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.

 

Regular schedules provide the day with a structure that orders a young child’s world. Although predictability can be tiresome for adults, children thrive on repetition and routine. Schedules begin from the first days of life. Babies, especially, need regular sleep and meal programs and even routines leading up to those activities.  sitters available for hotels and visitors

As they gets older, when a child knows what is going to happen and who is going to be there, it allows them to think and feel more independently,  and feel more safe and secure. A disrupted routine can set a child off and cause them to feel insecure and irritable.  

Dinnertime is a great place to start setting a routine.  Sitting together at the dinner table gives children the opportunity to share their day and talk about their feelings.  This is also a great time to include some responsibility in your child’s routine, such as helping to set or clear the table. 

And regardless of how exhausted you or your children may be, don’t be tempted to skip winding down from the day.  This is part of a nighttime ritual and allows both child and parent to decompress after a busy day. It also helps bedtime go more smoothly.  This is usually the time of day when parent and child can spend some quality time together, so fight the urge to start the laundry or do the dishes until after the child has gone to bed.  If this isn’t possible, consider trading off these duties with your spouse each night to ensure your child has quality time with each parent on a regular basis. Take the time to find out what wind-down strategy works best for your child.  Some children are actually energized instead of relaxed by a warm bath, so if that’s the case with your child, bath time should be saved for a different time of day. Whatever routine you settle on, make it quiet, relaxing, and tranquil for everyone.  

And though routines are essential, there should be some room to be flexible as well.  You might be out late at night on a family outing, have unexpected company show up that may result in a skipped meal or nap in the car while running errands in the evening.  In these instances, it’s important for you to keep your cool. If you express frustration or anger about disrupting the routine, your child will as well. Prepare children for such unexpected events and show them that though it can happen from time to time, the routine will return the next day.

 

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.

 

 

Toddlers can be fussy eaters who refuse to try new food at least half of the time. Approximately half of all toddlers fit this description, so it is no wonder that food issues are a source of stress for parents.

Establishing healthy eating patterns is important to avoid problems such as obesity and eating disorders later in life. Various strategies can help your child accept a wider range of foods.  It may be necessary to offer food to your child as many as 10 different times before they choose to eat it. The problem is, many parents get frustrated and give up before the fourth or fifth try. 

Try to make food fun. Colorful foods like carrot sticks, raisins, apples, grapes, cheese sticks and crackers can all be fun and healthy choices for your growing toddler. Explain to them that eating good food is important so they’ll grow big and strong, and how it will help them run faster and play longer. 

Children learn behaviors from their parents. If you restrict yourself to a narrow range of foods, your child will take notice and mimic your caution. Don’t limit your child’s food variety to only those foods you prefer. It may be that your child’s tastes are different to yours, and perhaps you are simply serving them foods they don’t happen to like.  Try to set a good example and try a variety of foods in front of your child. It could motivate them to do the same. 

If your child seems healthy and energetic, then they are eating enough. If you are still concerned, keep an eye on how much food they actually eat over the day. Children tend to graze constantly, rather than restrict their eating to three meals per day like adults. You may be surprised how those little handfuls and snacks add up. For further reassurance, check your child’s growth and weight charts, or check with your child’s pediatrician. 

Try not to worry, and remember, that unless a child is ill, they will eat. Children are very good at judging their hunger and fullness signals. Try to stay relaxed about mealtime and offer your child a wide variety of foods, and most importantly, remember to set a good example by trying a wide variety of foods yourself.  You may discover you and your toddler share a new found favorite food!

Most parents nowadays are busy – but most also still want a clean home.  Yearly events have been established culturally in which homes are given particular attention when it comes to straightening up and beginning fresh.  Communities often have bulk trash days a couple of times a year and most individuals are familiar with spring cleaning, a seasonal time in which the world seems clean and brand new – and through hard work, so do homes.  However, due to the hectic schedules of some parents, spring cleaning may often take a back seat, leaving parents feeling cluttered and frustrated. Here are some simple ways in which busy parents can help to make the most out of spring cleaning!

  1. Involve children.  Children of almost any age can help when it comes to spring cleaning.  Sometimes the tasks are more involved, such as cleaning windows, and other times the tasks are much more simple, such as putting one’s own toys away.  Regardless of the ages of your children, they can help. 
  2. Remember to keep the specifics of your child in mind when enlisting help.  Asking a three year old to clean windows is, in most cases, unrealistic. However, asking the same thing of a thirteen year old is often much more in line with their capabilities.   It is very important to keep the particulars of one’s child in mind so that the tasks are reliably completed and no one, child or parent, is left completely frustrated by the tasks.
  3. Explain the concept of spring cleaning to your children and, if necessary, your spouse.  Everyone likes a clean and organized home, and so everyone needs to be willing to pitch in and help.  Spring cleaning is a big task. If it is accomplished successfully and everyone respects the works that has been done, it should not need to be done often – usually only once a year as the name suggests.  By explaining these things to your family, it is more likely that they will be content with the work that they are doing.
  4. Set a reasonable time limit.  It is unlikely that an entire house can be cleaned and organized entirely in just one day.  Be aware that it will take time for these tasks to be completed – Especially if you are a busy parent!  Instead of creating unrealistic goals, make sure that you set reasonable time lines, not just for your children, but for yourself as well.
  5. If necessary, look outside the home for help.  There are plenty of cleaning services that can help busy individuals achieve their spring cleaning goals.  However, it will be important to find a reputable company to do the work, which means a cleaning service that will hire individuals that are trustworthy and reliable.  At the same time, it will help to give you a feeling of accomplishment, even as a busy parent, if you do not allow them to do all of the work. Take pride in your home and keep some simple, less bulky chores on hand for you and your family to take part in.
  6. Remind your family of their unity!  Spring cleaning is a great time for families to come together and help each other out in order to create a more peaceful living environment.  By simply setting aside a small amount of time, families can remember what it is that unites them and how important it is for them to act as a family.  In just a few hours, by working together a family can accomplish quite a bit in the home, possibly more than they ever may have expected possible!

 

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.

Children and teens will often shrug their shoulders and give one-word answers when you ask them what is bothering them. It may be obvious to you that something is wrong, but your child may not know how to express it.      

The strategy you use to get a child to open up will differ slightly with a younger child than with a teen. With children-especially children ages four to ten-will usually not mind if you are a little bit “nosy”. 

They will feel less violated than would a teen if you try to ask them a number of questions to get them to open up. However, if you choose your questions carefully, this caring persistence can also help a teen open up as well.           

Part of dealing with a child at any age is how you talk to that child.  More importantly, how you listen to that child or teen is what is crucial. If you have established a report of non-judgmental listening, your child will be more willing to open up to you regardless of age.

Also, if your child knows that you are giving him or her the choice to share that child will feel respected.  Since the child feels respected in this case, chances are he or she will be willing to tell you what is going on inside. 

If a child is reluctant to open up even after you try to show that you care, give the child time. Perhaps an hour or two later the child or teen will surprise you by coming to you. This is very important to remember, especially during the teen years.       

If you respect your child’s space, that child will trust you more. The reverse is true as well. 

If you try to coerce your child with threats your child could end up losing respect for you completely. Eventually, they will hide everything from you-including any future sexual encounters, confrontation with drugs, or feelings of rejection. 

If you have made mistakes with your child but you want to do better, the first step is to forgive yourself. Also, you will want to apologize to your child as well, and make an effort to turn things around. 

The earlier that you established trust and respect between you and your children the better off you will be later on in life.  However, it is never too late for you to establish a healthier relationship with them.   

Some families have been able to reach their children by way of mediation and counseling. In the process they may even be able to learn more about their children, in the event that behavior problems are surfacing. 

If you are having difficulty with your child, there is help available. Sometimes it may even be necessary for your child or teen to take a prescription medication for any number of reasons-to combat depressive disorders, ADD, or other disability. 

Furthermore, receiving professional help will help provide additional tools to tackle unresolved issues. For instance, maybe your family has never dealt openly with the death of a close relative, or maybe your family is suffering the effects of marital problems and divorce. 

Whatever the case may be, it is recommended that you work on establishing open and honest communication with your children. The most important thing you can do for them is assure them you love them and always try to remain as non-judgmental to them as possible. 

Furthermore, if you and your partner are in the midst of divorce, you will want to assure your children it is not their fault. It may take time for them to fully understand the reasons why things cannot stay the same, but at least you can give them the piece of mind they are not to blame.

 

There are many ways that you can make sure you have enough time for your children. In fact, there are many times when you can take the time that you need for your children. Remember that children don’t always need to have time that is only for them. Often, a child will enjoy any time that he gets to spend with you – even if that time doesn’t seem that important to you. When you are spending time with your children, any of this time can be quality time, as long as you are able to do it correctly and make it worth it for you and for your children. No matter what you are doing with your children, it can be time that is completely worthwhile and that you will enjoy for years to come. 

Part of the reason that many people are not able to spend enough time with their children is because they have so much else to do. They might not feel like they have enough time to spend with their children because they have so much else to do. However, it is very important that you realize that all of the time you spend with your

Father and son

children can end up being quality time, in more ways than you think. 

First of all, when you are with your children, any time at all can be quality time. You will be able to spend quality time together when you are working in your home, or even running errands. When you are doing the dishes or cooking dinner, you will be able to spend quality time with your children. But you want to make sure that you are able to spend each moment with your kids in a quality way. When it comes right down to it, you will be able to spend a lot of time together as your children get older. It is time for you to be able to spend as much time with your children as possible. 

When it comes right down to it, the best way to take advantage of being with your children is to make each moment as wonderful and special as possible. There are many ways that you can do this, and no matter which way you choose, you will be able to spend the time that you need. For instance, when you and your children are working around the house, you can use each moment as a life lesson. When you are cooking, a good thing to do is to have your children help you cook. This will allow you give yourself a chance to get what you need to get done, but also be able to spend this time with your children. It can also help your children learn as much as possible in the time that they have. 

In today’s busy lives, it is often hard to find time for you and your children to spend together. However, if you concentrate, you will be able to spend as much time together as you want. No matter what you are doing, you can do it with your children, and this will help both of you have the time together that you need. Spending quality time with your children is often much easier than you think. In fact, spending as much time together as possible can not only help you spend time with your kids, but help your kids grow up stronger and happier. The more time that your children can spend with you, the smarter and happier that you children will be able to be. So, spend each moment that you can with your children, and make each moment as special as popular.

Busy parents are often at wits end when dealing with a clingy youngster. This is especially true when the child is two or three years old.  

The most common frustration that a parent deals with while taking care of a toddler is that young child’s curiosity. A child of this age often gets into anything-no matter how childproof the home is. 

Dealing with a child of this age requires quite a bit of patience and persistence. This may mean telling this child “no” to the same offense 100 times in a day.

The reason why this is the case is because the child is not yet at the age of understanding right or wrong, but only conditioned to follow simple commands.  For this reason, trying to negotiate with a child this age is a challenge, and is often not recommended. 

However, there is one type of negotiation that works best with a toddler. The best way to do so is to use redirection. This is usually very effective when this child is wandering out of the year or is trying to grab your financial papers from off the kitchen table. 

Redirection is simply the act of saying “no” and then saying “here.” Then, you offer the child a coloring book, toy, or any other distraction in order to encourage him or her to behave more constructively.  

Redirection may also work if the toddler is crying or whining excessively, or angry with you for telling him/her “no.”  Within a couple of minutes the child will usually forget that you have denied him or her of something, and will go on playing as usual. 

An additional scenario that is conductive to toddler redirection is when you are under pressure to finish a very important work task. Perhaps the child is demanding your attention during a time when you cannot give it. 

If this is the case, you can give your child a hug, and or tell the child “I love you” and help the child find a way to keep occupied for even a few minutes. If this does not work you may want to find a responsible caretaker to oversee the child so you can finish urgent tasks.  

Another aspect of dealing with a toddler is appreciating him or her while you have the chance. This may seem impossible to do when you have so much responsibility. You may even sometimes not really be able to fully enjoy your toddler because you are busy taking care of the house, making a paycheck, and just living. 

However, if you can find it in your heart to spend at least a few minutes at a time during different intervals of the day noticing your toddler, it will help you and the child.  Although you are trying to help the child grow up, you also will want to spend quality time with the child as well. 

For instance, you may want to take a break from housework or job duties and take the child for a walk around the block. You might also benefit from an hour or two in the park with your young child as well. 

Furthermore, perhaps you can join other moms with children and make a social out of it. It is also important for you to take enough time away from your child as well. Every parent needs to be able to have time for him or herself.   

Even as little as a half hour a day alone is valuable, as every parent would benefit from solitude. Also, whenever possible you may benefit from napping while your child is asleep, if you stay home with the child for any length of time.

Being a parent is not easy and it gets even harder, when your child gets angry. A toddler throwing a temper tantrum, a young child screaming and pounding or an adolescent slamming the door slamming, can leave us all puzzled, frustrated and at our wits end. Sometimes it might even make us angry and it is hard to deal with your child’s anger if you are getting angry and frustrated too.

Therefore one of the first things you might want to do when trying to deal with child anger and tantrums is identifying the source. Find out what triggered the anger and also, find out what the child’s reaction to anger is. Not all children have the same reaction. Some scream, some pound, others might hit and bite, bang their heads on the wall or not show any exterior signs at all while they store the anger inside. Even though many of us were taught that anger is a bad thing and that we should be ashamed for being angry, this is not exactly true. Of course anger is not a nice thing, but learning to properly deal with and express our anger can make all the difference.

Children should always be allowed to express their feelings and the feelings should be treated with respect. A child has a different view of life. What angers him now might not even bother him tomorrow, but for now we need to respect the feelings and acknowledge them. The angry outburst of a child might be a defense mechanism or might be related to failure or self esteem. Sometimes it might even be a way to express anxiety. Many young children actually get angry when they are sad. It is a normal reaction for them because anger and sadness are very closely related.

If you are worried about your child, find out when and why the child gets angry. Also there is a fine line between anger and aggression. Anger is a temporary situation, whereas aggression is a way of hurting a person or destroying property. Neither one of the two is really bad, but when other people can get hurt it is absolutely time for you to deal with your child’s anger/aggression. When dealing with an angry child, think about trying to protect and help the child; don’t think about punishing the child.

Ways to prevent anger or help a child with the anger are more or less effective for different children. Here are some ways that you can deal with anger in children.

First of all, “catch your child being good”. Telling a child when he or she has done something that pleases you helps a child learn what you think is good behavior. It also makes the child feel good about him/her by accomplishing things that are important to you. When a child learns the difference between good and not so good behavior the child will try to behave more often in a way that you appreciate. This does not mean to just tell the child that he is good. It needs to be related to a specific situation. Praise your child after cleaning up by himself, after taking the shoes off when entering the house or after helping you with a chore without being asked.

Another important part with dealing with aggressive/angry children is to ignore behavior and situations that can be tolerated. If you tell your child every time he does something wrong you not only overwhelm the child, you might also lower the self-esteem. The child will think that he or she can never do anything to please you.

Additionally you can help your child by giving him or her physical outlets or by manipulating the surroundings. Sometimes anger comes from having to much energy to burn; the child is on the edge. If the child gets an opportunity to burn the energy there will be less energy put into anger. Manipulating the surroundings to prevent the child from being angry is also helpful (removing a toy, starting a different activity).

Lastly, one of the most important things, show your child that you love him or her, be close, lovingly connect to your child through touch and talk. And if you get into a situation, try some humor to break the ice; it will ease the tension in your child.

 

 

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.