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.

 

 

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.

 

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.

 

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

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

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

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.

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

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.