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.

Teach Your Children the Importance of Giving

Everyone says that it’s better to give than to receive. But, it can be easy to lose sight of this during the holiday season, especially for kids. So much of the Christmas season is focused on toys and presents, kids tend to catch a case of the “gimmies.” Are you having a hard time teaching your kids about how important it is to give? If so, here are a few ways you can encourage them to be more giving, during the holidays and beyond.

Start with a Small Act

Many people have a hard time getting motivated to give because they feel like their contribution won’t matter in the long run. Prove to your kids that every little bit counts when it comes to donating either time or resources. Look for someone in your community that your kids can help with something like yard work or other chores around the house.

Don’t forget to reward them for their good deeds and show them the ways that even a small act of kindness can be a big help to someone. That way, they’ll probably more willing (and excited) to help the next time.

Set a Good Example

Kids often want to follow in the footsteps of their parents. If you want your kids to pick up on how important it is to give, make sure that you practice a bit of giving yourself. Let them see you putting aside time to help others or donating to a charitable organization. Remember, it’s sometimes more difficult to get your kids to want to give when they’ve never seen you do so. All it takes is once, to set a good example.

Find Other Kids

It will be easier for your kids to connect with the idea of giving if they’re involved in a project with their peers. Look for opportunities like food banks or toy drives in your community. Check to see if they allow children to participate in their programs. If there aren’t any kid-friendly charitable organizations in your area, consider taking it upon yourself to organize a volunteer event. You also have the option of seeking out online charities or volunteer organizations that kids can relate to.

Make Them Feel Empowered

The greatest motivator for giving is the feeling that you can make a difference. If you want your children to feel good about giving, make them feel good about themselves. Let them know that the things they have to say are important and encourage them to incorporate their talents into giving back to others. If they feel empowered, they’ll feel like they definitely can and will make a difference.

If you practice the act of giving on a regular basis, you make a habit out of generosity and charity. This is especially true of kids, who are growing up and developing into the people they will be later in life. Talk to your children about how important it is to give today and they will almost certainly make you proud of their compassion in the future.

Contact us today so we can help you find the best nanny for your family.

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.

How to Reduce Holiday Stress

For many families, the Holiday season is the most wonderful time of the year. But, the high expectations that come along with the holidays can lead to stress, depression or disappointment. With so many things that we need to get done in order to spread holiday cheer, it can be pretty easy to get overwhelmed. Here are a few things you can do to keep yourself feeling merry and mellow this holiday season.  

Get Started Early

It’s never too early to start getting ready for next year. Always keep an eye out for festive decorations or the perfect holiday card while you’re out shopping. Not only will this give you less to worry about when Christmas is just around the corner, but buying holiday supplies off-season can also save you money. If the family holiday festivities are going to be held at your house this year, start preparing weeks or even months ahead.

Connect with Family

The stress of the holidays is much easier to manage when you’re able to use the time to reconnect with family. Find new, fun ways to get into the holiday spirit together. You might try decorating Christmas stockings together as a family, or singing carols around your community. You could even volunteer together at a local food bank or toy drive and help to spread some holiday cheer.

Bring Down Expectations

Over-hype and high expectations make preparing for holiday festivities much more stressful. If you worry yourself over having the best decorations, the most presents, or the most memorable dinner party, you could end up trying too hard (and going a little crazy). Try to keep your family more focused on family and being together than they are decorations or presents.

Cut Down on Spending

Financial issues are one of the leading causes of stress, and the holidays tend to be a very costly time. Try to save money where you can so that you have one less thing to worry about. Think of inexpensive or sentimental gifts that you can give, rather than something costly from the store. The same goes for decorating. Homemade decorations for the house or tree save money, as well as provide an activity the whole family can enjoy.

Ask for Help

It’s very difficult to get everything done on your own during the holiday season. But, you don’t have to get it all done by yourself. The ideal people to go to for help would be your family. All of the stress-inducing chores that you need to take care of can become fun family activities. Not only will this make things much easier, but your family is sure to cherish the holiday all the more if everyone helped make it happen together.

If you feel anxious when Christmas is a few weeks (or even months) away, you’re not alone. Many people consider the Christmas holidays to be the most stressful time of the year. But, as long as you avoid the over-hype and encourage your family to have realistic expectations, everybody in your family should have a peaceful and merry Christmas.

 

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.

Start planning your summer now!

When Spring Break hits parents start thinking about summer and summer childcare. 

TLC Family Care can help you with your summer childcare needs.  We have wonderful nannies that are interested in securing work for the summer.  Hiring a nanny is the best option for families whether you are looking for full-time or part-time childcare.

Hiring a summer nanny from TLC  is like having your very own camp counselor!  Summer nannies will schedule fun parent approved outings for the kids like going to the amusement park, swimming, museum, bowling, play groups, the zoo and more.  TLC summer nannies will also do tutoring over the summer so that your kids are on track for their upcoming school year.

And don’t forget we have great babysitters available for weekends, days, and evenings too.

Already have a summer nanny? For each referral you send us you will earn credits toward upcoming TLC services.

Happy Spring!

 

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.

Valentine’s Day Fun!

Valentine’s Day is right around the corner. There’s still time to surprise your special people with some love and creativity. Check out some of our favorite Valentine activities:

A Dozen Poses from Regarding Nannies

TLC Valentine’s Pinterest Board 

Healthy Valentine’s Day Recipe Roundup from Nanny Magazine

For a little humor, check out these Valentine’s Day Jokes!

No matter if you make something or buy something, a simple Hello, I Love You, How are You, go a long way! Brighten someone’s day with a smile, a compliment, a simple act of kindness.

And don’t forget …. need a Valentine’s Day date night sitter?  Give us a call today!

 

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.

Teach Kids Important Values Through Activities: 6 Traits That Build Character

As a nanny, you have the opportunity to make a positive impact on the children you care for. You can act as an inspiration, example and a mentor for the kids, so they can learn important virtues. There are six main pillars of character– trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, fairness, caring and citizenship. You can engage in different activities with the kids that will teach and test them in these areas. 

Provide anecdotes for each virtue-related activity, so the story can serve as an example and help to further understand why these are important values. Here are some of the ways you can instill the six pillars of character:

Trustworthiness

Trust is a vital foundation for every relationship. Explain that the child will receive more freedom and will be considered more mature in relation with their level of trustworthiness.

For older kids who receive homework, provide them with an initial independent studying time. Explain that this time can be used for organization of assignments and be clear that you expect a certain volume of homework finished by the time you check in with them. Leave the room and return at the agreed time and check whether or not they’ve completed their work. If they’ve engaged in other activities and distracted themselves, explain they must now be monitored for assurance that the homework is properly completed.

If you work with smaller children, play a board game with them and then leave the room. If the pieces on the board have moved, point this out to the children and ask why or how it happened. Read a story about honesty and trust to further illustrate your point.

Respect

Respect is seen in many forms — respect of the environment, respect of others and respect of yourself. Teach kids how they can respect the environment and create a compost bin at home. Explain how landfills overflow with trash and how their contents can be reduced through recycling and composting.

Teach the kids about respect for others and take them into a restaurant. Have them order for themselves and remember to say please and thank you to the server.

Explain the importance of self respect and create a list where they add a characteristic they like about themselves every day. They will gain a greater appreciation for their own self and through that positive reinforcement, they’ll have a solid foundation for self respect.

Responsibility

Responsibility teaches kids how they can muster willpower and why it is important to do tasks properly. Chores are an excellent introduction for the foundation of responsible behavior. Create a weekly chore list and post it in a visible area. Establish the expectation that the child must remember their chores and complete them.

Fairness

Explain that everyone must be treated equally — no one is more important than anyone else. Play a game together in which the kids can earn a prize, like 12 pieces of candy. Have one of the children divide the prize amongst all the players and make sure everyone receives the same amount. You can also put a child in charge of dishing up dessert and make sure he doles out the same amount for each person.

Caring

Caring and kindness reduces the negativity that is spread throughout school, the workplace or your personal life. Talk with the children about helping others and set up a time, every week, where you can volunteer within the community together. You can also utilize the Charity Miles app, where you and the child can take daily strolls and rack up points. The points turn into money that you can give to a charity that you choose together.

Citizenship

Children should understand at an early age that they are a citizen of their community, country and the world. Visit a variety of museums to help children see how people from all time periods and all parts of the world have contributed to civilization. Both art museums and natural history museums will provide children with enhanced worldly knowledge and instill the idea of citizenship.

 

This post originally appeared on RegardingNannies.com. Used with permission. 

 

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.

4 Car Safety Tips for Nannies to Follow

As a nanny, you’re not only investing in your childcare career, you’re also investing in the well-being and safety of someone else’s children. Your responsibility is to provide maximum care and the most hazard-free environment, which may include traveling via car. 

You may prefer to use your own vehicle for your job because you’re more comfortable and secure driving. But you’ll want to ensure your clients that your car is well-equipped to safely transport children with as minimal risk as possible. Here’s some guidance to follow if you choose to use your personal car to shuttle kids to and from as a nanny.

Establish Guidelines with Parents

Your clients entrust you to safeguard their children in their absence, which means you’ll both want to create a plan in advance to prevent surprises or accidents as much as possible, including these adhering to these steps.

  • Set up a work agreement with policies that include expectations on gas, parking ticket payment, limitations on how far the children can be driven and trip documentation.
  • Establish car safety standards, such as proper vehicle maintenance, secure car seats and liability insurance.
  • Discuss work-related reimbursements based upon the IRS nanny mileage reimbursement rate; these reimbursements may cover transportation for school, activities, errands, shopping, etc.
  • Agree on ways to keep kids busy in the car to help prevent crying or outbursts that can dangerously distract. This may include movies video games, books or car games

Find a Car with Top Family-Safety Features

If you’re just beginning as a nanny, you may want to invest in a family-friendly car to support your long-term career and appear as an attractive nanny candidate. U.S. News & World Report released its 2021 Best Cars for Families that fit all budgets and lifestyles. Your best bet? Choose a multi-purpose car or SUV that can serve both work and your personal life.

Invest in Quality Tires, Learn How to Change a Flat

Without proper tire maintenance or replacements, a tire is doomed to go flat. A flat tire can become a complicated situation with a newborn or toddler in the car, especially since it shouldn’t be driven on. If you get on, you should pull over immediately. AutoGuide.com explains that driving on a flat can lead to wheel and vehicle damage, resulting in risky vehicle handling and loss of control. Poor control can ultimately cause an accident or injury to passengers.

In case of an emergency, learn how to change a tire or invest in a AAA membership that allows you to receive free roadside assistance. Consumer Reports also offers a tire-buying guide highlighting tips on tire types, tread wear and tire-pressure monitoring systems when searching for brand-new, high-performance tires.

Maintain Your New Car with Regular Upkeep

Properly maintaining your vehicle ensures top reliability, supports longevity and helps reduce wear and tear. Consumer Reports recommends following these three top tasks:

  • Check the engine oil regularly for an oil leak or deficiency.
  • Check tire air pressure and inspect tires for premature, uneven or abnormal wear and tear.
  • Wash your vehicle routinely to remove dirt, debris and any interior trash accumulated from caravanning kids.

You may also want to schedule an appointment with a mechanic who can provide an in-depth inspection on your car’s air filter, brakes, exhaust system, fluids, battery and more. Have your mechanic routinely check on the cooling system, automatic-transmission fluid, drive belts and hoses and timing belt. You’ll keep you car in excellent condition for your own transportation, career and, most importantly, the little ones in your care.

this article originally appeared on RegardingNannies.com. Used with permission.

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.

5 Steps to Kick Off the New Year Right in Your Job

We’ve bid farewell to 2021 and eagerly look forward to what 2022 will bring. Now that we’re in the New Year, this is a great opportunity to take a look around your personal and professional surroundings and make some excellent changes to build and enhance your nanny job. 

  1. Take stock of your surroundings. All those new toys and books that arrived but nowhere to put them? Discuss with the parents a plan to “Keep, Donate or Trash” old items and create new play spaces, e-learning spaces, reading nooks and quiet space. Get the kids involved and make it a special, fun project.
  2. Do you struggle with the day-to-day communications? Consider a daily diary for writing out your day, concerns, observations, events and more. Our Nanny Diary is a great tool made by nannies for nannies for this exact purpose!
  3. Review time. When was the last time you had a review with your employers? What is working? What isn’t? Set up a time to sit down and discuss. This handy check-list can help address certain areas of concern or prepare for what’s coming up.
  4. Make self-care a priority. If we learned anything from 2021, it’s that we do so much in the day-to-day, that we often let our own personal care come last. Make self-care a priority for 2022. Take up a new hobby. Pick a day to unplug – literally. No phones, social media. Read a book, binge on Netflix. Reconnect with friends and family. Send cards with handwritten notes. Make a phone call vs texting or emailing to a loved one. And when it’s safe to do so, book a day at the spa, a weekend away with your besties, fly in and surprise a loved one, or consider The Whole Nanny Self Care Retreat! Make it a point to do something for yourself each month and make yourself a priority in 2022.
  5. Invest in your education. Whether you’ll be staying for a long while or looking for a new job this year, continuing education is vital to a nanny’s career.  Consider an online course, subscribe to Nanny Magazine for current news and articles. How about a webinar hosted by Zero to Three or NAEYC? Or check out the International Nanny Association Annual Conference, National Nanny Training Day or Nannypalooza?According to the 2017 INA Salary and Benefits Survey:

    Experience and education affect a nanny’s hourly pay rate
    +More experience and/or more education means higher hourly rate
    +Those completing INA Credential Exam & INA Basic Skills Assessment get higher hourly rate

And don’t forget … TLC Family Care is here to help you along the way with your job or job search in 2022.

 

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.