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.

 

To assist with the current crisis, TLC is temporarily offering FREE MEMBERSHIP and DISCOUNTED AGENCY FEES to all Medical Professionals and First Responders. We know you cannot work at home and want to help you ensure you have solid care arrangements for your loved ones. Call TLC at 314.725.5660 to learn more and get started.

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 in Atlanta, Charlotte, Chicago, Ft. Lauderdale, Jacksonville, Miami, Orlando, Palm Beach, Sarasota, St. Louis, Tampa and more!. Reach us at tlc@tlcforkids.com or 314-725-5660.

School years are busy.  Mornings are spent rushing to catch the bus or drive carpool.  Days are spent running errands, taking kids to practices, helping with homework,  and putting the kids to bed so we can do it all again tomorrow. 

I can not wait for summer!  This summer the kids and I are going to relax and unwind with the help of a summer nanny. Having a summer nanny is a great idea for families with school age kids. Summer nannies provide fun, reliable, and consistent in home childcare.  No more rushing around in the morning! Having a nanny come to the house will take away the stress of the morning routine, and maybe, let us all sleep a little later 🙂

The interview is an extremely important step in the hiring process. The interview can be held, at your home, at a coffee shop, the library or park.

When interviewing a nanny, rely on your intuition and observations when evaluating the nanny’s responses, mannerisms and appearance. A parent’s impression of a nanny candidate can be a telling sign if the nanny is a good fit for the family.

During the interview, parents should first inquire about the nanny’s background, experience, training, driving record and other skills related to working with children. Then, by asking open ended questions about the nanny’s interests, after work activities, and child care philosophies, parents can better evaluate how compatible the nanny is with their family.

When describing employment expectations, parents should be specific about job duties, hours, salary, time off and other practicalities of the position. Seeing and hearing the candidate’s reaction can provide valuable clues to how the nanny will feel about the position.

Parents should also observe the nanny with their children before offering the nanny the position. Take note of how the nanny interacts with the children and how the children respond to the nanny.

When deciding which nanny to hire, carefully weigh all the information gathered about each candidate. Check each nanny’s references (even if they come from an agency) and interview the top candidates a second time before offering the position. Parents should listen to their intuition and remember that the nanny will be a part of their family’s life. They should ask themselves, “Does this candidate seem as though she will fit in well with our family and work well with our children?”

 

To assist with the current crisis, TLC is temporarily offering FREE MEMBERSHIP and DISCOUNTED AGENCY FEES to all Medical Professionals and First Responders. We know you cannot work at home and want to help you ensure you have solid care arrangements for your loved ones. Call TLC at 314.725.5660 to learn more and get started.

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 in Atlanta, Charlotte, Chicago, Ft. Lauderdale, Jacksonville, Miami, Orlando, Palm Beach, Sarasota, St. Louis, Tampa and more!. Reach us at tlc@tlcforkids.com or 314-725-5660.

 

Setting boundaries for your children is one of the best ways to raise well rounded children. Finding the invisible line in keeping your children happy and at the same time teaching them where the rules are can be very hard to find. Yet, your success is likely to depend on just one thing: your ability to follow through. In many families, the problem lies in parents not following through with the rules, punishments or even rewards. Once this is put in place, though, significant changes are seen.

Lay Down The Rules

Setting boundaries for your child involves making a list of the rules of the home that everyone will follow. This will include everything from the things they are responsible for to being respectful to each other. Be specific when you work out the rules together, both parents working together to establish them. Once you both have come to an agreement on what the rules are, or the boundaries are, then you can work on fine-tuning them so that they are actionable.

For example, if the children are unwilling to share their toes, determine what the rules are for that infringement. In many cases, child behavior specialists believe that it is important to set boundaries that are able to be followed with punishments that fit the crime. Be fair with the rules. Everyone should receive the same type of punishment, warning and reward for the activities on the rules.

Here are some tips to be successful in establishing the boundaries for within your home:

• Determine what the rules are and write them down. Be sure that you sit down with your kids and allow them to express consider, interest or ask questions about the rules. Once everyone knows what the rules are, then you can begin to enforce them.

• The next step involves warnings. Giving one warning is an option for most parents, allowing their children to receive just one warning before inflicting punishment for the activity. Be sure that your child knows what the warning means. You may decide to go with no warnings or even more warnings, as you deem necessary for your children.

• When your child does not follow the rules, and has ignored any warnings you have given, the next step is to let your child know that they have broken the rules. Get down to eye level with the child, tell them what they have done wrong and send them to time out or the other type of punishment you have established.

In order for the process to work well for any family, the process must be the same throughout. For example, if you slack and give them more warnings then the system calls for, the result is that your children will continue to push the boundaries. When they do, you will continue to be frustrated with them.

Following through is not only something you should do with your children when it comes to punishments. In fact, not following through with the requirements of rewards will also cause a problem within your family unit. If you promise rewards of any type for good behavior, be sure to follow through. Children learn from their parents before anyone else which means that if you do not follow through they will not do so either.

In addition to this, setting boundaries for yourself is just as important. Your children will see you bickering or breaking the home’s rules and will do the same thing themselves. After all, if mommy or daddy can do it, why can’t they do it?

The benefits of setting boundaries and following through with them will resonate throughout the entire life. In most families, there is no reason for a parent that is a bully, but there is no doubt that your family also needs to follow fairly with the rules set forth.

For some children following any system is difficult. There may be emotional or developmental issues holding your child back. If you find that your child is continuing to pressure each other and setting boundaries is not helping, talk to your child’s doctor. They can give you guidance on if there may be a medical condition that could be interfering with their ability.

 

To assist with the current crisis, TLC is temporarily offering FREE MEMBERSHIP and DISCOUNTED AGENCY FEES to all Medical Professionals and First Responders. We know you cannot work at home and want to help you ensure you have solid care arrangements for your loved ones. Call TLC at 314.725.5660 to learn more and get started.

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 in Atlanta, Charlotte, Chicago, Ft. Lauderdale, Jacksonville, Miami, Orlando, Palm Beach, Sarasota, St. Louis, Tampa and more!. Reach us at tlc@tlcforkids.com or 314-725-5660.

I’m often asked what age a child should be when his parents begin to read to him. The answer is, “It’s never too soon to start!” The baby can “hear” in the womb. Oh, he doesn’t understand words, but he does understand emotions, and he does respond to the emotion behind a sound. 

Sudden loud sounds cause a fetus to flinch. Calming sounds calm, and there is nothing more calming to an unborn baby than the sound of his mother’s voice. So, yes, read to your child before he is born….what you read doesn’t matter…the daily newspaper is fine as long as you read it aloud and in a soft, comforting voice.

The first books that parents should read to their child after he is born are those that feature touching and textures. Children begin to learn language and associate different senses with different words at a very early age.

As the infant becomes a toddler, the books that are read to the child can be used to help reinforce positive behaviors. There are thousands of excellent books for toddlers on the market. It is better to use books that are made of washable materials that are not easily torn until a child is old enough to learn how to treat books with care.

Reading time is a special time for children. They love the sound of their parents’ voices, and they love the undivided attention that one-on-one reading provides. They also love the physical closeness — the touching and cuddling — that are part of a parent reading to a child.

The wisdom of the ages is contained in books. The earlier a child is introduced to books and the pleasure that books bring into his life, the better he will do in life. Nobody who loves to read is ever lonely if they have a book to read!

 

To assist with the current crisis, TLC is temporarily offering FREE MEMBERSHIP and DISCOUNTED AGENCY FEES to all Medical Professionals and First Responders. We know you cannot work at home and want to help you ensure you have solid care arrangements for your loved ones. Call TLC at 314.725.5660 to learn more and get started.

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 in Atlanta, Charlotte, Chicago, Ft. Lauderdale, Jacksonville, Miami, Orlando, Palm Beach, Sarasota, St. Louis, Tampa and more!. Reach us at tlc@tlcforkids.com or 314-725-5660.

Babies come into this world with a functioning (but still developing) physical body. They have all their parts, and those parts work — sort of. Babies grow and develop physically without a lot of “help” from the adults in their world other than the adults providing food and shelter. But babies also grow intellectually, socially, emotionally, and morally, and growth in these areas requires a great deal more from the parents of the child. Food and shelter aren’t enough. 

Here we are talking about teaching “responsibility.” How many times have you heard, “It wasn’t MY fault,” “SHE did it,” and all of the variations for declaring oneself not responsible. It’s a natural human response not to want to be held accountable when bad things happen.

Teaching that there are consequences for wrong behavior is part of teaching responsibility. Children must not live in a “consequence”-free world. When they do wrong, there need to be consequences.

For example, when a toddler throws a toy in anger, the parent might pick the toy up and hand it back to the child once. If the child throws the toy again in anger, the parent must remove the toy and deny the child the pleasure of playing with the toy. Responsibility! Bad actions do not produce good results.

Children must be actively taught to be responsible for their own actions (or inaction’s). He forgets his lunch today, and if you take his lunch to him, he is very apt to forget his lunch tomorrow. If he misses lunch, he’ll likely remember his lunch forever more. Responsibility!

Teaching a child to step forward and accept responsibility for his or her actions isn’t easy. There isn’t a parent alive (or an expert, for that matter) who would claim that teaching responsibility is easy — but it IS necessary!

 

To assist with the current crisis, TLC is temporarily offering FREE MEMBERSHIP and DISCOUNTED AGENCY FEES to all Medical Professionals and First Responders. We know you cannot work at home and want to help you ensure you have solid care arrangements for your loved ones. Call TLC at 314.725.5660 to learn more and get started.

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 in Atlanta, Charlotte, Chicago, Ft. Lauderdale, Jacksonville, Miami, Orlando, Palm Beach, Sarasota, St. Louis, Tampa and more!. Reach us at tlc@tlcforkids.com or 314-725-5660.

Young children take life literally. They view all situations as “good” or “bad.” Water is either “hot” or “cold.” Young children do not assign “degrees” to any situation, and in the young child’s world, everything is real. The three-year-old has absolutely no doubt that Sponge Bob or Dora the Explorer really exists. These characters are just as “real” to the child as Mommy and Daddy. Santa can circle the globe and visit every child on the planet in a single night and the Easter Bunny can deliver baskets of colored eggs just like Daddy can make the car go and Mommy can make food magically appear. 

In my opinion, make-believe is not only healthy, it is essential. Make believe helps a child to make sense of the world around him. He assigns his perceptions of a person, place, or thing with the help of make-believe.

There are those who advocate removing all make-believe from childhood. These experts tell us that make believe causes children to delay their perception of their reality. Shame on them! Too much “reality” isn’t good for adults much less little kids.

Grown-ups attend movies and plays and get caught up in the action on the screen or on the stage. Just for a moment, they believe what they are seeing and hearing. Adults, of course, can separate fact from fiction and fantasy from reality. Kids will learn to make those distinctions as they grow older. Meanwhile, that fantasy is helping them learn how to deal with life in a safe and nonthreatening way.

As long as the make-believe is healthy and doesn’t desensitize the child (make killing seem good and evil seem desirable), I see no harm in make-believe.

 

To assist with the current crisis, TLC is temporarily offering FREE MEMBERSHIP and DISCOUNTED AGENCY FEES to all Medical Professionals and First Responders. We know you cannot work at home and want to help you ensure you have solid care arrangements for your loved ones.  Call TLC at 314.725.5660 to learn more and get started.

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 in Atlanta, Charlotte, Chicago, Ft. Lauderdale, Jacksonville, Miami, Orlando, Palm Beach, Sarasota, St. Louis, Tampa and more!. Reach us at tlc@tlcforkids.com or 314-725-5660.

Summer is almost here and it’s time to start thinking about childcare for the break.

TLC for Kids have great nannies ready to work this summer. All of our nannies are experienced, screened and excited about playing with your kids this summer! TLC summer nannies will explore the city with your kids. They will go to the Zoo, the Science Center, the pool, and all sorts of fun places.

 

Contact us today to start your summer nanny search.   St. Louis, Mo. 314-725-5660   South Florida 305-256-5905

We are thrilled to announce our participation in the “One to One” childcare campaign. One to One is a collaborative effort of 6 of the top nanny agencies located in major metropolitan areas to provide relief to essential workers during this COVID-19 pandemic. If you are an essential worker and are in need of child care, talk to your HR benefits representative today about One to One and let them know TLC Family Care can help.

TLC provides child care coverage for companies in the Miami, Orlando, Tampa, Jacksonville, Charlotte, Atlanta, St. Louis and Chicago Metropolitan Areas, while other participating agencies provide coverage in Dallas, Los Angeles, New York, Philadelphia, Phoenix, San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle, Baltimore and Washington DC. Together we cover a lot of ground and bring together an impressive team of industry veterans possessing more than 120 years of combined child care staffing experience.   To learn more now and get started visit our Backup care Page.

 

To assist with the current crisis, TLC is temporarily offering FREE MEMBERSHIP and DISCOUNTED AGENCY FEES to all Medical Professionals and First Responders. We know you cannot work at home and want to help you ensure you have solid care arrangements for your loved ones.  Call TLC at 314.725.5660 to learn more and get started.

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 in Atlanta, Charlotte, Chicago, Ft. Lauderdale, Jacksonville, Miami, Orlando, Palm Beach, Sarasota, St. Louis, Tampa and more!. Reach us at tlc@tlcforkids.com or 314-725-5660.

While you may be stuck at home and scrambling to get it all done in a day – parenting, working from home, schoolwork, take a moment and remember that you can use these time to make priceless memories with your family. Memories are often one of the strongest elements of your life as a parent. Consider the many ways in which you remember your child’s first years. Perhaps you remember the smell of their bath soap as you remember giving them their first bath. Perhaps you remember the way it felt to touch your child for the first time. You may even remember the unique smile that came across your lips the first time your child smiled themselves. These are all fabulous ways to remember your child. However, how can you preserve them?

A Variety Of Ways

There are many ways to keep your memories alive and beautiful. In many ways, it is easier today to remember yesterday than ever before. As you consider your options, contemplate using several ways to remember your child and your family. Putting together a collection of different methods to remembering can help you to really form a strong bond over time. Most people lose memories within a few years, unless they are particularly strong. Still, by the time your child is in college, chances are many smells, touches and unique looks will have faded. Here are some ways to preserve them.

Journals: One of the best ways to remember your child’s first years and every year after is to use a journal. If your child is a newborn or just starting life, then now is the perfect time to start a collection of your thoughts. What is unique about a journal is that they are very easy to use and they allow you to collect thoughts not just pictures. Journals make a great tool to use along with other formats, too. You can add photos to your journal as well as small trinkets if you would like to.

Keepsake Boxes: As your child grows, there is no doubt you will have small items that mean a lot to you. In fact, just leaving the hospital you may have their identification bands, their cap, and even the outfit they wore home. These are all great items to keep in a keepsake box. Easily placed in a corner of a closet, these boxes are very easy to use and offer a great tool for collecting items.

Picture Albums: A simple form of collecting pictures is the picture album. You simply need to print off or purchase your pictures and put them into place. It only takes a few minutes to jot a note on the back of the picture to get things started.

Scrapbooks: Another way to keep hold of your memories is a scrapbook. Many new moms and dads have good intentions of using a scrapbook but they may easily become overwhelmed. If you are worried they will be too much trouble, don’t be. They do not have to be updated often and you can often do them whenever you have time. They are not complex, but can easily be added to by pre-purchased items and sheets. The process can be easy.

Video: Filming the birth of your child, their journey home and everything until their college graduation is becoming a common family occurrence. With a smartphone and the cloud, all those memories are easily tucked away. Video works very well to capture memories since it is a moving documentation of the events. And don’t just go for the planned birthdays, school performances, and holidays. Capture the little things such as a dance-off, making family dinner or family game night.

Which way is the best way for you to keep memories of your child? Choosing several methods may work best for you. The key is to capture are many memories as you can and then to keep them safe. When you use several options, you are able to get more information than you could with just one.

For example, perhaps you have a video recording of your child’s first birthday. You can see everything that is happening. Now, you want a few pictures, too to add to the scrapbook that you are creating and to send to friends. Add to that a few great notes in your journal about the day and the way you were feeling and you have a complete memory of the event that will last a lifetime. Go for it, your child will appreciate it in the years to come, and so will you.

 

To assist with the current crisis, TLC is temporarily offering FREE MEMBERSHIP and DISCOUNTED AGENCY FEES to all Medical Professionals and First Responders. We know you cannot work at home and want to help you ensure you have solid care arrangements for your loved ones.  Call TLC at 314.725.5660 to learn more and get started.

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 in Atlanta, Charlotte, Chicago, Ft. Lauderdale, Jacksonville, Miami, Orlando, Palm Beach, Sarasota, St. Louis, Tampa and more!. Reach us at tlc@tlcforkids.com or 314-725-5660.

To some, it seems like the ultimate gig. You get to travel to tropical islands and exotic foreign destinations with all of your expenses included — plus your regular salary. But while outsiders may hear “all-inclusive trip to the Jamaica,” a nanny hears “a long flight, a new location, no toys and strange food.” 

Though you may actually serve sandwiches on a blanket multiple times on the trip, being a travel nanny is no picnic; it’s work. And unlike your usual set up, where the parents go to work and you’re at home in familiar territory with the kids, it’s all new, to you and your nanny family. So before you pack your bags, it’s important to prepare, communicate and set expectations that will ensure that everyone has a successful trip.

Who Is In Charge?

Unlike your usual routine, there will be times on the trip when you and the parents are both present. In these scenarios — such as on the plane, during some sightseeing and back at the hotel — who is in charge? Many parents will want to be, but many won’t. Some may prefer flying first class while you handle the kids in coach. Others may not want to undermine the authoritative status you’ve already worked so hard to achieve. Either way, discuss it before you set off for your destination. If you know you’ll be in charge somewhere big and crowded, consider asking the parents to invest in wearable technology that keeps kids from wandering. For example, the Mommy I’m Here child locator uses Bluetooth technology to alert caregivers if a child has strayed an unsafe distance.

What Are the Expectations?

Will you be meandering through museums with the kids in tow, or will you be holed up at the hotel while the parents explore alone? Either is fine, as long as you know what’s expected. Knowing beforehand allows you to properly prepare. For example, if you’ll be in charge during the six hour flight, you may want to introduce earphones earlier that week so young ones won’t be reluctant to wear them. And, if you don’t already own one, a headphone splitter is a must. If you’ll be in charge of meals and snack time, you may want to pack nutritious kid-friendly snacks, like BodyKey protein bars or Nutrilite smoothies from Amway. If given enough notice, consider following the company’s Twitter page to learn more about other healthy on-the-go product offerings.

When Is Your Down Time?

For everybody’s sake, it’s important to remember that this isn’t a vacation for you but a vacation for your employer’s family. That means this trip shouldn’t count as your paid time off, and you shouldn’t expect to see and do everything you would’ve had you made the trip yourself. With that being said, you are deserving of down time. Talk to your nanny family beforehand to set aside time for yourself. For longer trips, you may even suggest a full day off to see the sights on your own instead of receiving the day’s usual compensation.

Where Do You Sleep?

To cut costs and keep you close, many families expect the nanny to share a room with the kids. If you’re OK with this, then by all means accept. If not, speak up. If having your own room is important to you, consider pitching the idea of an AirBnB-type home rental. That way you’ll have your own space, but you’ll also be just across the hall if anyone needs you.

How Much Are You Paid?

This depends on the family, expected duties and trip duration, among other things. But, in most cases, nanny employers will disburse your usual salary and will also cover food, travel and lodging expenses. Others may add a $50-$100 or more, daily bonus to compensate you for being away from home, and others may come up with a 24-hour rate, so they don’t have to keep track of work hours. If you’re unsure about the rate your employer has offered, do the math. According to federal labor laws, if you work more than 40 hours a week you’re entitled to overtime pay at one and a half times the regular hourly rate of pay.

This article originally appeared on Regarding Nannies. 

 

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 in Atlanta, Charlotte, Chicago, Ft. Lauderdale, Jacksonville, Miami, Orlando, Palm Beach, Sarasota, St. Louis, Tampa and more!. Reach us at tlc@tlcforkids.com or 314-725-5660.