Thursday, March 31, 2011

Games for Nannies and Au Pairs to Play with Kids to Help Them Listen

How Do You Get Kids to Listen?

Listening skills can be practiced in fun ways in the home. Since kids learn through play, here are fun ways to teach your charges to listen better.

Story Chain

Play a story game with your child or with the whole family. The Babycenter website suggests that one person begins a story with the sentence of his choice, and the next person adds a sentence that continues that thought. You can set a limit ahead of time for how long the story should last -- for example, fine-minutes or 10 sentences. The game helps develop listening skills because your child concentrates on someone else's words so he can form a logical sequel.

Verbal Scavenger Hunt

DISNEY FAMILY FUN recommends engaging a child in a verbal scavenger hunt to help kids learn to have good listening skills. Have the child listen as you say a list of three or four items he has to find in a room. Never repeat the list. Send him to find the items. As he becomes a more successful listener increase the number of items on the list, suggests DISNEY FAMILY FUN.
Identify a Sound

Sharpen your child's listening skills by using familiar household items, recommends the SchoolFamily website. Blindfold your child, or ask her to close her eyes. Use a common item to make a noise--for instance, run the vacuum, chop carrots with a knife, or fill a bowl with water from the sink. See whether she can identify the sound; if she can't, offer some help such as, "What do I do when Fido is thirsty?"

Play Musical Follow-The-Leader!

Univeral Preschool recommends making two identical musical instruments out of recycled products -- one for you, and one for the child. Then, make one, simple noise with your instrument and ask your child to try to imitate it with their instrument. Then, make two noises, then three, and have your child attempt to repeat the patterns you create. Let your child make up a sound pattern so that you can repeat what your child does. Variation: Sing or hum a portion of a song or tune, and ask the child to repeat it.

Reading Games

When you read to your child, turn it into a listening game, suggests SchoolFamily. Before you start reading, tell him you're going to zip his lips so he can listen but not talk. When he wants to say something or ask a question, he can give you a signal to unzip his lips. When he reads aloud to you, reverse roles and let him zip your lips.

Reading and Repeating

Read aloud to the child and encourage active listening. Baby Center suggests pausing during the last few pages of a book and asking your child how she thinks the story will end. Discuss her theories and how they relate to what she's heard of the story so far. This will encourage your child to listen closely and reflect upon what she's heard. Another strategy is to take out an old, familiar storybook and change a few key elements of the story while reading it to your child. This is a fun way of testing how well your child is listening. Kids usually enjoy correcting "silly" adult errors.

Directions Games

Play games that include giving directions. Simon Says is a popular one in which kids have to listen to the direction--and to whether you precede it with the words "Simon Says." SchoolFamily recommends another listening game that starts with a two-direction command. You tell your child to walk to the couch and run back to her chair. When she masters two steps, add more. For example, tell her to pick up a pencil, write her name and draw a circle around it.

Star Chart

Develop a star chart to reinforce good listening skills. Reinforcing a child's listening skills will help increase their occurrence. Include specific listening skills on the chart. When she engages that skill, she will earn a star. Allow the child to add a star to the chart herself and always tell her what she did to earn the star. Provide a larger reward to the child once she obtains a specific amount of stars.

How Many Times Do I Need to Tell You?

My idea is simply to gather some index cards. Tell your charge you are going to play a game to see if he can listen and follow directions. Whenever you give him a direction, write down on the index card how many times it takes him to do the task. For example, if you ask him to: "Put your homework in your backpack," or, "brush your teeth and hair," record how many times it takes to remind him until he actually accomplishes the task.

How Do You Get Kids to Listen?

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Nannies and Au Pairs Can Teach Kids to Listen

How to Teach Listening Skills

Many kids seem to talk nonstop. Listening, however, tends to be more of a challenge for kids, many of whom are "selective listeners," according to website Baby Center. Because good listening skills are an important life skill and a key aspect of effective communication, it's best to foster good listening skills in children as early as possible.

Eye Contact
Make eye contact with the person who is speaking to fully absorb what is being said. This is an effective listening tool, according to Ask your child to practice making eye contact with you while you are speaking at first, and then with others when he feels more comfortable.

No "Barking"
Constantly saying things like, "Why don't you listen?" or "Listen to me when I talk to you," can put negative pressure on your kids and derail your intentions, according to the Exforsys Inc. website. Be patient, and get your child's attention first, then state your wishes.

Rhymimg Games
Play rhyming games. Baby Center says playing rhyming games motivates your child to listen for patterns in sentences and to become highly attuned to the sounds of words and their content. Your rhymes can be absurd and humorous, and you and your child can take turns adding on to the rhyme.

Lead by Example
The best way to teach a child effective listening skills is to be an excellent listener yourself. Exhibit all of the qualities of a good listener in your dealings with her and others. You'll find that the need for you to actually teach listening skills will diminish. Keep Kids Healthy emphasizes that if you don't listen to what your child is saying, you're setting a flawed example. Listen closely to what your child is saying without interrupting and provide opinion or feedback on what he has said. By respecting what he is saying, you're teaching him to respect others while they talk.

Tomorrow: Games and Activities to Play with Kid to Help Them Listen

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Fun Activities That Nannies Can Use to Improve Listening Skills in Children

Children learn through play. That's why I love referencing the book Playwiseby Denise Chapman Weston and Mark S. Weston. The book includes 365 fun-filled activities for building character, conscience, and emotional intelligence in children.

Here are just a few of their activities that improve listening skills:

Listening Cap: "Put your listening cap on." Turn this familiar saying into a tool to help children remember to be a good listener. Draw big ears on a baseball cap and label it "Listening Cap." When you need a child to concentrate on what you are saying, give him the listening cap. Pretend the cap has super-powers that are activitated when the wearer looks into the eyes of the speaker and focuses on what is being said.

Pay Attention Jar: Write the word "Attention" on an empty glass jar and fill a second jar with pennies or nickels. Label the second jar with the child's name. Each time the child fails to listen to you , tell her to put a coin from her joar into the "Attention" jar. At the end of te week, seh can keep the coins remaining in her jar.

Pass the Ball: In this game only the person holding the ball may speak. Deaf people who sign cannot communicate unless their listeners are watching, a conversation involving many people can fall apart if everyone isn't taking turns speaking and everyone isn't looking at the speaker. Pass the Ball borrows from an ancient custome of certain Native American tribes who passed a peace pipe. Everyone would sit in a circle and wait for the pipe before speaking. Use this concept in the family. If someone wants to speak, they have to ask for the ball.

Telephone: Teach children how scrambled a message can become when it's passed along to other people. Players sit in a straight line. The person at one end whipsers a brief message to the next person, who whispers the same message to the third in line, who whispers it to the fourth, and so on. The last person in the line repeats the message out loud. Is it correct, or is it completely different from the original? Talk with the kids about the results and the importance of listeing carefully to get a message correct.

Monday, March 28, 2011

What Not to Do When Teaching Kids to Follow Directions

What Not to Do

When I heard one of my charges needs to work on listening to his teacher in school, I realized he doesn't listen to me well at home. I have to repeat myself often before he does what is asked of him. Should I really need to remind him "upteen times" to do normal daily activities like changing into his baseball uniform, or brush his teeth and hair, or put his completed homework in his backpack? Perhaps if I can help teach him to listen to me and follow my directions at home, he will learn to better listen and follow directions at school. So, I searched the internet for ideas to get kids to listen and follow directions. This week I will share what I found.

Lisa Collier Cool is a widely published writer and mother of three. In the June 1996 issue of Working Mother magazine her article "How Kids Learn to Follow Directions" described the results of a study by Edward Christophersen, PhD. Christophersen. Christophersen is the author of Beyond Discipline : Parenting That Lasts a Lifetime. He, and other experts, advise that the methods parents typically use to get children to listen are ineffective. Here are some of their advice of how to steer clear of some common mistakes.

Don't Say "Don't" A negative instruction like "Don't let me come home and find that you still haven't done your homework!" is much more likely to be ignored than one that gives a positive alternative, such as "Please get started on your homework right after you eat your snack this afternoon." Emphasizing what [the] child is not to do has pitfalls, Chistophersen says. Kids under age frequently misunderstand negate directions -— particularly if they are shouted —- and may hear "Don't bring that wet dog into your room" as a command to "Bring the wet dog into your room." Older children may find that disregarding a "don't" can be more rewarding than obeying it: They get your attention that way.

Reasoning Gets Little or No Results: Explaining why certain actions are undesirable -— "If you leave your toys lying around, you might trip over them and hurt yourself" -— has no impact on children under age six, Christophersen finds. Your words simply go in one ear and out the other. "A young child doesn't relate to abstract future consequences, so he's not likely to be motivated by a warning like this. Since he isn't hurt right now, he doesn't feel there's anything to worry about." With an older child, a detailed list of reasons for every rule can spark a tedious debate or, at best, create short-lived compliance, he adds. You might get a 10-year-old to return a book to the library on time by explaining that if she doesn't, she'll have to pay the fine out of her allowance. However, she'll probably forget to return the next book she borrows because at this age, dipping into her piggy bank isn't nearly as painful as wasting playtime to walk to the library.

The More You Nag, the Less Kids Listen: It's very easy for parents to slip into the "nagging and shouting syndrome," observes psychotherapist James Windell, MA, author of Children Who Say No When You Want Them to Say Yes. "When a child doesn't respond the first time she's told to do something, parents often repeat the request over and over until they finally lose their temper and start shouting. The message you give your child when you let her tune you out many times is that there's no need to pay attention to you until you're screaming."

Avoid Empty Ultimatums or Threats: Making impulsive threats when a child doesn't listen, such as "Do this right now, or I'm going to ground you!" is another common mistake parents make, Windell says. This can create a no-win situation, because kids resent being forced to give in. As a result, they often get angry and end up focusing on that anger instead of concentrating on what you asked them to do.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Probiotics Nannies Love for Colic

Last week on the Be the Best Nanny Newsletter blog we discussed colic.

We discussed the results of a study that compared the effectiveness of probiotics to simethicone. Simethicone is an anti-gas and anti-bloating substance commonly used to treat symptoms of colic. After giving babies the probiotic 'lactobacillus reuteri' for one-week, 95 percent of them showed reduced symptoms. In the simethicone group only seven percent of the babies showed any improvement within the same time period.

Below are some probiotics recommended to use for colic. Please do not add probiotics to baby's diet before consulting the infant's pediatrician. Probiotics can be mixed with baby's milk or use the formula listed below. Tests have shown that a daily dose for one or two weeks can reduce symptoms of colic dramatically.

Everidis BioGaia Probiotic Drops is a well-known producer of probiotics that makes supplements for people of all ages. Product information provided by Everidis BioGaia Probiotic Drops explains that BioGaia products contain the bacteria L. reuteri Protectis. This probiotic bacteria has been shown to be safe and effective for use by children in numerous clinical trials., an independent resource to help parents treat colic, describes many of the potential advantages of Everidis BioGaia Probiotic Dropsfor infants. One clinical study described by explains that Everidis BioGaia Probiotic Drops reduced the crying time babies with colic from 159 minutes per day to 51 minutes a day. Everidis BioGaia Probiotic Drops are administered by adding the drops to your infant's formula. This product works best when it is used on a daily basis.

Udo's Choice Infant's Blend Probiotic supplement contains a blend of seven probiotics., an independent consumer review resource, explains that these probiotics found in Udo's Choice are specifically thought to maximize infant digestive health. According to product information supplied by Udo's Choice Infant's Blend Probiotic 2.64-Ounces, babies born by caesarean section as well as non-breast fed babies may have less probiotics in their intestines. By using Udo's Choice, you may be able to replenish some healthy bacteria to your infant to calm digestive issues at the root of colic. Udo's Choice Infant's Blend Probiotic is supplied as a dried powder that can be added to your baby's formula one to three times per day.

Nutramigen Formula with Enflora LGG is an infant formula specifically designed to help relieve colic in babies. According to Enfamil, this formula is supplemented with the probiotic bacteria Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG, or LGG. The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston explains that LGG relieves a number of intestinal problems in children as well as adults and may help to treat colic.


Saturday, March 26, 2011

"Colic Solved" by Dr. Bryan Vartabedian

Weekly Trip to the Library for Nannies and Au Pairs

This week on the Be the Best Nanny Newsletter blog we discussed colic. If the infant you care for seems to never stop crying we highly recommend reading Colic Solved by Dr. Bryan Vartabedian.

It’s estimated that about 1 of 5 babies cry inexplicably. Fifty-years ago, when colic was first described, doctors had few means of knowing what was going on inside a baby.

In his book Colic Solved pediatric gasroenterologist Dr. Bryan Vartabedian, describes why unexplained fussiness may often be caused by gastroesophageal reflux disease. Doctor Vartabedian explains that “colic” is an old-fashioned term to describe the behavior of uncomfortable babies. Colic is not a medical diagnosis anymore than “crying” is and fortunately the underlying cause of colic has been discovered so that it can also be treated.

In most cases, colic is caused by milk protein allergy or infant reflux. Dr. Vartabedian carefully explains how to tell the difference, and what to do about it.

He explains why claims not based on scientific evidence don't work. For example, infant formula and baby bottles do not treat the root cause of the problem of colic.
So, don't just listen to "wives-tales" on how to treat colic. Instead, pick up a copy of this book and share it with your employers immediately.

Stop by next Saturday for another Weekly Trip to the Library for Nannies and Au Pairs.

Friday, March 25, 2011

What Are Your Best Tips on Coping with a Crying Baby?

How to Cope with a Crying Baby

There is nothing more frustrating then not being able to comfort a crying, or even a colicky, baby. I've been searching the Internet for ways to cope with a crying or colicky baby. Problem is that everything I have read recommends taking a break. As paid in-home childcare providers, nannies and au pairs can't take a break. In fact, we are the parents' break.

Keep your calm: The first thing to remember is to keep your calm. You must always be gentle. Put the baby safely in their safe crib, go to the powder room, wash your face, take deep breathes and come back to the baby. Pick up the phone call a friend or the parents for support.

Go with your gut: If you believe that something is wrong and you can’t fix it, call the doctor. Describe what’s going on and get some sound advice. If you really think about it, you know when a child is fussy or gassy versus sick or hurt. Listen to the cries and go with your instinct.

Support yourself: Tell yourself, “I know I can do this.” Remind yourself that others have dealt with these problems before and survived. Refrain from berating yourself for not knowing enough or doing something that upset the baby.

Remember this is a phase: Even though it’s really challenging, babies cry. But, no child will cry or have colic forever. Colic almost always clears up by four-months of age. This is just a moment in time, this too shall pass.

Click here for reference

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Do Probiotics Help Colic?

For Colic, Probiotics Might Help

About 20 percent of all babies suffer from colic.

A 2009 study, found that colicky babies had gastrointestinal inflammation and traces of a bacterium in their guts that may have prompted it. Babies without colic had no inflammation and a greater diversity of beneficial bacteria. A 2010 study has similar results.

In response, there are an increasing number of kid-oriented supplements and foods such as baby formulas, yogurts, granola bars, and juices that contain probiotics. But, the American Academy of Pediatrics has released a clinical report concluding that probiotics and prebiotics don't yet qualify as wonder cures.

Using probiotics and prebiotics are safe, natural, and inexpensive so there is no danger in using probiotic drops in colicky babies. But, until there is more research it's not a definite cure.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

What Has Worked in Comforting a Colicky Baby for You?

Tips for Comforting a Colicky Baby

Different children are comforted by different measures. Some prefer to be swaddled in a warm blanket; others prefer to be free. Try many different things, and pay attention to what seems to help, even just a little bit.
  • Holding the child is one of the most effective measures. The more hours held, even early in the day when they are not fussy, the less time they will be fussy in the evening. This will not spoil a child. Body carriers can be a great way to do this. Holding the baby in the upright position may help reduce gas.

  • Swaddle the baby.

  • Rock and swing the baby. As babies cry, they swallow more air, creating more gas and perhaps more abdominal pain, which causes more crying. This vicious cycle can be difficult to break. Gentle rocking can be very calming. This is directly comforting and seems to help them pass gas. When you get tired, an infant swing is a good alternative for babies at least three-weeks old with good head control.

  • Use a pacifier. Some babies are only happy when they are sucking on something. A pacifier can seem like a miracle in these cases.

  • Check their diaper and treat diaper rash.

  • Take the baby's temperature, make sure the infant isn't sick.

  • Sing to the baby.

  • Take the baby on a walk outdoors. Fresh air and a walk in the stroller comforts both the child and caregiver.

  • Some babies like car rides or the sound of the vacuum cleaner.

  • Give child a warm bath.

  • Simethicone drops, a defoaming agent that reduces intestinal gas, may help.
Click here for reference

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

What Has Caused Colic in the Child in Your Care?

What Triggers Colic in Babies?

Helping a child with colic is primarily a matter of experimentation and observation. If you can identify and eliminate a trigger for the colic, that is best. Even if you can't, learn which measures most comfort the baby.

Possible Triggers:

Foods - If the baby is breast-fed the mother should avoid stimulants such as caffeine and chocolate. She should also eliminate dairy products and nuts for a few weeks, as these may be causing allergic reactions in the baby. People often hear that breastfeeding moms should avoid broccoli, cabbage, beans, and other gas-producing foods. However, there is not much evidence that these foods are a factor.

Formula - Switching formulas is NOT helpful for most babies, but is very important for some.

Medicine - Some medicines the breastfeeding mom may be taking can also lead to crying.

Feeding - If a bottle feeding takes less than 20-minutes, the hole in the nipple may be too large. Avoid overfeeding the infant or feeding too quickly.

Click here for reference

Monday, March 21, 2011

Have You Ever Cared for a Colicky Baby?

Is it Crying or Colic?

Almost all babies go through a fussy period. When crying lasts for longer than about three hours a day and is not caused by a medical problem (such as a hernia or infection), it is called colic.

About 20% of babies cry enough to meet the definition of colic. The timing varies, but colic usually affects babies beginning at about three-weeks of age and peaks somewhere between four- and six-weeks of age.

The child with colic tends to be unusually sensitive to stimulation. Some babies experience greater discomfort from intestinal gas. Some cry from hunger, others from overfeeding. Some breastfed babies are intolerant of foods in their mothers' diets. Some bottle-fed babies are can't tolerate the proteins in formula.

Fear, frustration, or even excitement can lead to abdominal discomfort and colic. When other people around them are worried, anxious, or depressed, babies may cry more, which in turn makes those around them even more worried, anxious, or depressed.

Colic will not last forever! After about six-weeks of age, it usually begins improving, slowly but surely, and is generally gone by four-months of age. When colic is still going strong at 12-weeks, it's important to consider another diagnosis (such as reflux).

Click Here for Reference
Tomorrow: More About Causes of Colic

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Exergen's TemporalScanner Temporal Artery Thermometer

Product Review Sunday of Products Nannies Love

I just can't seem to get an accurate reading from an auxiliary (ear) thermometer. I have always been frustrated with auxiliary thermometers as they give low readings, that are never the same.

Pediatricians agree that a rectal thermometer is the most accurate to take a baby's temperature. But studies have shown temporal artery thermometers to be more accurate than underarm and in-ear thermometers. For babies it's best to use the rectal method until they get too old to tolerate it. But with children older than 12-months, the main information parents need to know is whether their kids have a high or low fever, so it's safe (and much easier) to swipe away.

The Exergen Temporal Artery Thermometer is a thermometer that reads the temperature by measuring the heat coming from her temporal artery, which runs across her forehead. Simply hold down the button and swipe the Exergen Temporal Artery Thermometer near the child's hairline. Within two seconds, the thermometer will beep and you'll be able to read her temperature on the LCD display -- no discomfort required. And the Exergen Temporal Artery Thermometer works so quickly and easily that you can even take her temp as she sleeps.

The trick is to not depress the button until the sensor is flush against the forehead or behind the ear (on the pulse point). You have to slide the thermometer across the child's forehead, from the middle of the forehead to the temple, since the carotid artery is not in the same place on every person. It does have a bit of a learning curve, so practice using on your own forehead a few times. Just follow the directions in the package. Most clinics and hospitals are using these thermometers now, so it is well recommended. And from a frustrated nanny that can't use an auxiliary thermometer correctly, I recommend it too.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Weekly Trip to the Library

Pat the Bunny by Dorothy Kunhardt

Dorothy Kunhardt's Pat the Bunny , published in 1940, is one of the bestselling children's books of all time. This week at the book store my 13-month old charge picked it out amongst a huge display of children's books. Pat the Bunny (Touch and Feel Book)is a great first book for kids. It contains things to touch, things to move, things to smell, and hidden surprises to peek at.

To add to the fun, pick up the Pat the Bunny Book & Plush (Touch-and-Feel) set. This gift set includes the book and a soft, baby-safe velour bunny toy that is loyal to the quirky bunny illustration in the book.

The newest addition to the Pat the Bunny series, the How Big is Bunny (Puppet Book), is just as impressive. It features a soft bunny puppet in the center of the book that helps brings the story to life. It was a wise choice to add an interactive component to such a classic series. Children love putting their fingers in the holes to work the bunny and act out the simple yet classic lines. The Pat the Bunny puppet book makes for a fun reading experience for all involved. It will hold the attention of young infants and make a great introduction to reading. Packaged in its own box, How Big is Bunny (Puppet Book)makes the perfect baby gift.

Nannies should consider keeping copies of these books to bring with them on any extra babysitting jobs with infants and toddlers for a great way to have fun together.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Opportunities for Nannies to Learn

International Nanny Association Conference and Free Webinar

Research confirms what we all intuitively understand: that superior training and education results in nannies that provide superior childcare. Click here to read "Nanny Training: Higher Education Commands Higher Wages."

Here are two great opportunities for nannies to learn:

2011 INA Annual Conference
Grand Hyatt Tampa Bay
Thursday, May 12, 2011 - Sunday, May 15, 2011
Early Bird Registration
Ends March 24, 2011
Click here to learn more about the 2011 INA Annual Conference

Free Webinar Hop On The Bus
By All About Nanny Care
March 28, 2011 from 7:30pm to 9pm EST

Nanny Sue Downey we present this webinar about the transition every nanny will eventually go through -- leaving the family. Transitioning is never easy but it’s an opportunity to be a true professional. The webinar will explore the stages of grief to help you move through this tough time with grace. Leaving the family in a healthy way is important to the kids as well as you.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

St. Patrick's Day Children's Books

What Are You Doing for St. Patrick's Day?

Crafts For St. Patrick'S Day (Holiday Crafts for Kids) by Kathy Ross, Illustrated by Sharon Lane Holm
Twenty easy craft projects including a shamrock bird, leprechaun face mask, a shillelagh, a rainbow bracelet, and a pot of gold table decoration.

Irish Night Before Christmas and A Leprechaun's St. Patrick's Day by Sarah Kirwan Blazek
An Irish Night Before Christmas tells a satirical version of Father Christmas' yearly visit. A Leprechaun's St. Patrick Day is the day in the life of one family's celebration of the holiday on the Emerald Isle.

A Leprechaun's St Patrick Day by Sarah Kirwan Blazek, Illustrated by James Rice

Five little leprechauns set out to make mischief for a rather large family during the St. Patrick's Day parade.

O'Sullivan Stew by Hudson Talbott

The king's men take a beloved horse from an outcast witch but the Crookhaven community doesn't know what to do. Kate O'Sullivan, her two brothers and father take matters into their own hands, determined to return the horse to it's rightful owner. Unfortunately, they get caught trying to take the horse back and are sentenced to hang for their deeds. Kate cooks up a delicious story to save their lives.

Shamrocks, Harps, and Shillelaghs: The Story of the St. Patrick's Day Symbols by Edna Barth, Illustrated by Ursula Arndt

Who was St. Patrick? And what do leprechauns, shamrocks, shillelaghs, and reed pipes have to do with it? These questions and more are answered about this early spring holiday.

Mary McLean and the St. Patrick's Day Paradeby Steven Kroll, Illustrated by Michael Dooling

"In 1849, the potato famine forces Mary's family to leave their farm in Ireland and cross the ocean to settle in a basement room in New York City. Living in the drab surroundings, Mary dreams of the grand St. Patrick's Day parade, in which their local storekeeper, Mr. Finnegan, drives a gaily decorated horse-drawn cart. Mary can ride in the cart only if she finds a shamrock--an unlikely event, given the snow-covered ground. The appearance of a leprechaun finally helps her fulfill her dream."

The St. Patrick's Day Shamrock Mysteryby Marion M. Markham, Illustrated by Karen A. Jerome

First a mysterious shamrock appears on Miss Wink's front door. Then Kate and Mickey find a sign on their new clubhouse: "The Green Shamrock Gang Was Here." Will the Dixon twins be able to solve this mystery?

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

10 Things Your Nanny Won't Tell You

For starters, nannies need a vacation. Second, there may be something wrong with your child. Plus, eight other things your nanny is too scared to tell you. Click here to see article.

1. Nannies are not your maid.

2. Nannies need a vacation.

3. Parents need to discipline your children.

4. Nannies want a raise.

5. They see other nannies yelling at — or ignoring — other children.

6. That Christmas present? They hated it.

7. Your kids need more attention … from you.

8. Your kid has a developmental problem.

9. It is not OK when you don't pay on time.

10. Nannies want to be treated with respect.

Click here to see article.

How to Make Children Laugh

Hands That Make You Laugh by Sheila Ellison

Monday we asked what are the funniest things the children you care for have said. Today we describe another fun way to get your charges to lighten-up and have some fun from Sheila Ellison and her book 365 Ways to Raise Great Kids.

Hands That Make You Laugh:

You need two people for this activity. One person stands or sits directly in front of another with their hands behind their back. Try not to let the front person's arms show. The person in the back extends their arms around the front person and does all the hand movements.

The person in front makes faces and talks. The audience can shout out scenes for the pair to act out that would involve many hand movements: eating food, brushing teeth and washing face, father shaving, putting a model together, painting a picture, and so on.

Let everyone in the family have a chance to make the family laugh.