Posts Tagged ‘parenting’

How to be Cool, Calm and Collected When Kids Push Your Buttons

If you are a parent, you know that your own children are those who are most skilled at knowing and pushing all your buttons. Since we are generally in contact with our children more than anyone else, they become very knowledgeable about who we are and what makes us tick. They also know what to do when they are seeking a reaction from us. Here is what you can do to remain cool, calm and collected when your children push your buttons and are waiting for a reaction.

Count to Ten

This is not for the sake of your child, nor is it a countdown to consequences for him (or her). This is a countdown for you. Sometimes when our children are being immature, which is normal for their age and to be expected, we simply need time to refocus and put things into perspective. Stop, count to ten, and remember that your child is only acting this way because they are indeed a child.

Talk It Out

The best way to resolve a conflict between you and your child is not to explode in anger, but to talk it out with them. Sit down and discuss what is really going on. Talk to them calmly and aim to find out why they feel the need to push your buttons in this manner.

Do a Relationship Checklist

Often when a child is intentionally pushing your buttons, there is a reason he wants your attention. It is possible that you have not been spending enough time together, and he is looking for a way to connect? Does he feel like at this point, any attention is preferable over none? Jog your memory and see if you can find any reason why your child may be acting out in this way towards you.

Remember How It Felt to Be That Age

Sometimes pushing buttons is simply the normal actions of an immature child. Children do not have the life experience we do, and often struggle to find efficient ways to communicate with others. Take a moment and remember how it felt to be that age. What made you feel good? What made you feel sad? What made you feel connected to your parents, and disconnected? Remember what it was like to be a child, and this will surely lead you to a place of greater understanding and patience with your own.

Think about Life in 20 Years

When all other methods fail to help you feel calm, think about the future. Picture you and your child 20 years from now. What will you fondly remember about these days? What will make you wince with regret? This can be an effective way to quickly put things back into perspective. Times passes so quickly and we only live each day once. Think about how special these days are as a family, and you are certain to emerge as a more caring parent who is slow to react in a negative manner.

Children can surely push our buttons, but our time as parents of non-adult children is relatively short. If you can keep this in mind, and compile a list of distraction strategies for your own benefit, it will help you get through the moments that you feel you are close to losing your cool. When your child is saying and doing everything to get a reaction out of you, maintain your composure and stay cool, calm and collected.

 

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

Why Is My Child Not Doing What He Is Told

In a perfect world, children would obey their parents without a second thought. Unfortunately, the world is far from perfect and kids don’t always do as they are told. The good news is that, as a parent, there is light at the end of the tunnel. Read on to learn how to get your child to do what you ask… without begging, bribing, threatening and screaming. Yay!

Be Versatile

No two children the same. It’s for that reason that you need to be versatile when it comes to getting your children to obey you. Some kids are naturally strong willed, which poses more of a challenge. You may have to impose consequences several times in order for them to follow the rules. If one particular consequence doesn’t seem to be doing the trick, the best thing to do is to try a new one.

Choose Your Battles

Don’t reinforce rules that don’t have major significance. For example, in the case of older children, don’t be so strict about things like having them make the bed the first thing in the morning. It’s more important for them to always wear a helmet when skateboarding or riding a bike.

When attempting to get your children to follow the rules, regardless of their ages, issue an appropriate time limit. Simply giving them a list of things to do, without a time-frame attached, means that what you’re asking them to do may never get done.

Be an Active Listener

It’s extremely important to listen to your children, regardless of how well they do what you ask. If they continue to disobey you, even after multiple attempts of being told what to do, take the time to sit down with them and ask them what the problem is. Getting down to the bottom of the issue will help you both understand the steps you should take to rectify the problem.

Say What You Mean

When you tell your child to do something, mean it. Following through is everything. Children who don’t obey only learn by being presented with a set of age-appropriate consequences. No consequences simply means that they can continue to ignore your requests without any major changes in their daily routine.

In addition, make sure your child is paying full attention to what you’re saying. Look him (or her) in the eye to let him know that you mean business. Many parents make the mistake of yelling commands from another room. Typically, when this happens the request is taken much less seriously. If your child isn’t in the same room with you, ask him to come to you or take an extra minute and go to the child.

Probably the most important thing to remember is to stand your ground. Never give in, no matter how tense the situation. If you give in once, your kids will remember that the next time they don’t want to obey. They’ll drag things out until you decide to give in again.

These are just a few simple things that you can do to get your child to obey you the first time, without the need to threaten or beg. It may take a bit of time to achieve satisfactory results. But, with patience and due diligence, chances are you’ll soon see major improvement.

 

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

 

Tactics for Tackling a Toddler’s Temper Tantrum

Even the best behaved toddler has an occasional temper tantrum. A tantrum can range from whining and crying to screaming, kicking, hitting, and breath holding. They’re equally common in boys and girls and usually occur from age 1 to age 3. Some children may experience regular tantrums, whereas for other children, tantrums may be rare. Some kids are more prone to throwing a temper tantrum than others.

Toddlers are trying to master the world and when they aren’t able to accomplish a task, they often use one of the only tools at their disposal for venting frustration – a tantrum. There are several basic causes of tantrums that are familiar to parents everywhere: The child is seeking attention or is tired, hungry, or uncomfortable. In addition, tantrums are often the result of children’s frustration with the world. Frustration is an unavoidable part of kids’ lives as they learn how people, objects, and their own bodies work.

Tantrums are common during the second year of life, a time when children are acquiring language. Toddlers generally understand more than they can express. As language skills improve, tantrums tend to decrease.

Keep off-limits objects out of sight and out of reach, which will make struggles less likely to develop over them. Distract your child. Take advantage of your little one’s short attention span by offering a replacement for the coveted object or beginning a new activity to replace the frustrating or forbidden one. And choose your battles: consider the request carefully when your child wants something. Is it outrageous? Maybe it isn’t. Accommodate when possible to avoid an outburst.

Make sure your child isn’t acting up simply because he or she isn’t getting enough attention. To a child, negative attention (a parent’s response to a tantrum) is better than no attention at all. Try to establish a habit of catching your child being good (“time in”), which means rewarding your little one with attention and praise for positive behavior. This will teach them that acting appropriately makes mommy and daddy happy and proud, and they’ll be anxious to do it again and again.

 

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

Can You Trust Your Parenting Instincts?

As a parent, there is seemingly no end to the tips and advice you get from guides, parenting gurus or other parents. With words of wisdom so readily available, many parents look to other sources for help over their own parental instincts. Is raising your child best left to the experts or are your parenting instincts trustworthy?  

Trust Your Feelings

It’s true that no one knows your kids better than you do, as their parent. When it comes to what they like or what makes them more comfortable, you have a clearer understanding of your children than anyone. Of course, this awareness doesn’t happen right away. You didn’t understand all of your baby’s needs from the moment they were born. But, you have been with them all of their lives, learning what they like, dislike and need. If following the advice of others doesn’t feel right for you or your kids, chances are that it isn’t.

Don’t Take Things Too Far

While going with your gut could be the best thing to do in some situations, it can be easy to rely too heavily on your feelings. Even if you know your kids better than anyone else, everybody makes mistakes. If you listen to your instincts alone every time, it won’t be long before you make a decision that is not the best for you or your kids.

It’s important to take some time to consider each situation and what your instincts are telling you that you should do. Sometimes it can be difficult to see what is best for our kids, because our gut wants us to do what makes them happy.

Finding a Medium

In order to avoid investing too much in either the advice of others or our own (sometimes misguided) instincts, it’s important to become accustomed to relying a bit on both. If the advice you hear lines up with what your gut was telling you, it may mean that you were right in the first place.

Other parents don’t know every detail of your own family’s unique situation, but their tips can still bring a fresh perspective. It never hurts to learn a bit about parenting styles or strategies different than your own. But, it’s also up to you to decide which of these will work for your family and which you have a bad feeling about.

While your parenting instincts are by no means fool-proof, it’s important that you take them into consideration when you make decisions that affect you or your family. When it comes down to whether or not a particular parenting strategy will work, there are many important factors that only you could know about.

But, no one is perfect and no parent comes up with the best solution to every one of life’s conundrums. While you can’t always trust your parenting instinct, you should always listen to it and consider what your feelings tell you about a situation. After all, if you can’t trust your own parenting instinct at all, how can you trust the instincts of another parent?

 

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

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.  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 wellbeing. 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.

Car Seat Crying

Our Guest post today comes from Elizabeth Pantley, The No-Cry Solution 

“Trying to drive while your little one screams bloody murder is challenging to say the least. Even though it’s difficult to deal with, you must remember that you and your baby’s safety come first. No matter how tempting it may be, never take a crying baby out of the car seat. It’s extremely dangerous and counterproductive, making it even more difficult for your child to get used to riding in her car seat. Making poor driving decisions when your baby is wailing puts everyone in the car at risk. Either pull the car over and calm your baby down, or focus on getting safely from point A to point B—don’t try to do both.”

“The good news is that a few new ideas, a little time and maturity will help your baby become a happy traveler. Any one (or more) of the following strategies may help solve your car seat dilemma. If the first one you try fails, choose another one, then another; eventually, you’ll hit upon the right solution for your baby.”

Steps you can take to help your child be a happy traveler. 

5 Ways to Teach Kids Patience

Today’s guest post comes from Be The Best Nanny Newsletter 

Kids Don’t Naturally Know How to Delay Gratification

When I first started working as a nanny I found a lot of great ideas to use with my nanny kids from author Sheila Ellison.  I will share her clever ideas on how to teach children to be patient today.

The only way to teach children difficult coping, life skills is to practice using those skills as play or activities to do together. But, teaching kids who crave immediate gratification to be patient can be particularly tricky.

In her book 365 Ways to Raise Great Kids Ellison explains that a child that is patient can entertain herself while waiting and listen until she learns and understands.

She writes, “A child who learns patience has found a tool that will help greatly in overcoming the frustrations of life.”

Here are 5 ways Ellison recommends to teach kids to be patient …

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