choose your questions carefully, this caring persistence can also help a teen open up as well.           

Part of dealing with a child at any age is how you talk to that child.  More importantly, how you listen to that child or teen is what is crucial. If you have established a report of non-judgmental listening, your child will be more willing to open up to you regardless of age.

Also, if your child knows that you are giving him or her the choice to share that child will feel respected.  Since the child feels respected in this case, chances are he or she will be willing to tell you what is going on inside. 

If a child is reluctant to open up even after you try to show that you care, give the child time. Perhaps an hour or two later the child or teen will surprise you by coming to you. This is very important to remember, especially during the teen years.       

If you respect your child’s space, that child will trust you more. The reverse is true as well. 

If you try to coerce your child with threats your child could end up losing respect for you completely. Eventually, they will hide everything from you-including any future sexual encounters, confrontation with drugs, or feelings of rejection. 

If you have made mistakes with your child but you want to do better, the first step is to forgive yourself. Also, you will want to apologize to your child as well, and make an effort to turn things around. 

The earlier that you established trust and respect between you and your children the better off you will be later on in life.  However, it is never too late for you to establish a healthier relationship with them.   

Some families have been able to reach their children by way of mediation and counseling. In the process they may even be able to learn more about their children, in the event that behavior problems are surfacing. 

If you are having difficulty with your child, there is help available. Sometimes it may even be necessary for your child or teen to take a prescription medication for any number of reasons-to combat depressive disorders, ADD, or other disability. 

Furthermore, receiving professional help will help provide additional tools to tackle unresolved issues. For instance, maybe your family has never dealt openly with the death of a close relative, or maybe your family is suffering the effects of marital problems and divorce. 

Whatever the case may be, it is recommended that you work on establishing open and honest communication with your children. The most important thing you can do for them is assure them you love them and always try to remain as non-judgmental to them as possible. 

Furthermore, if you and your partner are in the midst of divorce, you will want to assure your children it is not their fault. It may take time for them to fully understand the reasons why things cannot stay the same, but at least you can give them the piece of mind they are not to blame.