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.

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.

Helping Kids Adjust to The End of Daylight Savings Time

Daylight Savings time ends this Sunday, November 6th. Most of us will “fall back” our clocks for an extra hour of sleep.  However, for most little kids this means an early rising. A child that wakes up at 6:30am  will now be waking up at 5:30am. Not the extra hour we parents need and look forward to!! 

Here are a few things you can do to help your little one adjust to the time change. For more information on kids adjusting to the time change or sleep training your baby visit the Sleeplady blog.

1. Make naps a priority. One key to a good night’s sleep is a well-rested baby. Keeping naps on schedule and giving your baby plenty of daylight in between naps will help with the adjustment.

2. Keep your bedtime routine consistent. Keeping your same bedtime routine will help your little one know it’s time for bed. Kids thrive on consistency and keeping with the routine is soothing to them.

3. Morning walks. If possible get outside and go for a walk in the morning. If it’s too cold to go outside open up the curtains and sit in the sunshine.

 

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 Benefits of Nanny Care

Our guest blog comes from Sue Downey, Nannypalooza 

Happy National Nanny Recognition Week. It is a week of celebrating in the nanny community. Last year I wrote a blog post about what NNRW means to me. I love celebrating nanny care. It has been a great career for me and the community of nannies means quite a great deal to me.

But NNRW is also a great opportunity for us and I am not sure we are doing enough to capitalize on it. The nanny industry as a whole has changed immensely in the past few years. Big sites like Care dot come have increased not only our visibility but also have made having a nanny something that even more families desire. There are more and more nannies across the U.S., and not just in the big East and West coast cities where they have been for decades. It is not uncommon to find families looking for nannies in cities like St. Louis, Cincinnati and Dallas. It is not only for the ultra wealthy families anymore either. Certainly, having a nanny is more expensive than other forms of child care, but more and more upper middle class families see the benefit and decide to make the sacrifice necessary.

Read more benefits of Nanny Care by Sue.

 

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.

National Nanny Recognition Week Begins Sunday, September 18

National Nanny Recognition Week (NNRW) is a week long event, created in 1998, to bring awareness to the positive impact nannies and caregivers have on the children and families they work with. All too often we hear the negative stories of caregivers, but not enough of the positive. Nannies give their hearts to the children they care for, often sacrificing time away from their own family and friends. Being a nanny isn’t about working for wealthy or celebrity parents – it’s walking in the door and having the child run to you with open arms because they are happy to see you and can’t wait for the next adventure. It’s about the child drawing a picture of their family, with the nanny proudly displayed for all to see.

What began as an effort of few now spans hundreds of professionals the last full week of September each year.  NNRW continues to focus on the positive, quality aspects that nannies bring to their charges and jobs every day; and for parents and agencies to say “Thank You” to their wonderful caregivers. ~ www.nnrw.org 

How can you say Thank You to your nanny?

♥ Say Thank You ♥ Tell your friends good things about her knowing she will hear them back ♥ a surprise day off ♥ Have the children say Thank You ♥ Treat your nanny to breakfast or dinner made by the family ♥ a card and framed photo of the family ♥ Pay for dinner out with friends ♥ gift basket of favorite treats ♥ gift certificates to favorite stores ♥ movie tickets ♥ gift certificate for manicure/pedicure or massage ♥ handmade card or gift from the child/children ♥

From the TLC family to all our nannies … Thank You! We appreciate all you do day after day, and are grateful to have you as part of our family of caregivers.

 

 

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.

Nannying For The Child With Special Needs

Our guest post today comes from International Nanny Association

As modern families continue to grow, they have become more prone to hiring professional, experienced nannies to support the day-to-day management of their busy households. As a result, Nanny and Parent FAQnanny roles have become much more complex and integral to the family dynamic than ever before. Nannies are expected to be more deeply involved in the physical and emotional development of the children, along with managing the basic needs of the kids.

Given the high demand, nannies have become more skilled in how to take care of varying types of children in multiple situations. Furthering their knowledge and continuing their education to include specializations and certifications, today’s modern nanny is well-versed in the intricacies of childcare.

Children with Special Needs

Families who have children with special needs often face different challenges than other families, and as they grow together they develop effective ways to best support and nurture their kids. Families with differently abled children often develop a dynamic support system to ensure that all members of the family are well cared for, respected, challenged, and loved.

As a result of generally busy lifestyles, this amazing family support system is not always available to the families in need of support, so this is where exceptionally talented nannies come in and play a gigantic role.

A nanny for a child with special needs is typically more skilled and often has more experience than their peers.  Children with special needs can have varying communication abilities, dietary concerns, or behavioral differences, depending on the specific situation. No two kids are alike, so although personal experience is extremely helpful for nannies wishing to work with differently abled young ones, it is essential to approach each situation with an open mind and desire to identify what is best for that specific family and child.

Continue reading for more information on skills, training and more. 

 

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.

Summer Safety Tips for Children with Special Needs

TLC for KidsSummertime safety is a big concern for most parents, simply because many children get long breaks from school and are either home all day or with a caregiver. During the school year, it’s comforting to know your child is safe in a classroom with a competent teacher, but during summer months, it can be difficult not to worry. When your child has special needs, that worry is magnified tenfold.

It takes a little planning, but it is possible to have a relatively stress-free summer along with your child. With some preparation, communication, and careful planning, you can figure out a way for your child to be safe and have fun at the same time. Here are some of the best tips.

Summer Nanny

If your child will be with a nanny during the day, it’s important to maintain communication with them at all times and let them know what to expect at the beginning of each day. If they’ll be taking your child outside the home–to a park or playground, for instance–you might consider making a visit there first to check out the equipment and to see what sort of surfaces there are. Playgrounds with mulch are much preferable to those with gravel or concrete.

Keep a contact list for the nanny with detailed instructions on what they need to tell a first responder about your child’s medical needs should an accident occur. This includes any allergies, your child’s official diagnosis, and any medications they are taking.

Make sure to communicate to the nanny that being well-rested is important when they are spending time with your child. The benefits of a good night’s sleep are invaluable, whereas too little sleep could negatively affect their ability to function rationally and quickly.

Outdoor safety

Teaching your child how to be safe outside is imperative for summer months, and this includes water and pedestrian safety. Educating them about crosswalks, how to look both ways for vehicles, holding hands before crossing, and staying away from parked cars will go a long way in giving you peace of mind when they aren’t with you.

For water safety, consider enrolling your child in a swim class. Many children on the autism spectrum love the feel of water, so it’s especially important to teach your child how to stay safe when swimming. Always drain kids’ pools after use and consider installing motion sensors near in-ground or large above-ground pools if you have a child who wanders.

Always have your child use a helmet and knee/elbow pads when they are using any equipment that moves, such as a bike, scooter, or roller skates. Make sure the helmet and pads fit well and are in good shape.

Watch the heat index

Many children with special needs have a decreased tolerance for heat, so it’s important to follow the weather reports and prepare. Dehydration can occur quickly and with little warning, but some signs to look for are headache, nausea, cramps, dry mouth, irritability, fatigue, and few trips to the bathroom. Urine will be dark in color. If your child has any of these symptoms, get them into a cool, shady spot immediately and give them water to drink. A cool washcloth on the back of the neck can help if one is available.

Summer can bring lots of things to think about, but with a little bit of planning and good communication, you can make it a fun time for everyone involved.

TLC for Kids has caregivers who have experience working with children who have special needs.    To learn more about TLC for Kids visit the website at tlcforkids.com

Thank you to our guest writer Sean Morris!

 

Sean Morris is a former social worker turned stay-at-home dad. He knows what it’s like to juggle family and career. He did it for years until deciding to become a stay-at-home dad after the birth of his son. Though he loved his career in social work, he has found this additional time with his kids to be the most rewarding experience of his life. He began writing for LearnFit.org to share his experiences and to help guide anyone struggling to find the best path for their life, career, and/or 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.