Posts Tagged ‘St. Louis nannies’

National Nanny Recognition Week Begins Sunday, September 22

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.

Helping your Preschooler with Separation Anxiety

It is common for kids, especially preschoolers, to suffer from separation anxiety. Separation anxiety is  hard on both the child and the parents.  Trust me  I know, I have lived through it.  Whether it was taking my children to school, a birthday party or a leaving them with a babysitter they cried.  Leaving them was hard but leaving them when they are crying was even harder.  Thankfully, I don’t have these problems anymore.   Now when I leave them with a TLC  babysitter they wave goodbye with a smile on their face and start playing.

Here are some tips from  Dr. Laura Horsch , a child psychologist in Menlo Park, California on helping your kids deal with separation anxiety.

1.   It’s important for parents to keep their morning goodbyes consistent and short. “Lingering in response to crying or tantruming may inadvertently reinforce those behaviors,” explains Horsch.  The rule of thumb in such situations is to strive for a short goodbye process.

2. “Parents are encouraged to prepare their children for what to expect, acknowledge their child’s feelings, engage their child in a goodbye ritual (for example, hug, wave, etc.), and reassure their child that they will return,” she says.

3.  And it’s crucial for parents to talk openly with their children about their feelings. Read a book about kids going off to school or Mommy going to work and then discuss with your child. And remind them that Mommy or Daddy will always come back to get them.

Horsch reminds parents that being tearful before mom or dad leave is common and natural. “Remember that these challenges are likely a normative part of healthy child development. These experiences are part of a child’s building resilience and emotion regulation.”

And she adds that there is almost always a silver lining: “Most children calm down quickly and enjoy their day shortly after their parents’ departure.”

To read the complete article and interview with Dr. Horsch click here.

 

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

TLC Can Help With Your Back to School Needs

New backpack? Check.

New crayons? Check.

New clothes? Check.

Childcare? Don’t stress. No matter how much help you need, TLC for Kids has a few ideas on how to help you gear up for the school year.

1. Hire an after school nanny. Not every parent is able to be home after school with their kids. Luckily, TLC for Kids has caregivers with flexible schedules to care for your children when you need it. After school caregivers can pick up your child from school, help with homework, start on dinner, etc. All of our caregivers have reliable, insured forms of transportation and have been thoroughly vetted.

2. Make a list of your top five favorite nannies. Once the school year starts, calendars start overflowing with practices, PTA meetings, and plays. When parents get this busy, it is easy to forget when you need a sitter. Plan ahead and make your requests now with for your favorite sitters. Requesting your favorite sitters in advance helps ensure one of them will be available. A familiar nanny is easier for you and your kiddos because they’ve been to your house before—you don’t have to spend time explaining all the dos and don’ts. Plus, being requested for a job lets your nanny know he/she is doing her job well.

3. Emergency Childcare. No matter how much planning we do last minute needs come up. Our kids will get sick, an extra practice is scheduled or a last minute meeting is added to the calendar. Don’t worry, the TLC for Kids Emergency Service can help with these last minute needs.

TLC for Kids is here to help as you gear up for this school year. Visit us online at tlcforkids.com or call 314-725-5660.

 

Parents Need Time Outs Too – Knowing When to Step Back

There are many moments in parenting, ranging from the warm and emotional moments, to the ones when you want to throw an adult tantrum. Our own children are the most knowledgeable about our temperaments, and they know exactly how to push our buttons for maximum reaction.

It is difficult when we cannot agree on an issue with our children, and both parties are passionate about their respective points of view. It is also difficult when we feel burnt out simply from the rigors of parenting. How do you know when you as a parent need to take a time out and step back for a few moments to regain your cool?

The Argument Has Lasted Too Long

There is a time to talk things out, and a time to end the conversation. If you have been arguing with your child for a lengthy amount of time and it simply keeps on going, perhaps it is time to take a break. Putting the talk on hold doesn’t mean you can’t continue it later, but it is often wise to end it and continue it later when you are both feeling refreshed.

There Is No Resolution in Sight

Sometimes there is an issue that you must discuss, but you feel like you and your child are both talking in circles. It can get to a point where everyone becomes more determined to make their point, and each party stops listening to the other. This is another moment where the only solution is to temporarily put the conversation on hold.

You Begin to Feel Angry

If you begin to feel tense while parenting, or feel your blood pressure rising, you may have reached your limit. It may be time to walk away and spend a little time alone. When you as a parent are feeling angry, this can turn into a power struggle and it will always be tipped in your favor, leaving your child feeling powerless and trapped. This is a feeling that can negatively affect your relationship, so end it while you have the chance to settle things in a calm manner.

Your Child Appears Angry

If your child is feeling angry, it is possible you are not acting or speaking in a loving and fair manner. Sometimes our children need breaks from us, and we must be the mature one who removes ourselves from the situation and gives them the space they need. Take a time out and allow your child the chance to cool down without having to always be the one who retreats.

You Feel Tired

Even as adults, we are still human. There are moments when we have reached our limit and need to take some time to breathe. Find a relaxing activity that you enjoy and take awhile to recover. You will come back refreshed and ready to parent with more energy and positivity.

Parenting is rewarding, but that reward is not always felt strongly when we are burnt out or in the middle of an argument with our children. There are times you will need to take a step back and embrace silence. Give yourself a time out and come back to real life when you have been fully recharged.

 

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

Having Trouble Getting Your Kid To Sleep?

Kids have a thing about going to sleep at night. It does not matter if it is a girl or a boy, they all have this thing: they hate going to sleep. Even babies will fight sleep like it was the devil. They cannot stand the thought of missing out on anything and they simply refuse to fall asleep and that is why you as the parent need to find out all of the top techniques that will help you to get your kids to sleep at night.

Let us focus on babies. They need to be on a strict schedule from the get go if you want to get them sleeping through the night. Kids need structure and balance in order to sleep well each and every night. That is why you should have a time of night that you put your child down. Do not simply wait for the kids to get tired before you put them to bed, have a time and stick to it. This is the best way to get your kids sleeping through the night quickly and easily.

Good nighttime rituals can really help you to get the kids to sleep at night. For example, you may want to give the kids a warm and soothing bath at night before bed. This can go along way towards relaxing them enough that they will go to sleep with ease when put to bed. Kids like rituals and these kinds are great.

It is also a very good idea for you allow the evening to unfold quietly. Playing games with your kids just before bed is probably not the best way to go. Instead of wearing out your kids playing games is only going to get them riled up. This is not going to help you get them to sleep each night. You need to get the kids calm and relaxed and a quiet evening followed by a nice warm bath is great.

If you are trying to get your kids to sleep, especially when they are still babies you need to take into consideration that your baby is not used to real silence. They come from your tummy where tings were really loud all of the time. Total silence is scary to many babies. Having a ticking clock or some other stead sound in the room with him or her might be what is missing in their bedtime routine. Try having these kinds of sounds in the room with your kids and watch the difference they can make. In no time your kids may be getting to sleep right away each night.

It is also important for parents to learn about whether their kids are self soothers or not. The techniques that you choose for your kids will be hugely impacted by this fact. Find out what works for your kids by experimenting. Don’t worry if you do not get everything right the first time, in fact, you might as well get used to it because no one is the perfect parent right off the bat.

 

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

Encouraging Positive Values

As a parent or a nanny, it is your job to help encourage positive values in your children. It’s never too early or too late to start teaching your children and you can do this with rewards for kids and positive reinforcement. We understand that many just don’t know where to begin to do this and that’s why we want to help.

As parents, we owe it to our children to raise them to be the type of responsible adults we want them to be. However, this challenge can be more difficult than you think. Children don’t come with guidebooks and this can make it hard to know what to do. To make it even more difficult, every child is different and may not respond to the same methods.

It’s not enough to just tell your child how they should be and then expect them to do it. Even if the child does what you want out of respect, fear or intimidation, there is no guarantee they will continue these behaviors into adulthood unless you instill positive values into them.

Rewards for Kids

We’ve mentioned one way to encourage positive values is with rewards for kids. What are some rewards and what ways can you use them? When planning rewards, you need to take different factors into consideration such as:

• The age and maturity level of the child
• The situation
• The child’s personality and interests

You want rewards to be something that will motivate the child. To do this, you have to make sure you are offering rewards that match the child. For example, you want the child to feel motivated to earn the reward so it needs to be something they will like and want to earn for themselves. If they don’t care about the reward, they won’t have any motivation to seek it through positive behavior. Depending on the age of your child, you can get help with rewards by asking them for their input and ideas. When your child feels they have a role in choosing the reward, they are more motivated to participate.

Rewards for kids may include:

• Behavior charts
• Sticker charts
• Small “prize boxes”
• Points system that can be added up for prizes
• Move nights
• Family game nights
• Invite a friend over night

These are just a few ideas of the types of rewards you can use for your child to encourage positive values.

Positive Communication

In the parent / nanny and child relationship, just like in any relationship, communication is very important. Talk with your child about your own values and beliefs and give them opportunity to express their own opinions. Role-play with different moral situations and ask your child to tell you how they would handle it.

Maintain open, positive communication so your child feels comfortable coming to you with any problem, including if they make mistakes in their own life. This communication not only allows your child the freedom and comfort of being able to come to you but it also sets an example for positive values in their other life relationships. They will maintain these values as they grow older.

Set the Example

When encouraging positive values in your own children, it’s important to set the example. While it’s easy to say, it’s not always as easy to do. The old adage of “do as I say, not as I do” does not apply. You are your child’s first role model. From birth on your child will watch you and your actions. He will base his decisions and opinions on your own.

Every action you make, every word you say is viewed by your child and this is how they learn to form their own values in life. Remember that your child is watching when you experience a situation where you are wronged, where you can help someone or where you have to make a moral decision in life. Your child will learn from your actions more than anything you can ever say to them. Are you setting the right type of example?

It’s not just the parents that need to encourage positive values in children, however. Anyone who works with children as their profession or as recreation should learn from these tips and ideas. If you’re a teacher, coach, or anyone who works with children, you are a role model and you have opportunity for encouraging positive values.

Most Common Home Accidents

Accidents happen every day in people’s lives, whether at home or out in public. While accidents can occur anywhere and to anyone, some of the most common and even the  most dangerous ones occur at home. Below is a list of some of the most common accidents that take place in the home.

  1. Falling Objects – If you have children then you know that once they start moving around on their own, they begin touching everything in the house. They can potentially knock stuff over, leading to broken objects or a bump on the head. To prevent this from happening, make sure electrical cords, table cloths, and any dishes are out of reach.
  1. Trips and Falls – Obviously anyone can fall, but falls usually occur in young children and the elderly. You can help prevent trips and falls by making sure things get picked up off the floor, that cords are not running along the floor, and by making sure carpets are tacked down.

Look for any tripping hazard and deal with it right away. Often times if a young child falls, you can soothe them with kind words and hugs and kisses. However, if you notice that after a person falls they become drowsy, vomits, or loses consciousness, get medical attention right away. There could be something seriously wrong and it’s best to get them checked out by a doctor.

  1. Dangerous Furniture – Be careful with furniture that has sharp corners, like a coffee table. You can get covers to make the corners not so sharp. Also, be careful with glass top tables, especially if you have small children. Take stock of the furniture around your home to see that it’s safe. Anchoring large, heavy furniture to the wall will help prevent you from getting pinned under these objects, especially small children. When hanging a TV on the wall, make sure it’s well secured and wires are tucked away.
  1. Sharp Objects – Beware of these, not just when you have children around. When you wash knives you want to make sure you put them away properly, so that when you reach for something you don’t accidentally cut yourself.
  1. Getting Burnt – Hot drinks and foods are the most common thing to cause burns and scalds to children under the age of five. Of course children should be kept away from the oven, open flames, and irons (anything hot). Also, make sure the temperature on your water heater is not set too high, to help prevent scalding burns in the bathtub. You should not have it set any hotter than 120 degrees F (49 degrees C).

The most common ways that adults get burnt is when cooking and straightening hair. All burn wounds should be held under cold running water for a couple minutes. The best way to cover a burn to prevent infection is by covering with plastic and taping down.

  1. Poisoning – Most poisoning incidents involve medications and household products. It’s important that these things are kept out of reach of children and anyone you feel may want to use it to intentionally cause harm to him- or herself.

When it comes to the health and happiness of our home and loved ones, we want to take all precautions possible to prevent injuries. If an accident does occur, though, it’s vital to know what to do.

 

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

Making Learning Fun This Summer

During the summer months, many kids go to baseball, basketball, volleyball, swimming and dance camp. We instill values of practice makes perfect, but what about their academics? Luckily, there are lots of tips and tricks to make learning as fun as attending a summer camp with their friends.

 Strengthening math skills:

• Let your children help in the kitchen. Allowing your children to join you in the cooking process teaches them how to read the recipe and measure the ingredients. Recipes also expose your children to fractions, which kids typically have problems understanding.

• Play board games and have your child be the scorekeeper. Games like Yahtzee and Monopoly are good games to help strengthen your child’s math skills because each includes lots of adding, and Monopoly gives your child the chance to learn more about money.

• Grab a stopwatch or a stopwatch app. Children love to play with stopwatches, and giving them one opens up lots of learning opportunities. One way they can use the stopwatch is by timing how long it takes their bike to ride down the street or around the block. Then they can keep track of how fast they go and chart the difference in their time the more they practice. This strengthens number recognition, telling time, and subtraction skills.

 Strengthening reading skills:

• Visit your local library. St. Louis City and County Libraries offer  reading incentive programs for kids of all ages. If getting your child to read has previously been a struggle, this is a good way to get them excited about reading because their friends will be reaping the benefits of the program (like free Cardinal tickets).

• Write letters. Do you have a grandparent, cousin, or friend that lives out of town? Have your children write letters to them. This activity will not only teach your kids how to maintain relationships, but also strengthen their reading and written communication skills.

TLC for Kids also offers tutoring. All of TLC’s tutors have degrees in education. To book a TLC tutor today, call (314) 725-5660.

 

 

Laughter Is the Best Medicine When Parenting

Of all the different strategies and techniques for handling situations that come up as a parent, laughter is among the best. Not only does humor and laughter help to   alleviate tension and stress, it has also been shown to benefit us physically. Here are a few benefits of parenting with a positive spin, as well as ways to incorporate laughter into your parenting routine.

Physical Benefits

Laughter helps to relieve physical stress and tension, which leaves your body feeling more relaxed after. A good laugh also gets your heart pumping and gives your heart and lungs a workout. Laughing for fifteen minutes burns almost the same amount of calories as a fifteen minute walk. This means that laughing can really help when it comes to keeping fit and keeping up with the kids.

When we laugh, our bodies release endorphins, which make us feel good and give us a sense of well-being. Laughing also reduces the levels of stress hormones in the body, which eases tension and anxiety. Reducing your stress hormone levels may also boost the performance of your immune system. This means that laughter may also help keep you and your kids healthy.

Other Benefits

When people laugh together, it strengthens their relationship. If you share laughter and humor with your kids, it helps you to bond more as a family. Laughing together encourages people to work together as a team and helps to settle conflict. Your kids will feel more connected to you if you share laughter and will be all the more motivated to do what you want them to.

Humor also helps to relieve distress during times when you are feeling overwhelmed. By making laughter a part of every day, both you and your family can maintain a more positive outlook and healthy attitude, all the way around.

Bring Laughter into Your Life

It’s easy to make laughter a part of your parenting routine, because kids love to laugh and have a good time. If your kids have a hard time getting excited about cleaning up after themselves, come up with an encouraging activity or game to play while you clean. This way, they will actually want to participate and help out, rather than doing it to avoid getting into trouble.

When something bad happens and it’s time to get tough, try to focus on the positive aspects of the situation rather than the negative. Your kids may be more inclined to stay in bed at night if you talk to them about some of the fun things that might happen in the morning, rather than how much trouble they’ll be in if they don’t fall asleep.

Not only does laughter help to keep you and your family healthy and stress free, it also encourages your kids to behave better and enjoy life more. The times your family spend laughing together are the times your kids will fondly remember as they get older and form families of their own. If you encourage them to stay positive, they’ll pass that outlook down to their own kids in the future.

 

TLC For Kids, Inc. has been St. Louis’ premier nanny and babysitting agency for over 30 years. TLC For Kids’ dedicated staff is ready to assist you in finding nannies, tutors, newborn care specialists, sitters and more.  We serve St. Louis, Atlanta and Florida. Reach us at tlc@tlcforkids.com or 314-725-5660

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.