Posts Tagged ‘St. Louis nannies’

TOYS CAN BE MULTITASKERS, TOO!

If you have been to the toy aisles of your local EverythingMart lately, you know how overwhelming shopping for toys can be.  There are so many choices!  Do you choose based on age?  Gender?  Television show or movie tie-in?  How in the world can you figure out how to best stock your playroom with toys that the kids will actually play with?  It is very disheartening to buy a toy that you’re sure your child will love, only to have them play with it for a day and then shove it in the bottom of the toy box.   In this article I am going to share some tips for getting the most bang for your buck in the toy aisle!

There are many things to consider before bringing a toy into your playroom – especially if you are concerned with creating an atmosphere that is fun, supports your family’s values, and promotes early learning.   The toy industry’s marketing machine is a huge behemoth that will make you feel that if you love your children, you always have to be buying the latest and greatest buzzing, light up, battery-operated monstrosity. Don’t get me wrong- some of those toys can be FUN!  There is certainly a time and place for them.

However, there are a few other things to consider when choosing a toy … read more from Nannypalooza.com

Find the Perfect Holiday Gift For Your Nanny-Family

As a nanny, the family you work for is like your second family. You want to find the perfect gifts for the parents and children you adore, but they may be a bit difficult to please. This holiday season, take into consideration the family members’ personality types, brainstorm thoughtful gifts, identify undeniably helpful, practical items and employ efficient and skillful shopping methods. With the right approach, you are sure to find gifts that will wow. Here are some tips and methods that will help you find the perfect gifts for your nanny-family:

Considering Personality

A gift won’t make an impact unless it is something that relates to the giftee’s personality. You want your gift to reflect the child or parent that you give it to. Have a brainstorming session where you write down each family member’s name and explore the most prominent parts of their personality. Identify traits, hobbies, likes and dislikes so you have a thorough list for each individual. Record your list and brainstormed thoughts on a digital or physical notepad so you can use this as a guide when you shop for gifts. If you struggle to come up with ideas on your own, write down some questions you can ask the children or parents to find out more about them. Make sure you do this in a tactful way, so you don’t come off as too intrusive or give away the fact that you’re searching for the perfect gift.

Read more on finding the perfect gift for your nanny family on Regarding Nannies.

What causes separation anxiety?

Separation anxiety does not have a particular “cause.” It is a perfectly normal and important developmental adaptation of a child’s emotional and mental growth. Nothing you have done has “made” your child develop separation anxiety.

Even though separation anxiety has not been caused by any particular action or event, there are caregiver actions that can either heighten or reduce a child’s normal anxiety. There are many things that can help build a child’s trust and confidence in his relationship with you so that he can transfer these feelings to other trusted adults who will help him feel safe away from his home base.

Nearly all children experience some aspect of separation anxiety. For some children the stage begins earlier, even at a few months of age. For some, the effects begin later, and some children have anxiety that lasts for longer spells than others. Some children have very visible, intense or obvious indicators of their feelings, but there are also children who have less apparent reactions. There is no exact pattern or set of symptoms, but almost all children have it to some degree.

The development of separation anxiety demonstrates that your child has formed a healthy, loving attachment to you. It is a beautiful sign that your child associates pleasure, comfort, and security with your presence.

This stage, like so many others in childhood, will pass. In time, your child will learn that she can separate from you, that you will return, and that everything will be okay between those two points in time. Much of this learning is based on trust and experience, which, just as for every human being young or old, takes time to build.

 

by Elizabeth Pantley, Excerpted with permission by McGraw-Hill Publishing from The No-Cry Separation Anxiety Solution (McGraw-Hill, 2009).

How to Sell Yourself with a Resume full of Short-Term Positions

Our guest post today comes from the International Nanny Association.

No matter what industry you are in, job searching is hard to do. Between researching job duties, meeting minimum requirements, and updating your resume, it seems like getting a job- can be its own full-time job! So when your job history read a little more like “for the time being” than “for the long term”, you may need some help making all those short-lived positions seem like an asset rather than a liability. Here are 5 good ways to persuade a future employer that your short-term positions are of high value:

  1. Acknowledge that you have a resume of short-term positions. Position yourself to professionally answer questions about your job history; being able to explain this over the phone, or in-person, is even better, so be proactive in making connections and seeking face-to-face contact. Whether you quit under good or bad circumstances, or were fired, “let go” or simply not needed anymore, you need to own this part of your individual professional package. Presenting a positive, optimistic attitude can go a long way in showing an agency or potential employer what kind of demeanor you have when going through a difficult situation. Staying honest when questioned about the amount of turnover in your positions, will show trustworthiness and transparency- traits that are highly favored by employers.

Read all 5 Tips from the International Nanny Association

Teach Your Child to Practice Good Dental Hygiene

Children need to be taught the proper way how to care for their teeth as soon as their teeth begin to develop – and if you start them on the habit early, they’ll have good dental hygiene as an adult.dentist

You’ll have to carefully brush a baby’s teeth with a soft brush and don’t use any toothpaste until your child is aware that the toothpaste shouldn’t be swallowed. For most children, that awareness is around the age of two.

By this age, under adult supervision, children should be in the habit of brushing their teeth – and if you make it fun, children will want to brush their teeth. By the time a child reaches kindergarten age, he should be able to brush his teeth without adult supervision.

Children should avoid sugary snacks like lollipops that coat the teeth with sugar for long periods of time – and they should also avoid high sugar beverages that can damage the tooth enamel.

Though it’s a fairly common practice, discourage your child from thumb sucking, which can lead to buck teeth and poor tooth alignment. Teach your child to keep his fingers out of his mouth, since this is one of the main ways that kids pick up germs.

If your child is very young, to help him understand and get into the habit of taking care of his teeth, use a colorful chart to teach about good oral hygiene. You can use a blank calendar that has squares for every day of the week and let him put a check mark in the box every time he brushes his teeth.

Kids should learn about flossing as soon as they’re able to hold the floss and should floss every single day. Regular dental visits should be begin as soon as your child starts to have teeth, because regular visits can catch small problems before they become big problems.

Children should brush at least twice a day using fluoride toothpaste. If your child isn’t old enough yet, and you need to brush for him, brush the outside of the teeth first from the back to the front and then switch to the back of the teeth. Make sure you brush the tongue as well.

Your child’s toothbrush should be changed regularly – every twelve weeks – or sooner, if the bristles are damaged. Also, your child’s toothbrush should be changed after every illness because the bristles can house the germs that caused the infection. Don’t store toothbrushes in covered containers, since this provides a breeding ground for germs.

Caring For Sick Kids

Cold and Flu season is upon us. Make sure you’ve stocked up on all the essentials – cold medicine, thermometer, throat drops, tea, and get your flu shot. Another item to cross off your list should be to contact TLC and be registered for our backup care. Be prepared when the unexpected arrives. A reminder to caregivers, when doing a sick care job for TLC always follow the parent’s guidelines and remember to get permission in writing before giving any medicine. 
Here are a couple of extra tips to keep in mind when caring for sick kids.
1.  Always use a digital thermometer.  The most accurate way to take a temperature for a child over the age of one is with orally with a digital thermometer.
2. Don’t treat kids under the age of 12 with a multi-symptom cold medicine.  The best way to treat a cold is by using a humidifier, a saline solution for the nose, and by giving lots of fluids. With parents permission you can give acetaminophen or ibuprofen for fevers or achiness.
3. Always use the medicine dispenser that came with the medicine.  Teaspoons used in everyday kitchen ware can vary from set to set.
For more tips on treating sick kids you can read the entire article.  It’s interesting to see that some things we may have been taught to do (or that we did as a kid) aren’t recommended anymore.
Remember to wash your hands, get plenty of rest, and drink lots of water so you can stay healthy!

Revving Up Your Child’s Immune System

Children are exposed to a lot of germs. They’re around germs at school, at the playground and at places where they go to engage in after school activities. It’s easy for them to pick up germs when they go to the library and touch books that others have touched, too.

Kids can also pick up germs at the school gym, which is actually a hotbed for germs – and they can pick up germs on the school bus. The reason it’s so easy for children to pick up germs is that they’re constantly in an environment with other kids who don’t practice good hygiene, so it’s easier for germs to spread.

Children aren’t as careful as they need to be when it comes to washing their hands after using the bathroom or playing outside. Kids, both sick and healthy, will cough or sneeze into their hands and then touch shared items or other children.

Kids can also pick up germs from playing outside and digging in the dirt or picking up a frog or sticks or anything else that had contact with the ground. They can also get germs from playing with the dog or cat.

Hand cleanliness can be a first line of defense against germs and children should wash for a good 20-60 seconds and make sure they allow the soap to get beneath the nails. But despite how diligent you are about making sure your child practices good hygiene, there will always be the parent who sends their kid to school sick for whatever reason.

When a sick child comes into a classroom packed with healthy kids and touches a paper that’s passed back or touches the doorknob for the classroom or the doorknob for the bathroom, germs rest there until they’re transferred to the next child.

There is nothing you can do to prevent someone else from not practicing good hygiene or from sending their child to school when they shouldn’t. However, you can take steps to protect your child as much as you can.

You want to make sure that your child eats a healthy diet, gets plenty of fresh air, the right amount of rest – and that he also stays up to date on his immunizations. Having your child stay on schedule for immunizations gives him the antibodies to fight childhood diseases – and many diseases are preventable with immunizations.

Besides having your child immunized, you also want to make sure she gets a yearly flu shot. Having a flu shot can help keep your child from being sidelined with the flu, which can cause high fever that can lead to seizures.

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.com 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.

National Nanny Recognition Week Begins Sunday, September 24

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 ♥ Membership fees to a local nanny support group or other Professional Organization ♥ Pay for conference fees to Nannypalooza or INA with paid professional days to attend the event ♥ 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.

Tips for checking a childcare reference.

This post originally appeared June 2011, but the information is still valuable. Reference checking can be a daunting task, but don’t delay in this important step in finding and hiring your nanny. 

As the Placement Counselor for TLC for Kids in St. Louis, I often take for granted the things I do everyday.  For example, this morning I was talking to a client who was ready to call references on a nanny she was interested in hiring.  She said that she had her questions ready – but just wasn’t sure how to go about it.  She didn’t know how to start the conversation and needed some tips.  It dawned on me that this is definitely a topic that St. Louis parents  are interested in learning a little more about.

When taking a childcare reference on a potential nanny:

  • Introduce yourself and explain why you are calling.  Let the person know you are a parent and the ages of your children.  Explain that you promise to keep confidential all of the responses and that the feedback of their former nanny/babysitter is extremely important to you.
  • When you ask the various childcare related questions, pay attention to the person’s voice inflection and pace of their  answer.  If the person answering the questions is hesitant or seems unsure of any of the answers, this is a definite red flag.  Many people are hesitant to talk negatively and this is when you must push a little and assure the reference that you are considering bringing their former nanny into your home.  You are counting on their honesty!
  • If the reference seems unsure of information or answers to the questions, something isn’t adding up.  This could indicate a false reference, which is something that is of course unacceptable.
    When in doubt, trust your gut instincts and make sure that you are 100% comfortable with the applicant you choose.  References are a great way to get a feel for the integrity and character, not to mention the experience level of a childcare provider.

At TLC for Kids, we love it when a parent gushes and is super excited to talk to us about their former nanny…usually, that means her other references are also stellar and she is a great find!

Good luck and if you have any comments or suggestions please let us know!

Jessica Friedman
TLC for Kids, Inc.