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.

 

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.

Redefining The Notion Of ” Super Mom”-All You Need Is Love

Every day we  watch our children grow, and reflect on your most important career choice-the day you became a mom. Like other women, you struggle to balance work, life, home and family, but the good news is there is a solution.

First is to forget trying to be a “Super Mom.” These are moms who try to be all things to all people and come up short in the process. Today’s moms have learned to prioritize, focusing not only on our families but on taking care of ourselves. Our lives come in seasons, and we find that when we’re stretched too thin, we’re not effective at anything. Taking time for yourself is a win-win for everybody.

As moms, once we have our priorities in line, we can then be more productive in all areas of our lives. For some, this includes, faith, family and then of being of service through volunteer work. We think we can have it all, just not all at once.

To find out more about how moms balance their busy lives, Sharpie, a trusted mom tool, surveyed moms and found that 95 percent of mom’s agree that taking time for ourselves makes us a better mother. Still, 44 percent said that spending time with their family is the best stress relief.

The survey also identified a new breed of mothers-“Signature Moms.” These are moms who have their own way of parenting and expressing love to their children-whether it’s by volunteering at school, attending extracurricular games and activities or taking a much-deserved mom break.

To celebrate today’s Signature Moms and help set priorities, here are some simple things moms can do to keep love at the forefront of their family relationships. These “10 easy ways to say I love you” have helped me daily, and we hope they will do the same for you.

1. Slip a handmade valentine or a simple note into your child’s lunch box.

2. Take a walk together in the woods or your favorite park.

3. Jot down a line from your favorite poem. Share it with family members.

4. Kiss your kids good night, but also every chance you get.

5. Read a chapter book together.

6. Make it a priority to have family dinnertime together-no matter how busy the schedule.

7. Turn off the TV. Have a pizza night and watch a movie together.

8. Have a picnic in the park after the soccer game, instead of stopping for a fast meal on the way home.

9. Have each family member write down one reason why they appreciate each other. Write your reasons on a tag and use ribbon to attach them to a batch of your favorite cookies. Let every family member find his/her own special cookies.

10. Help your kids write a letter to a family member who lives far away. Write the first few lines of a story and instruct the recipient to write the next, and then return the letter. Your story can continue indefinitely.

 

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.

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

Sharing Rosh Hashanah with Kids

Rosh Hashanah is the Jewish New Year and is celebrated in early Autumn. It is believed to be the anniversary of the creation of Adam and Eve, the first man and woman, and no work is allowed on Rosh Hashanah.”

Here are some helpful resources to explain and celebrate with your children.

Rosh Hashanah Facts & Worksheets

Rosh Hashanah for Kids!

Rosh HaShanah Explained, for Families with Young Children

Helping your Preschooler with Separation Anxiety

It is common for kids, especially preschoolers, to suffer from separation anxiety. Separation anxiety is  hard on both the child and the parents.  Trust me  I know, I have lived through it.  Whether it was taking my children to school, a birthday party or a leaving them with a babysitter they cried.  Leaving them was hard but leaving them when they are crying was even harder.  Thankfully, I don’t have these problems anymore.   Now when I leave them with a TLC  babysitter they wave goodbye with a smile on their face and start playing.

Here are some tips from  Dr. Laura Horsch , a child psychologist in Menlo Park, California on helping your kids deal with separation anxiety.

1.   It’s important for parents to keep their morning goodbyes consistent and short. “Lingering in response to crying or tantruming may inadvertently reinforce those behaviors,” explains Horsch.  The rule of thumb in such situations is to strive for a short goodbye process.

2. “Parents are encouraged to prepare their children for what to expect, acknowledge their child’s feelings, engage their child in a goodbye ritual (for example, hug, wave, etc.), and reassure their child that they will return,” she says.

3.  And it’s crucial for parents to talk openly with their children about their feelings. Read a book about kids going off to school or Mommy going to work and then discuss with your child. And remind them that Mommy or Daddy will always come back to get them.

Horsch reminds parents that being tearful before mom or dad leave is common and natural. “Remember that these challenges are likely a normative part of healthy child development. These experiences are part of a child’s building resilience and emotion regulation.”

And she adds that there is almost always a silver lining: “Most children calm down quickly and enjoy their day shortly after their parents’ departure.”

To read the complete article and interview with Dr. Horsch click 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.

The Importance of a Regular Routine to your Child 

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.

 

 

Spring Cleaning Tips for the Busy Parent

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.

Tips for a Kid-Friendly Internet Experience

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.

 

 

Simple Tips for Talking with your Kids and Getting Them to Open Up 

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.

 

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