Making the Holidays more Meaningful

With the holidays looking much different than years past, families are getting creative in how their holidays will be spent this year. We have put together some ideas on  how you can make the holidays more meaningful for all.

Giving Back

One of the best ways to make the holidays more meaningful is to give back. Make baked goods or a meal for someone in need, or just to let someone know you’re thinking of them. Donate winter clothing and toiletries to a local shelter. Buy gift cards for first responders and essential workers to purchase meals at local restaurants. Adopt a local family hit hard this year, and purchase gifts and groceries.

Get Creative

Set up a family craft night and everyone make holiday decorations for the tree and around the house or make for others as gifts. How about a family gingerbread house making contest? Make holiday cards for essential workers and senior citizens who can’t be with their families this year. Make someone’s holiday special letting them know you are thinking of them.

Holiday Traditions

Create new holiday traditions this year! Maybe a family scavenger hunt? Or how about a family sing-along via Zoom? Have each family member write down what they are thankful for this year and place on the tree. On Christmas morning, everyone reads their contribution.

Family connection

We may not be able to be with extended family in-person this year, but we can still be together. Set up Zoom calls or Facebook video chat.  Set up games you can play from afar. Have your children interview their grandparents and get to know more about when they were children and share memories of holidays they remember. Record and write these down to share in years to come. Place photos of family members who cannot be with you on the tree, around the table, or make a festive display.

Celebrate a Different Culture

Consider celebrating another culture this holiday season. Research how other cultures celebrate the holidays – traditions, foods, songs, language, and clothing. Embrace one, or more different cultures into your holiday celebrations this year.

Furry & Feathered Friends

Decorate the outdoors with handmade bird feeders made of seeds, pinecones, and peanut butter. How about a garland of popcorn and apple and orange slices? Set out apples and carrots for other wildlife to enjoy a holiday feast

Record Your Memories

Take all the photos and video you have taken this year and create a holiday greeting for friends and loved ones. Let each family member make a special message for loved ones and share. Email to friends and family to enjoy and encourage them to do the same.

While the holidays will be different this year, new and exciting traditions and memories can be made. Happy Holidays from all of us here at TLC Family Care.

Creating Family Traditions

What are some good ideas for creating family traditions? Here are some ideas based on the holiday. These can be useful to get you started but remember that your own family traditions can be whatever you want and they don’t have to be centered around a holiday at all. Part of the fun of a family tradition is that it is yours and you can do whatever you want.

• Create your own special day or holiday such as “unbirthdays” or “family day”
• Never go to bed without saying I love you
• Have a special birthday meal whenever a family member has a birthday
• On Saturdays, everyone cooks breakfast together
• Have a monthly movie day where you watch movies that explore traditions
• Sing a special birthday song made up by the family
• Keep a family journal and let everyone write in it
• Make a scrapbook for every family vacation
• Always eat dinners together as a family and talk about your day
• Take turns choosing topic of discussion at dinner

These are just some ideas for creating family traditions. You can use these to boost your own ideas and be sure to ask your family members to think of their own. You can have everyone write down their ideas for traditions and then vote as a family on the ones you want to make happen.

Ideas for Passing on Family Traditions

When it comes to passing on family traditions, there are many ideas here as well. The most important thing to remember is to remain consistent. It’s important to do something over and over again each time to become tradition. If your family does not seem enthusiastic about it right away, you will have to help motivate them by being consistent.

For example, hold an event every year at the same time and continue to encourage the family to participate. Remain positive about it even if others do not and always continue even if only a few show up. By doing this consistently and with enthusiasm, others will begin to join in and the tradition will continue. As soon as all parties give up and miss an event, the tradition dies along with any enthusiasm to do it.

Holiday Traditions

Here are some holiday traditions that we enjoy and might help you get started:

• For Easter, color eggs together or have an Easter egg hunt
• Volunteer at a homeless shelter for Thanksgiving or Christmas
• Collect or make an ornament each year at Christmas
• Have Thanksgiving dinners together with everyone helping to make a dish
• Have the children dress up as pilgrims and Indians on Thanksgiving
• Re-enact holiday events or perform a small skit as a family
• Act out the Christmas story
• Make cookies and milk for Santa
• Leave shoes outside for “baby New Year” to fill with goodies
• Create family New Year resolutions together

These ideas should help you with creating and passing on family traditions of your own. Whether you have your own family now or hope to one day soon, we hope that you will explore these options and ideas for family traditions. The memories you will create together as a family will last a lifetime.

 

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.

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.

Holiday Gifts from Nannies to Parents

During the holiday season, we see lots of gift ideas for families that wish to recognize their nanny or other employee in a special way. But we have also heard from household employees who are looking for ideas for holiday gifts from nanny to parents. In case your nannies have brought up this issue, we have this list of holiday gift ideas for those nannies who wish to show their appreciation for their families at this time of year.  

Top 10 Gift Ideas From Nannies to Parents

1. Photo book with pictures spanning the past year
2. Coffee mug with gourmet coffee or hot chocolate
3. Homemade ornaments
4. Bottle of wine
5. Free date night babysitting
6. Free overnight babysitting
7. Canvas-wrapped photo of the kids
8. Movie night basket – popcorn and DVD or movie tickets and restaurant gift card
9. Homemade cookies or other treats
10. Art projects done with the kids

 

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.

Gifts to Give Your Nanny this Christmas

It is not too late to find a great gift for your nanny or babysitter. Your nanny takes care of your precious kids. It is time to give her something to let her know how much you appreciate her.

Below find our Top 10 for 2021 when it comes to Nanny Gifts! 

  1. Holiday Bonus
  2. Homemade gifts from the kids
  3. Extra paid time off
  4. Membership to a gym or club she enjoys
  5. Monthly Allowance toward Health Insurance
  6. Entertainment tickets (movie passes, concert tickets, sporting events)
  7. Updated phone, I-pad, computer
  8. Reimbursement for continuing education or seminar expenses
  9. Items from the Nanny Tees, AliceJoy Creations Etsy Shop, or Nanny Years shops.
  10. Gift Cards – favorite store, Amazon, local bookstore, coffee shop, spa!

You can check out our Pinterest boards for cute craft ideas the kids can make too!

 

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.

Tips for Interviewing a Nanny

Regardless of the approach parents take to finding a nanny, interviewing is an extremely important part of any parent’s nanny search and many potential problems in the employer/employee relationship can be avoided if the interview is properly conducted. COVID has changed the way traditional interviewing may take place, but don’t let that stop you from this essential part of the hiring process. Agree to meet in person in a safe, COVID-friendly environment or do an initial virtual interview via Zoom.

When interviewing a nanny, rely on your intuition and observations when evaluating the nanny’s responses, mannerisms and appearance. A parent’s impression of a nanny candidate can be a telling sign if the nanny is a good fit for the family.

During the interview, parents should first inquire about the nanny’s background, experience, training, driv­ing record and other skills related to working with children. Then, by asking open ended questions about the nanny’s interests, after work activities, and child care philosophies, parents can better evaluate how compatible the nanny is with their family.

When describing employment expectations, parents should be specific about job duties, hours, salary, time off and other practicalities of the position. Seeing and hearing the candidate’s reaction can provide valu­able clues to how the nanny will feel about the position.

Parents should also observe the nanny with their children before offering the nanny the position. Take note of how the nanny interacts with the children and how the children respond to the nanny. It’s okay to ask the nanny to wear a mask, and she may ask about your at-home mask compliance as well.

When deciding which nanny to hire, carefully weigh all the information gathered about each candidate. Check each nanny’s references (even if they come from an agency) and interview the top candidates a second time before offering the position. Parents should listen to their intuition and remember that the nanny will be a part of their family’s life. They should ask themselves, “Does this candidate seem as though she will fit in well with our family and work well with our children?”

 

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.

Hiring a Caregiver During Coronavirus

You’ve finally decided to get some help and hire a babysitter or nanny for your children, during coronavirus. You may ask friends for referrals, or reach out to an agency in your area, and TLC is here to assist with all your care needs.

You may have some hesitation though, when it comes to COVID, knowing that your interviewing and hiring process may look a little different during these unprecedented times. Working with TLC we help guide you in your search, alleviating many of the concerns of bringing someone new into your home in these woman in maskuncertain times.

Once you’ve started the process in your search and you’ve narrowed down your candidates, you’ll want to ensure the right questions are asked. These questions may include:

  1. What kids of social distancing have you been practicing?
  2. Are you willing to wear a mask while working?
  3. Do you believe you are at a greater risk for contracting the virus due to your living arrangements?
  4. What have you been doing to socialize?
  5. Are there any other commitments you have upcoming that might put you at a greater risk of contracting the virus?
  6. What precautions are you taking in your transit?
  7. What will your expectations be of working for our family when it comes to coronavirus?
  8. Are you willing to have your temperature checked upon arriving at work?
  9. Are you willing to be tested regularly for COVID?

These are just a few of the questions you can ask, and it is advised to check with your state laws which questions may be prohibited in your state.

 

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.

Advantages for Using a Nanny Placement Agency

Working with a nanny placement agency is a great and effective way of finding an exceptional nanny for your family. The purpose of a nanny placement agency is to locate both nannies and families and match them.

Below are some benefits of going to a nanny placement agency:

• Going to a nanny placement agency saves a lot of time and effort for both the family and the nanny because of procedures (advertising, screening, recruiting and counseling) that are already tested.

• Most nanny placement agencies are well-established which draws more and more families and nannies into their lists. This improves the parents’ choices. TLC has been serving families for over 30 years!

• A nanny placement agency treats both families and nannies equally. They are considered clients that need each other.

• They have a contract for both the family and nanny.

• A nanny placement agency also serves as a counselor for both clients in case of problems.

• Placement agencies are also known for their customer service and competence of the nannies.

All nanny placement agencies have devised their own screening procedures. Other than this, they have a system for fees for registration and placement. What is so good about a nanny placement agency is that they also provide references before registering.

Below are the typical standards for recruitment:

* The nanny should have prior experience as a nanny or working exclusively with children. Most agencies require a minimum two years or more experience. Experience in teaching is a huge advantage.

* Today, many parents require that the nanny has received at least two years of college education. Before, a high school diploma was sufficient.

* Interviews are performed in person or video / Skype for long-distance applicants (both family and nanny). In-home interviews can also be requested.

* Applicants should have no criminal records.

Most applicants are also given a set of uniformed questionnaires during the interview that is very useful in evaluating all applicants. All applicants are screened to asses their individual personalities for nanny and family compatibility.

Fees are generally non-refundable due to the tedious processing of a placement. For this reason it is very important that parents and nannies are both realistic with their expectations and take the process seriously to get the most of the fees. Get as much information about the nanny placement agency as possible before signing up and make sure you are dealing with a credible company.

Contact us about all your childcare needs today!

 

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.

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